Although about 90% of all business communications are stored digitally, many organizations do not know how to enact the procedures and deploy the technologies to properly streamline and access information. In the event of an internal investigation or a legal matter, responding proactively via an electronic discovery (eDiscovery) solution is imperative not only to handle the issue but to do so cost-effectively—not to mention in a way that won’t risk the reputation or financial status of your business.
According to a leading industry analyst firm, the average cost of one eDiscovery project is over $1 million. That’s just for one transaction a year; imagine what multiple investigations can cost. Most of our customers say that at least two of these matters arise per year. Dealing with them used to only be about numbers; now more is at stake than ever: their reputation.
Traditionally the discovery method has been outsourced, but companies are moving towards the in-house trend more and more thanks to software solutions like EMC SourceOne Kazeon eDiscovery. During the process of choosing to internalize eDiscovery, many software providers used to “make the sell” based on the value of information stored—the value per gigabyte, terabyte, and so on.
Nowadays, things are changing. The return on investment of an in-house eDiscovery platform is based less on storage space and more on the concept that an eDiscovery system (and the procedures that go along with it) minimizes the risk that litigation issues can have on an organization’s image—and that’s a must-have in today’s fast-paced, information-sharing world.
Think about it: Companies are more transparent than ever and customers bring issues to the forefront more than in the past. So the typical lawsuit over employment that would otherwise have stayed in-house is now a huge threat to a company because it’s thrust into the spotlight. If not handled correctly and in a timely manner, the entire company can get a bad reputation for a basic legal transaction. In short, an eDiscovery tool does more than simply store and organize information.
For example, insurance companies deal with an overwhelming amount of correspondence. When a legal matter comes up for the company, it can take forever to sift through data. A good eDiscovery solution not only makes information gathering easier technically; it provides the procedural roadmap necessary to ensure a timely, repeatable, proactive response. In that, a company’s image is also spared.
The old way of gauging the value of an eDiscovery solution was solely about finding the value in numbers per gigabyte or terabyte—now it’s more about company’s brand and the value in that. Though harder to perhaps put a dollar value on an organization’s brand, a maturing eDiscovery solution is a must-have to ensure a healthy business that complies with regulations and stays in a positive light
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Doug Vargo is Vice President and leader of Paragon’s Digital Information Management team. Doug provides business process and technology solutions that apply to the generation, management, use, compliance and disposition of enterprise content. Paragon’s Digital Information Management team focuses on ensuring organizations have effective, pervasive content management strategies, business processes and technology to ensure the right content is available at the right time, for the right person. Prior to joining Paragon, Doug was the Director of Records Information Management for Rusco, Inc., where he was responsible for the implementation and validation of Document and Records Management Systems at several life sciences companies with a specialization FDA compliance. Doug holds a BS in Environmental Science from Slippery Rock University, PA.