It’s tough to ask for more budget even in the best of times, and it’s only gotten more challenging amid today’s uncertainty. Corporate legal teams are having to do more with less and often feel they can’t possibly bring any more work in-house. But investing in in-house ediscovery is almost always worth it. You save money and time while improving data security, team efficiency, and time-to-results.
When fighting for budget or preparing a cost justification, a return-on-investment (ROI) analysis is invaluable in equipping you with the information and data you need to justify investing in better ediscovery tools.
Zapproved partnered with Hobson & Company, an independent research firm that specializes in ROI analyses, to study the financial impact the ZDiscovery suite generates for a typical customer. The study consisted of in-depth interviews with dozens of enterprise legal teams regarding their ediscovery processes before and after implementing Legal Hold Pro and Digital Discovery Pro, our legal hold and ediscovery software modules. Here are some things they found.
Significant reduction in outside ediscovery costs
The first thing people want to know is how much they can save later by investing now. Our study showed that customers dramatically reduced outside ediscovery costs by bringing much of that work in-house. Namely, they cut average annual spending on outsourced processing and culling by 65%, and on outsourced review by more than 40%. By quickly locating and organizing key responsive documents in-house, you can reserve outside review for highly complex matters.
While in technological terms the cost per gigabyte of storage has never been cheaper, when it comes to ediscovery, the cost of collecting, processing, and reviewing each gigabyte really adds up. Spending money up front to process and cull your own data—through deNISTing, deduping, concept clustering, and email threading—instantly reduces the amount of data for review. This means your team can start the review process much faster than waiting for an outside vendor, or helps you simply send significantly less data out when outside counsel is needed for higher risk, highly complex matters.
One thing you don’t have to budget for with modern ediscovery software is infrastructure. With true cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS), you won’t need to buy or maintain costly servers, saving both money and your IT department’s time. Plus, cloud-based services are entirely elastic and scalable, so you’ll always have the capability to manage large matters without needing to install new hardware.
Automate legal hold management to save time
Beyond those hard costs, automating your in-house ediscovery and legal hold process also saves time. In fact, it can reduce the time needed to track and manage holds and custodian compliance by 80+%.
These time savings and increased staff availability can be easy to overlook when evaluating new tools and processes, but they have real, tangible impact on the team’s workload and should factor in when arguing for new technology.
Real-life case studies
Together, these savings give you the ability to bring more in-house to reduce spend without overwhelming the team. Let’s see how this all comes together:
One customer had been using a combination of on-premise software and outside counsel. Their team handled an average of 95 matters per year, with 80% of those processed internally and 50% reviewed internally. By deploying Digital Discovery Pro, the company made back its investment in just over four months, achieving annual benefits of more than $863,000 and resulting in a 3-year ROI of 240%. The benefits were split almost exactly between reduced legal spend and streamlined processes that saved time and effort.
In another case, a company had been managing their preservation obligations manually. With an average of 1,000 holds issued per year, and an average of 10 custodians per hold, the team was spending massive amounts of time per year issuing, tracking, reviewing, and responding. After switching to Legal Hold Pro, they made back the investment in 3.4 months, with annual benefits of more than $610,000 and a 3-year ROI of 332%.
Free ediscovery software resources
It’s hard to argue with numbers like that. But we also know that every company’s litigation profile is different. That’s why we offer a free, personalized Business Case Analysis that includes an ROI analysis and a detailed summary to take back to your team. For additional resources, check out our guide to Analyzing the True Cost of Ediscovery, and sign up for our upcoming webinar, Conducting an ROI Analysis for Ediscovery Software.