23 Mar Is a Cloud or Desktop Platform Right for Your Law Firm?
At this point, it’s safe to say that e-discovery is here to stay. If you’ve been using a cloud-based or desktop provider, you may wonder which is better for your law firm.
There are considerations to transitioning to a new e-discovery platform and we’re going to break down what you should look for to get the most efficiency out of whichever software program you choose regardless of where it is hosted.
What is E-discovery Software?
In a nutshell, e-discovery software helps busy law firms automate the discovery process by streamlining the uploading, review, and production of case related documents. These programs allow you to assess case files quickly, support internal investigations, and generate public records requests.
Most e-discovery platforms also allow for scheduling critical deadlines and avoid duplication of effort and documentation keeping case files clean and organized.
The right e-discovery tool can reduce the demands of manual review and allow for greater collaboration within your organization and with outside parties.
Case based data loads are only increasing and the right e-discovery platform can increase accuracy and efficiency while keeping errors and overhead low.
When considering any e-discovery software options, it’s important to understand two things:
• Where and how attorneys and support staff will access the program
• Whether your current desktops, servers, and network can meet technical specifications for the program now and in the future as the program is updated
Desktop — or “on site” — E-discovery Software
Once you determine if your current office machines can meet the technical needs of a desktop program, you’ll need to think about the server requirements to keep all your electronically stored information (ESI) secured and accessible from your in-house network.
With all your case files stored on servers in the office, without proper security and backup protocols, your electronic case files are just as vulnerable as paper files once were.
Plus, with an e-discovery program that is licensed to an individual computer, you lose flexibility since the program access is limited to that particular machine.
Many desktop e-discovery platforms advertise on their minimum requirements, so keep that in mind when considering concurrent users and overall processing speed.
The fine print usually recommends increasing memory or even having physically separate drives to increase fault tolerances, reduce processing times, and improve document review performance.
A limitation of many desktop e-discovery platforms is that they are built for the Windows operating system. Or, if you handle large or complex cases, you may not be able to meet the processing demands with individual desktop machines.
Also, with work being native to the workstation on which it was created, if you suffer a hard drive failure, large amounts of work can be lost. Individual workstations are vulnerable to viruses and malware from documents uploaded from client or third-party sites.
And collaborating with other members of the firm is significantly limited in a desktop-based environment.
Acquiring the hardware and maintaining the system needed to run your e-discovery platform are additional costs separate from the licensing fee of the software.
Plus, to keep your network up and running at peak capacity will typically require either in-house or contract-based IT support that may not be available when you need it the most.
Cloud Based E-discovery Software
Cloud-based e-discovery programs tend to mitigate most of the limitations of desktop-based programs. With a cloud-based system, you have access to a much more powerful, secure, and reliable infrastructure to support your e-discovery demands.
Not only do you have more overall computing power to increase efficiency of document review, but a cloud-based product also allows for unlimited members of a team to divide up a large document review project.
Cloud-based programs tend to be more agile and roll out new features sooner than desktop-based products because they aren’t limited by the capability of the average office workstation.
When you log into your cloud-based platform, you’re always operating on the latest version of the software.
Of course, the downside of a cloud solution is the cost of storage for ESI and other demands of legal case management. For small to midsize firms, the cost of cloud storage associated with e-discovery suites must be a major consideration.
Weigh the pros and cons of on-site maintenance against the monthly fees to use the vendor’s secure cloud storage.
With off-site storage, you do have the benefits of backups that are conducted reliably and designed to create redundancies so that critical case files are never lost.
CyberlinkASP Can Give You the Best of Both Worlds
At CyberlinkASP, we aren’t in the business of selling e-discovery software. Our only interest in it is in making sure that you are getting the most benefit from the programs and processes that you rely upon to practice law.
We want to support the business decisions your stakeholders have made with our reliable cloud-based hosting options.
If you’ve determined that a desktop-based e-discovery system is right for your firm, we can help you get the benefits of a cloud-based system by creating virtual desktops that attorneys and staff can access from anywhere and while using their own approved devices.
You get the data security, flexible access, and reliable backups — all with 24/7 support — at a reasonable monthly cost.
If you’re currently using a cloud-based e-discovery system, we can help you get the same flexibility from all your current practice management software programs.
By assessing and integrating your current tech stack, we can help you achieve greater compliance with local, state, and federal regulations for sensitive client data while improving your internal data security and giving you a reliable data recovery plan.
There’s never been a better time to review your practice’s current processes, discover opportunities to streamline your workflows, and uncover ways to control costs.
Contact us now at (972) 779-5260 for more information.