In the past five years, the ediscovery industry has taken leaps and bounds to align itself with innovative technology. Processes that were once dependent on pounds of paper, redaction tape, and copying machines have been completely replaced by terabytes of data and software infrastructure. To date, one of the largest investments made by companies is migrating to the cloud. Since my transition to the ediscovery industry, I have been extremely curious about why ediscovery is moving to the cloud and set out to discuss this phenomena with Lighthouse thought leaders who have been in the space for decades. Here is what I discovered:
Software Without the Hardware
Today, moving to the cloud can mean many things for your company. It’s less hardware, less upkeep by you and your company, and more dependency on your cloud provider. The scalability, reliability, and security of the cloud provides a platform that allows you to avoid costs by relying on another party for the upkeep. Chris Dahl, VP of Consulting and Product Development at Lighthouse, makes the point, “if your company is investing in moving data to the cloud for a greater business motivation, using a cloud ediscovery solution aligns with the company’s overall vision and keeps your data in the cloud throughout its lifecycle. This creates a good opportunity for legal to align with the business.” While traditionally legal departments have been slow to adopt new technology, Chris urges aligning with your company’s cloud initiatives sooner rather than later to streamline workflows within your organization.
Secure infrastructure is arguably the number one concern for companies putting data in the cloud. With complete on-premises models going to the wayside, cloud security is being put in the spotlight. Marc Menninger, Senior IT Security Manager at Lighthouse, shares, “Cloud security provides a highly resilient “always on” system with 24x7x365 availability. This is different from on-premises services that require maintenance windows which take services offline for a few hours every month.” By moving processes to the cloud, you are increasing security and avoiding downtime and long maintenance windows.
Centralized and Defensible Data
In many cases the hesitancy of moving to the cloud can come from the change that follows in house. Lighthouse’s VP of Eastern Region, Debora Motyka Jones, had a different view on it. “For in-house ediscovery professionals, moving to the Office 365 suite means more data is moving to one location so it may reduce the number of locations that need to be accessed or collected from.” By keeping your data between the same four walls of infrastructure, you invite less opportunity for error. Take a look at Debora’s blog on three great steps to get your data to the cloud.
The Cloud is the Future
With companies like Microsoft setting the precedent for cloud trends, tools like Office365’s Advanced eDiscovery give us a glimpse of where ediscovery is headed. Senior Director of Engineering, Jaydeep Singh, gives his two cents, “eDiscovery in the cloud is a future of the industry. More and more data gets generated in the cloud every day – Social, health, IoT (Internet of Things) and SaaS data from applications like Office 365.” Therefore, bringing data from cloud to on-premises to do ediscovery is a process quickly becoming outdated.
So, whether your organization is moving to the cloud, looking to make the investment, or still doing your research, ediscovery is well on the road to benefitting from this technology transition. To an industry whose core values are held on security and defensibility, the cloud is undoubtedly the next chapter.