When evaluating eDiscovery technologies to make sure that they yield the right return on investment, it’s important to be somewhat flexible. Think about the way children play with Legos: All of these little components that they put together make something unique each time, and they don't have to go buy something new every time they want to make something different.
Technology's similar to that: You have to buy flexible components to build unique solutions over time. The way to protect your investment, to make sure that continues, is to look forward and make sure not to invest in anything that’s fixed—that is, anything that has a definitive shelf life and a definitive purpose.
Smart eDiscovery Technology
In today's world, successful technology means virtualization and cloud enablement. Smart buyers no longer have to worry about it being outdated over time, because it's continually upgraded to meet their demands. So investing in technologies like that—or partnering with people who do—is priceless. The “outdated effect” doesn't take hold because it's pervasively changing to meet the demands of today.
eDiscovery and Artificial Intelligence
As for the demands of tomorrow, what's next is artificial intelligence. We're starting to see big data sources come online that do predictive analysis. They're starting to do historical case lookups. The legal industry itself will transform based on artificial intelligence over the next 10 years. It can be readily available now, and in context. So the convergence of big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, as it all comes online, will start to radically change and speed the legal process we have today.
Legal Counsel & eDiscovery AI
In preparation for the evolution of artificial intelligence and machine learning, in-house counsel and legal departments must make sure that they know where their data is housed, and how to leverage and take advantage of that to give better services to their customers. Today, this simply means reading the articles and understanding the evolution as it starts. But tomorrow, it's about saying to yourself, “How do I strategically employ some of that evolution in a cost-effective way to reduce the burden of cost, speed the service delivery, and maintain accuracy?”
As that evolution occurs quietly, prepare your systems to ensure you don't get stuck down the road with antiquated assets. For example, in the technology space, leveraging cloud and SAS providers in a cost-effective way will align those entities to make sure, when that evolution occurs, they simply can move to it and adopt it at a very low cost, without requiring a major evolution.