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Most eDiscovery Costs Wasted on Extraneous Information.

by on April 13, 2010

Discovery Most of the money spent on electronic discovery today is squandered on reviewing irrelevant documents, according to a white paper recently released by Forensics Consulting Solutions, of Phoenix, Ariz. According to the document authored by Mark G. Walker, Roland J. Bernier III and Barclay Blair, only about 10 percent of all Electronically Stored Information (ESI) collected has value for the purpose for which it was gathered. “Yet,” the authors stated, “investigators spend 80 percent of their time and the associated cost on the 90 percent that has no value.”

Organizations are spending millions of dollars finding, processing, reviewing, and producing digital information required in lawsuits, the paper said. It noted that one out of five organizations spends more than $10 million annually on litigation–and that doesn’t include what’s spent on settlements and judgment awards. That number is bound to grow, and with it the amount spent on e-discovery tools, which is expected to reach almost $5 billion by 2011. “It costs about 20 cents to buy 1GB of storage; however, it costs around $3500 to review that same GB of storage,” the paper revealed.

While the expense of ediscovery comes from a number of places, it noted, the most significant is the cost of finding, processing and reviewing information that has been unnecessarily retained.

One way to reduce the extraneous information in an organization’s information universe is to have a solid Information Governance (IG) plan. “The proactive nature of IG means that unnecessary information is disposed of as soon as it is no longer needed and all legal requirements for its retention and preservation have been satisfied,” the paper explained.

“IG enables businesses to get rid of unnecessary information in a defensible manner,” it continued. “As such, it can reduce the amount of information that needs to be reviewed in the course of a legal matter.”

And while, I try to keep these blog posts in the realm of non-marketing, this article goes hand-in-hand with our Archived Data Manager (ADM) product, which can cut eDiscovery costs by as much as 50%.  ADM extracts, consolidates and centrally indexes all your enterprise backup information. All backup catalog information is now readily accessible through ADM’s intuitive, Web-based interface.

The result is a reduction of the number of tapes that need to be indexed, making random and expensive eDiscovery searches as described above a thing of the past.

  1. Thank you for reading, and writing about, our whitepaper.
    I think it obvious that there are two main places where the issue of “extraneous” or non-relevant data can be addressed. The first is “behind the firewall,” where best practices for information governance (IG) can reduce the volume of unnecessary data.
    The second consists of the culling measures implemented prior to review. Removing data that is clearly not relevant or privileged prior to review greatly reduces overall costs. Of course, one must be careful when implementing the criterial for culling, so that no potential relevant or privileged docs are caught up in the filter.
    I just found your blog, am enjoying it, and will continue reading.

  2. Great post. I completely agree with the need for information governance. We’re developing an open source solution to cost reduction through governance. Would love you take on it when you have some time:

  3. Thanks for your feedback. (And sorry for the tardiness of my reply.) I’m glad you enjoyed the piece. As I stated in the post, our Archived Data Manager (ADM) eliminates many of these extraneous costs that many companies find challenging.
    And I’ll check out your Web site. And you can always reach me via email at Just reference the blog if you do so I can connect the dots 😉 . Thanks again.

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