Like every other investment proposal, eDiscovery specification involves an analysis of cost and benefit, including an attempt to calculate a return on investment. Many initiatives come unstuck because, while it is generally easy to calculate what they would cost, it is rather harder to work out what will be saved by what can be a significant investment.
Something which is often overlooked, even by those trying to sell such applications, are the uses for eDiscovery software which go beyond those major requirements. In the EU, for example, many organisations face Subject Access Requests; in the US, Freedom of Information Act requests impose similar burdens. One of the difficulties here is that the burden in both time and budget tends to fall on departments other than legal and IT – perhaps the HR Department. The expense gets overlooked when calculations are made for return on investment purposes.
Another issue is that these applications are often faced by people without the experience to manage them, with the burden and expense distributed around the company.
A webinar to be presented by ZyLAB and ACEDS on 10 March will help address this problem. It is called Optimising your FOIA request process from start to finish, and speakers include Dan Metcalfe, former Director of the Office of Information and Privacy, and Johannes Scholtes of ZyLAB. The webinar will be moderated by Mary Mack, Executive Director of ACEDS.