Cost and budget considerations for eDiscovery Project has been written to help companies appreciate their options for both in-house budgeting and budgeting outsourced eDiscovery.
More and more organisations are starting to realise that there is no easy way out or shortcut in eDiscovery. It’s an essential part of their processes and requires its own planning and due diligence.
When organisations try to dodge the eDiscovery process, they usually end up losing more valuable time and money than they ever bargained for. Hence, the best way forward is to plan out the workflow and create an effective eDiscovery budget.
Budgeting for Outsourced eDiscovery
Historically, outsourcing has been the go-to choice for most organisations when it comes to eDiscovery, and it’s still a popular choice today due to a variety of benefits. There are a few approaches you can take when it comes to an eDiscovery budget for outsourced jobs.
Total Cost Approach
In the total cost approach, you hand over or outsource the whole eDiscovery project to one vendor. The vendor will give you a flat rate covering all areas of the project, including technology, consulting and project management.
The service provider will estimate your costs and set the budget. They will also manage the workflow throughout the undertaking by keeping complete control over the process. This is usually successful in reducing inefficiencies as the service provider has to take full responsibility in providing eDiscovery within the budget limits.
This approach allows you to set your eDiscovery budget more easily and invest fewer resources in the process.
However, you need to audit the service providers thoroughly when making the decision initially to make sure they meet your requirements. You will also have to negotiate the pricing with the vendor and identify any other costs.
Line Item Approach
Rather than paying a lump-sum amount like in the previous approach, this budgeting technique breaks the eDiscovery process down into parts/items. This can be data processing, collection, production, or review.
This approach allows you to outsource each item with the most competitively priced vendor and reduce costs massively. However, it’s a lot more difficult than it sounds and lots of problems arise in coordination and flexibility of the system.
If you can’t coordinate and handle the line item approach, avoid it.
In-house eDiscovery Budgeting
The modular approach allows in-house teams to divide the project into modules and focus on high-impact ones where they can comfortably implement cost reduction strategies without contingencies. This is a lot better than cost-cutting and planning budgets throughout the whole workflow in one go.
Just remember to keep track of your metrics and the impact of your cost-cutting strategies. Evaluating will allow you to make improvements as needed.
The approach you take to create an eDiscovery budget will depend entirely on your organisation’s individual circumstances, internal resources, and the nature of the projects you deal with. The key is to always revise your strategies and always look for areas of improvement.