How e-discovery requirements are changing: 5 questions with Relativity CTO Keith Carlson
Earlier this year, Relativity, a Chicago-based provider of legal software, announced plans to hire 300 people. As part of the expansion, the company named Keith Carlson as its new CTO.
Carlson was most recently general manager of payments and fraud at Amazon Web Services in Seattle, and is now responsible for technology and architecture strategy and oversees engineering delivery, engineering operations, and production engineering functions at Relativity—formerly known as kCura.
In his new role, the company says, he will be integral to maturing Relativity's SaaS delivery model with RelativityOne and expanding Relativity’s reach into the unstructured data realm.
Carlson recently shared his views on the value of unstructured data, changing requirements for data privacy, and how the e-discovery space is evolving.
What are some of the approaches or technologies that you hope to plan to implement in your new role at Relativity?
Keith Carlson: As more customers adopt RelativityOne, we will continue to implement more cloud-native services to augment this growth. Thanks to the elastic scaling and storage already built in to our SaaS product, we can really focus on making the whole customer experience the best it can be.
At Amazon Web Services, you developed one of the first cloud fraud prevention and detection organizations and grew it to where it was evaluating 10 trillion pieces of data a day. How does the expertise and skills from that role transfer to the new responsibilities at Relativity?
KC: Building the Fraud Prevention team at AWS taught me the value of unstructured data. During my time there we developed sophisticated real-time analysis models that processed thousands of variables. Over the next decade, I believe that leveraging unstructured data will be a key part of the move to machine learning models, artificial intelligence and deep learning, and I believe that these technologies will impact just about every part of our lives. With the experience Relativity already has in the unstructured data space, I feel like I have been given a front row seat for what’s coming. I can’t wait to see where it goes and where we will take things.
Why is it important to extend Relativity’s reach into the unstructured data realm?
KC: Customers love the extensibility of our platform because it allows them to address the unique needs of their business and clients in e-discovery and beyond. More and more we’re beginning to see customers harness the power of our platform to build unique applications to previously-unsolved problems in the unstructured data realm. A great example of this is Deloitte’s new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) application which is built on top of Relativity. The application is used by government agencies to help them manage disclosure requests for government records using automation, analytics and scalable data compliance functionality. Internally, we’re also committed to building out unique extensions of Relativity that help grow our business and promote new revenue streams. One area we’re really excited about is proactive compliance and how our new Relativity Trace application works with businesses in regulated industries to stop bad behavior like fraud and insider trading before it happens.
How are changing views on data privacy affecting e-discovery solutions?
KC: Data privacy has made its way into regulation around the world and it has impacted how organizations manage data and e-discovery matters across borders. Now more than ever, it is important that users look for a single e-discovery solution with a global footprint, like RelativityOne, that can handle increasingly complex e-discovery matters in a secure and compliant manner.
What are the biggest challenges you see in the e-discovery?
KC: One area that is always top of mind for customers and continues to be a high priority for Relativity is data security, especially in the public cloud. Our goal is to lead the industry to SaaS through RelativityOne and one of the biggest hurdles we’ve identified is users being unsure around data security in the public cloud. We’re confident that we can continue to quell any concerns around this topic by delivering a truly best-in-class security posture developed and implemented by our Calder7 security team and built into every avenue and process of the code that our engineering team develops. I’m looking forward to expanding engineering’s partnership with our Calder7 team to ensure that our security remains a best-in-class pillar for our company and for RelativityOne.