For any organization, getting hit by a lawsuit can be a nightmare. As per a survey conducted by Norton Rose Fulbright, organizations today spend $1.5 million per $1 billion of revenue annually on legal disputes — up from $1.2 million in 2018. With an increase in labor/employment and cross-border privacy regulation-related cases, this number is only going to climb.
eDiscovery — the process of producing legally admissible electronically-stored information (ESI) — takes a major chunk of these costs. As per Complex Discovery, corporations spent $11 billion annually on eDiscovery related products and services in 2019. These purchases are expected to increase to $18 Billion by 2023. Additionally, Complex Discovery estimates relative eDiscovery expenditure to be 12% data collection, 19% processing, and 69% review.
As eDiscovery requests continue to expand and producing admissible ESI persists, organizations are seeking third-party assistance to process these requests. However, as more businesses adopt cloud and mobile technology, executing eDiscovery requests often ends up being chaotic, time-consuming, and expensive.
Using a third-party for eDiscovery makes sense if the volume of legal suits your organization faces is low because the cost can be expensive. Per Druva’s estimates, companies can end up paying up to $700,000 in eDiscovery related costs for a lawsuit involving 10 employees each having 80 GB of ESI stored on endpoints, email, and cloud storage drives. It is fairly common for organizations to have multiple lawsuits at any point in time which could take your eDiscovery costs alone into millions of dollars.
Why eDiscovery costs spike
The size of ESI collected — and as it passes through various stages of eDiscovery — plays a key factor in your eDiscovery costs. Most eDiscovery tools and third-party legal firms charge by the volume of data. Due to a lack of proper data collection strategy in place — organizations often end up collecting ESI post facto. As a result, they over-collect data which in turn increases their spending on data review and processing.
To demonstrate this further, let’s take a lawsuit that involves 10 employees each having 80 GB of ESI data stored on endpoints, email, and cloud storage drives of which 8 GB is finally produced. In order to execute eDiscovery requests, businesses today hire a third-party firm to manage their eDiscovery process.
The illustration below demonstrates the different stages of eDiscovery and the costs involved. It also demonstrates how the size of data changes as an organization proceeds with different stages of eDiscovery.
eDiscovery process and costs
With a third-party firm, you can expect:
- Data collection ($600 per data source), hosting ($12 per GB), and ingestions costs for 800 GB of data to be $70K.
- The data collected is deduped to remove duplicates which typically reduces your data size by 60% to 480 GB.
- This data is then processed ($140 per GB) and made available for review ($50 per hour). To process and review 480 GB worth of ESI would cost you $550K. This would make up the bulk of your eDiscovery expense.
- Finally, around 10% ESI (80 GB) is produced. At $300 per GB, this ends up adding another $25k to your eDiscovery bills.
- Project management or consultation charges which may vary depending on the complexity of the case and other factors. Assuming 200 hours of legal consulting this should cost you around $35K.
Adding all of this up, you end up paying close to $700K in total or $850 per GB to serve just one eDiscovery request.
Well begun is half done — how Druva can help
Collecting ESI via traditional eDiscovery involves a lot of costs, time, and effort. Data today is stored in multiple silos and collecting this post facto involves going through multiple teams (IT, SaaS apps, desktop administrators, legal, forensics, etc.) and reduces employee productivity.
Druva provides data backup and recovery service to our customers who are concerned about losing their data due to ransomware, stolen/damaged devices, device upgrades, or simply accidental deletion. At just a fraction of forensic collection costs, Druva offers eDiscovery data collection and preservation features for our backup and recovery customers.
Druva completely eliminates the time, effort, and cost involved in collecting ESI from multiple data silos. With Druva inSync, data is collected on a continuous basis from your employee’s endpoints, Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365), G Suite, and Slack accounts. Since this data is already collected for backup and recovery, in the event of a lawsuit, employee data on the Druva Cloud Platform can be put on legal hold in a single click. This means their data is preserved and made available in a forensically admissible manner. The data collections and preservation are completely silent which means there is no loss of productivity.
eDiscovery process and costs powered by Druva Legal Hold
With Druva legal hold, you no longer have to deal with 100s of GBs of data while managing your eDiscovery requests. Assuming a 500 employee organisation, Druva data collection and preservation capabilities are available effectively at $20 per data source per year. This is a fraction of $1300 – the cost you would typically pay a forensic admin to collect and examine one data source.
Through customizable data collection — which includes mime types, file extensions, and folder paths — Druva inSync eDiscovery lets you collect only the data that is relevant to a particular case. You can further cull the data down by accessing data from a specific investigation time window.
This ensures the data set you collect is not only complete and forensically admissible, but also ensures that only relevant data is presented downstream for processing and review steps. Our customers, who use Druva legal holds, have managed reduced data collection and presented for processing and review by ⅓, thus drastically reducing your overall eDiscovery spending. This nearly eliminates your data collection costs and reduces overall eDiscovery spending by over 30% to $500K in total or $600 per GB — down from $700K in total and $850 per GB.
Learn more about how Druva is providing proactive data collection and preservation across endpoints, and how your organization can significantly reduce eDiscovery costs.