Seventh in a series of best practices for litigation readiness
In business, as in life, security drives confidence, and confidence drives innovation, productivity, and excellence. Knowing that your organization is prepared for litigation gives you and your employees a sense of security — and the knowledge that you can respond quickly, calmly, and rationally in the face of a pending matter. Litigation readiness is, at its core, about being confident in your ability to smoothly, defensibly, and correctly preserve, collect, process, review, and produce data relevant to any litigation matter or information request.
If you’re ready to experience that level of confidence, we’ve put together an eight-part blog series explaining our recommended best practices for litigation readiness. We provide actionable tips that any organization can use to enhance its advance preparation for every stage of ediscovery. Today, we’re turning our attention to the tools and methods you use for data collection and hosting.
Over-Collection Leads to Ongoing Expenses
With today’s profusion of data, the costs of collection and hosting can add up fast. Collection is a Goldilocks task: it can be hard to find the “just right” utopia between collecting too little data (risking spoliation) and collecting too much data (blowing your hosting budget out of the water). Because spoliation sanctions are a risk to both your organization’s finances and its reputation, there’s often a play-it-safe mentality that encourages over-collection. This problem can be exacerbated when IT is tasked with managing collection, as uncertainty about the scope of a case or its legal ramifications may lead staff to collect entire drives instead of targeting their collection efforts based on date range or file type.
To make matters worse, hosting is an ongoing cost that lasts the life of a case — so getting it wrong by collecting too much data is an error that compounds every month.
In-House Collection and Hosting Saves Money and Reduces Risks
Bringing more of your ediscovery process in house can help you attain that “just right” state for your collections. With a cloud-based platform that integrates with Microsoft® Office 365® and more, you can preserve data in place, collecting data only when it’s actually needed for review, which translates into lower hosting fees. Best of all, in-house collection and hosting allow your organization to retain direct control over your data and its security.
Top Tips for Bringing Data Collection and Hosting in House
- Preserve data in place when possible. With so much data already in the cloud, it’s often unnecessary to collect it in a separate repository. Preserve data in place, at least initially, and you’ll avoid redundant costs for data hosting.
- Phase and target collections. Knowing that your data is preserved with an effective legal hold, you can continue to control your hosting costs by collecting precisely what you need only when you need it. Limit your initial collection effort, focusing first on the most relevant and important information as identified by targeted keyword and metadata searches. Gradually expand your efforts as needed in phases, fine-tuning your filters as the case evolves.
- Insist on SOC 2® Type 2 security. For any ediscovery platform, ensure that both the application and its data hosting are backed by SOC 2 Type 2 certification. This objective measure guarantees best-in-class security protection for your most valuable data.
With in-house data collection and hosting on a secure cloud-based platform, you’ll be able to save money not just initially but also over the life of every case. Using phased and targeted collections, you’ll limit your efforts to what is necessary today, without closing the door on a broader effort tomorrow. And that leads to security and confidence in your ability to respond appropriately to litigation at a moment’s notice.
In the last post of our eight-part series, we’ll examine early case assessment and explaining how you can make it work for you.
Questions about how to securely collect and host your ediscovery data?We’re here to help you master in-house ediscovery using SOC 2® Type 2-certified solutions like our Z-Discovery® platform.
If you have questions or need more help, please contact us.