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Justifying The Cost of eDiscovery

Jim Shook, Director, E-Discovery and Compliance Practice EMC Corp

Jim Shook, Director, E-Discovery and Compliance Practice EMC Corp

Most who have handled eDiscovery have a sense that with the right tools, bringing some (or all) of the eDiscovery process in-house will save money and cut risk.  However, that gut feeling is not enough if you are called to justify purchases to a board or steering committee – you need hard data.

If you have ever tried to put together an ROI Model for eDiscovery, you know that it can be a difficult process.  While stories abound about extraordinary costs, actual data about internal and external costs can be hard to find.  Even if you do have data, it’s difficult to build a model that matches your process and predicts how well the new process will work.  Worse still, because many companies still handle their eDiscovery with a lot of (usually unknown) risk, sometimes there is no apparent savings by bringing the work in-house – the change actually results in substantially cutting risk, not costs.  That’s even more difficult to model and justify.  (We have written about these challenges before and provided some helpful steps  you might consider when creating an ROI Model).

eDiscovery ROI calculatorTo make the process easier, our team has developed an easy-to-use “eDiscovery ROI Calculator”, which is now available for the iPad.  You input just a few variables – -the number of small, medium and large cases that you expect to see in a year, and the typical number of custodians for each.  We have preset the rest of the variables to what we consider to be industry standard amounts.  Don’t like our default values?  Change them all you want with the easy-to-use sliders (it’s actually kind of fun to manipulate the model).  In just a few minutes, you’ll get a good estimate of what it costs to handle those cases on an outsourcing basis, and what you might expect to save by bringing the process in-house.   (If you don’t have access to an iPad, we have flash-based versions of the tool available through our IG Account Management team).

Intrigued?  We are hosting a webcast next week with the smart folks from Enterprise Strategy Group.  It’s called “ESG Presents: Truly Realizing eDiscovery ROI” and you can sign up for free right here.  I’ll bet you get a fast ROI on that investment!

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