Within the last couple of weeks, there have been multiple press releases by competing eDiscovery providers on their introduction of remote collection and review capabilities. The announcements themselves are noble in effort and highlight (and validate) the value, importance, and necessity of remote eDiscovery capabilities. Nevertheless, the announcements may fall short of intended results when one considers that while organizations may be able to scale their technologies and remote capabilities immediately, they cannot scale their experience in the use of technologies and remote capabilities immediately. Experience is a function of time and applied knowledge. While the announcements do share the promise of remote eDiscovery capabilities, remote eDiscovery services should be evaluated on their true potential through the lens of demonstrated experience.
Areas where experience should be considered and that may mean the difference between streamlined success or subsidized learning (by a new remote service provider or with new remote services) in remote collections and reviews may include:
- Experience with remote technology
- Experience with remote security
- Experience with remote teams
- Experience with remote processes
- Experience with remote communications
- Experience with remote troubleshooting
Competitive providers may be able to purchase awareness or announce capability, however, it takes time and the actual successful conduct of projects for them to gain experience. This experience needs to be achieved on multiple levels for clients to translate the promise of remote services into the actual achievement of desired results in support of audits, investigations, and litigation. Levels of experience should include:
- Experience of organizations with remote services
- Experience of management teams with remote services
- Experience of individuals with remote services
Carefully and courteously confronting remote eDiscovery service assertions with questions that extend beyond technological capabilities and into the practical and proven experiences of providers in actually delivering on asserted skills may be beneficial in considering, comparing, and choosing remote eDiscovery services and providers.
Remote eDiscovery collections and reviews are a new necessity based on the requirements of our new remote world. eDiscovery leaders and decision-makers would do well to look beyond the sparkle of announcements and into the specifics of demonstrated experience as they make critical remote service choices.
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