Why the Cloud is Right For E-Discovery

Litigation is episodic and it can be tough to predict when it will hit and what it will require of the company to effectively manage it. Today’s companies are contending with ever-increasing volumes of data and complexity with e-discovery. Corporations need scalable systems so that when a big matter arises, the computing capacity can adapt to any size of litigation regardless of number of custodians, locations needing collection, or volume of data. Organizations using on-premise systems have limited capacity. This makes it challenging, time-consuming and costly to meet the needs of larger matters. Cloud solutions make it possible for companies to be agile in their operations, giving them the flexibility to always have access to what they need while not requiring infrastructure investment for more computing power than necessary.

Accessibility Optimizes Workflows and Improves Acknowledgement

Today’s mobile and global workforce requires accessibility to business systems from remote locations that may be outside the firewall. What that means in practical terms is that corporations need to foster secure access to their systems. Whether they need custodian acknowledgement of a legal hold notification by a salesperson on the road, or the litigation support team needs to collect remotely from a computer, or outside counsel needs to be able to review processed data without creating duplicate copies, cloud-based systems are always on and ready for use regardless of location, time of day, or access device.

The key to making e-discovery more affordable is to reduce the amount of data that get passed on to attorneys for eyes-on review. As a result of continuously dropping computing prices, leveraging economies of scale, and the subscription revenue model of software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing is affording corporations the opportunity to take control of each step of the e-discovery process including: preservation, collection, processing and first-pass review. Now corporate legal teams have the power to bring much of the e-discovery process in house and can effectively shrink their data volumes and costs. Through combining preservation best practices of legal hold automation, leveraging targeted and remote collections, and processing data at speeds as fast as a terabyte an hour, corporations can make e-discovery more efficient. The affordable and flexible subscription model allows corporations to predict their expenses more accurately. The elasticity of the cloud means corporate legal teams can be more agile in dealing with the need for variable computing capacity for larger jobs, without having to over invest in infrastructure after the spike has passed.

Cloud E-Discovery Solutions Offer Corporations World-Class Data Security

Despite initial security concerns, data that is in the cloud is not proving to be more vulnerable than data residing in on-premise systems. In fact, many top-tier cloud-hosting providers are among the world’s most innovative and advanced leaders in data hosting and security.

Providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) have made significant investments in equipment and expertise that secures data to help organizations manage their risk associated with protecting sensitive data. In The Forrester Wave: Public Cloud Platform Service Providers’ Security, Q4 2014 report, Forrester Research named AWS as the only provider in the Leader category. Forrester stated, “AWS demonstrated not only a broad set of security capabilities in data center security, certifications, and network security, but also excelled in customer satisfaction, security services partnerships, and a large installed base.”

Because companies are taking advantage of shared cloud resources, organizations of any size benefit from the most secure computing environments available on the market—offering more protection than what most companies could provide through their own security measures and infrastructure.

Innovation and Improvement With Pain-Free Updates

Because true SaaS providers only have to maintain one version of the (single-instance multi-tenant) software code, all customers can receive updates frequently and concurrently. In cases such as new feature requests, introduction of a new technology or discovery of a software bug, the software code can be enhanced and deployed in a fraction of the time. Many SaaS companies employ an agile software development approach, which emphasizes rapid prototyping and customer collaboration rather than user manuals, and development of in-depth product specifications. This approach gives the developers the chance to iterate more frequently and implement feedback from customers more quickly because deploying updates is pain free for customers.

The benefit of the iterative development approach is that releases can occur monthly or even bi-weekly, so customers are getting access to improvements more frequently. Customers do not have to deal with IT upgrade projects, nor do they have to do anything on their own. The software is never out of date and updates are immediately available upon login to the system. Users can quickly start putting the latest features to use without incurring any additional fees. Contrast this with on-premise software, where software upgrades are often released only once or twice per year because implementing the updates is disruptive and requires technical expertise to be on-site.

Cloud Solutions Make Sense

The cloud is forever changing the dynamics of computing—how we create, store and retain information. Cloud solutions make economic and logistical sense for a sustainable approach to the modern demands of managing e-discovery today, as well as tackling the ever-expanding digital universe in the future. Now companies of any size have access to virtually limitless resources for instantaneous scalability of processing power and immediate deployment. Through embracing the cloud, corporate legal departments can gain visibility and control over e-discovery in-house and can adjust computing capacity to match their needs—giving corporations the much needed agility in operations, all at an affordable and predictable price.

Founded in 2008 in Portland, OR, Zapproved Inc. is a pioneer in developing cloud-hosted software for corporate legal departments. Widely adopted by Fortune 500 and Global 2000 corporations, Zapproved has earned recognition in the 2014 and 2015 Best of the National Law Journal and the 2013 and 2014 Best of Legal Times. Zapproved was recognized in the 2014 Inc. 500 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the US.

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