Further, processing, analytics, searching and culling, as well as hosted review and production, could be on the consideration list for corporations, but it is far more likely that law firms would benefit from bringing in this type of technology. The infrastructure and staff needed to run it on par with a good vendor are often too much for a single corporation, given the inconsistent nature of the demand.
One of the bigger pitfalls of this model is that of scalability. As the work increases, so do the demands on the technology and people. More people will be needed, additional technology will get added. Depending on the goals of the group and the type of organization you are in, this could pose issues. Another issue with this model is one of pure maintenance. Technology upgrades, process improvements, documentation, project management software, HR issues, billing and invoicing, legal conflicts and agreements ... the list is endless when it comes to maintaining the whole group. It is easy to lose sight of your goals when dealing with so many day-to-day business aspects.
Anything that is not fully outsourced or fully insourced falls in the hybrid model. In reality, most models are really hybrids. Again, it is a sliding scale.
Hybrid models leverage both vendor relationships and purchased insourced technology to cover all points in the workflow. Your organization also will exist as a hybrid if you are moving from one model to another. You may have made the choice to bring everything in-house, but that process will take a number of months or years. You tackle the most pressing areas in the workflow first and leave the rest for vendors. Or you may find that a certain aspect of the workflow is not something your organization wants to get involved with. Forensic and collection work are a good example. Many organizations leave this to vendors because of the skill level at which many of these specialists are trained, or because of potential conflict issues with collecting your own data or your own client's data.
Though all three models will continue to mature over time, and the general buckets are likely to remain the same, there is no quick fix for solving your e-discovery issues.
Close examination of your organization and clearly defined goals are the starting point. Technology will help, but the right people are critical to bring that technology to full potential. Your internal workflow and the process you build around your chosen model are the glue that holds it all together.
Lastly, your e-discovery efforts are never complete. The latest hot e-discovery technology will be replaced, new disruptive technology will appear in business, data sizes and types will continue to grow and globalization will only increase the complexity of the puzzle. But you have built a flexible and customized solution to meet the demands of your organization to tackle these changes.
Michael Boland is the managing director for Drinker Discovery Solutions LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Drinker Biddle & Reath. Drinker Discovery Solutions provides full life-cycle e-discovery consulting, technology and project management services. He can be contacted at 312-569-1915 or email@example.com.