The Time to Move eDiscovery to the Cloud is Now, Part Two: Making It Happen

Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)

In Part One of this post, I outlined a business case for migrating eDiscovery operations to the cloud. Now it’s time to review the basic steps you need to take to make it actually happen.

Review contracts, map systems
I recommend a three-part approach. First, it’s essential to understand your contractual obligations with the providers of any on-premise solutions you are currently using for eDiscovery. Most organizations rely on multiple solutions involving different software and/or vendors for processing, analytics, forensics, production, review, and so on. Moving to the cloud presents an opportunity to consolidate, integrate and improve processes in the long run, but you should first map out what systems you are currently using and develop a timeline for migration that takes into account your current agreements and any potential technical challenges associated with specific applications.

Develop an RFP
Second, develop and issue a formal RFP. Why? Apart from the advantage of generating a point-by-point comparison/contrast of multiple cloud providers, putting together an RFP forces your organization to define and document your needs in detail, which is essential to any cloud migration.

Take the opportunity to gather historical information about per-matter and cross-matter data volumes and file types. Also consider how you currently use advanced technologies like analytics and artificial intelligence, and the review capabilities (including TAR) you require. Specify production requirements, performance requirements, and any internal KPIs you currently use to measure and monitor cost and process efficiency in eDiscovery workflows.

The RFP and the responses you receive will provide a sound basis for contract negotiations as you near a final decision. Also, be sure to make thorough product demonstrations a requirement for consideration of any vendor. Even if you don’t have the bandwidth to conduct a full RFP issuance and evaluation process, you can compile a list of core requirements and require vendors to respond in detail via a PowerPoint presentation and product demo.

Work closely with the vendor on a transition plan
Third, collaborate with your chosen vendor to develop a transition plan that involves key stakeholders from both organizations. Gradual, step-by-step, matter-by-matter migrations are generally best. The plan should prioritize risk mitigation, ensure minimal disruption to routine work, and specify migration processes, including data submission and chain-of-custody requirements. It also should spell out communication and technical support protocols. Throughout, the plan should refer and adhere to industry best practices. As you complete the migration process, be sure to test each matter, then wipe out any data that remains on in-house or on providers’ servers, obtaining certificates of destruction when applicable.

Finally, don’t forget basic change management principles as you execute the migration. Staff members need to be briefed on the reasons for the migration and the benefits it will bring. They must also be trained on the new technology and encouraged to provide feedback. Feedback should be analyzed and incorporated into any corrective actions.

Migrating eDiscovery to the cloud doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Yes, there is a lot of detail to manage, but if you plan carefully based on this overview you should be fine. Be sure to leverage the RFP process to develop clear requirements and negotiate a favorable contract with a reputable vendor, then take a thoughtful, stepwise approach to migration. When it’s over, you will have new insight into your eDiscovery operations, more efficient and cost-effective processes, and a much more resilient infrastructure than before.   

This guest blog comes from Casepoint – learn more about Casepoint at https://www.casepoint.com/?utm_source=aceds&utm_medium=blog.

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