The Cost of Collection:
Medium to large sized organizations are being driven to lower their overall litigation costs by bringing more of the eDiscovery processes in-house. To do this, organizations need to understand and proactively plan for the eDiscovery process. The most cost effective way to quickly lower eDiscovery costs are to prepare for the collection phase by putting in place an ESI archive to capture and manage those ESI silos that are most requested…Email, File System and SharePoint ESI.
The average cost to acquire all potentially responsive ESI from all corporate infrastructure locations including email servers, file shares, SharePoint systems, as well as from all custodian locations including desktop/laptops, local external storage devices, portable media such as USB thumb drives, CDs and DVDs in a defensible manner is between $1000 and $2000 per custodian discovered.
Realistically, the cost of eDiscovery can be reduced dramatically if your organization understands the eDiscovery process and proactively plans for it. Some areas to look at include:
- The number one way to reduce e-discovery expense (besides not getting sued/investigated) is having less data to collect/review
- Create, follow and enforce an ESI records retention policy to control legacy data including backup retention which should be in sync with the retention ESI retention policies
- Eliminate custodian PSTs. These little bombs are the biggest contributor to the cost of collection and review
- Develop and implement a litigation hold policy and have all custodians review and signoff on it
- For medium to large organizations, the most effective cost and risk reducer, besides reducing the amount of ESI in your organization, is to put a centrally managed ESI archive in place with centrally managed ESI retention policies. If, for example, you have an ESI archive which collects and manages your email data, file system data and your SharePoint data, the most requested ESI data types in discovery, then for those data types, you no longer have to search every custodian’s workstations, removable media, etc. A simple query of the archive will let you find, place legal holds, cull, review and export responsive ESI in a fraction of the time you normally take.