In today’s torpid economy, cutbacks are a fact of life. But amid declining resources, one thing is still on the upswing: litigation. Small businesses used to depend almost entirely on outside counsel to help them through lawsuits, but the increasing amount of electronically stored information has caused the average case size to grow by 10 times.
Shrinking that mountain of electronic paperwork is the first step toward controlling costs, and responsibility starts inside the company, where relevant documents must be identified. To do this, there are a number of software applications to help reduce both your risks and costs.
The most expensive part of litigation and electronic discovery is attorney review. Look for tools that provide functionality to reduce data volume and measurably streamline the e-discovery process, including centralized systems that support the virtual teams that are typical in e-discovery review.
Specifically look for a solution that:
Centralizes the review platform for all parties and matters to simplify security, administration, and consistency;
Enables outside counsel to do all of the tasks necessary to represent you in court;
Provides process metrics identifying case status, review costs, and trends;
Helps you and counsel identify and eliminate irrelevant data before review.
While IT budgets and capital expenses are constrained, look to build on someone else’s capital investments and architecture. Select a solution with mature technology and top-notch data centers. Hosted software, or software-as-a-service (SaaS), minimizes deployment time and provides outstanding scalability and performance with virtually no capital expenditures.
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.