Updated: Sep 3, 2019
It’s a jungle out there—a jungle of big (not bad, but very big) data. And if you’re using disparate systems to manage the many processes required to make the most of that data, you could be throwing away your organization’s money—and your team’s time.
Corporate legal departments manage litigation and investigations, respond to regulatory requests, monitor compliance, and are always looking for ways to reduce risks and maintain control over spend. Some accomplish these tasks by using disconnected tools to store, manage, and understand their critical data.
The trouble is that, by using disconnected tools, they lose control of their data. It’s easier to keep your bearings in a jungle with a single guiding source—like the Amazon River. Without that, and with a canopy thick enough to block your view of the sun, it’s too easy to lose track of where you are and where you’re going.
In a big data world, when your data and the software solutions that contain it reside in multiple locations, you’re stuck with higher costs, increased risk, and repeated work product. Here’s a look at why.
#1: Decentralized Data Analysis
Data comes from everywhere in your organization, and plenty of teams have a stake in accessing and understanding it. From IT to legal and HR, a lot of processes help manage and analyze the information your company is generating every day.
As a result, it’s common for those teams to each have their own workflows and software with which they do their job. But that makes taking a holistic view at the data is impossible, and suddenly it’s all too easy to lose the forest for the trees.
When you are using multiple solutions, it is hard to maintain visibility into where your data resides. Which teams are accessing it? Which employees have saved local copies of sensitive files?
And, if you’re paying for storage, the same data is being housed in multiple environments means you’re being billed over and over for the same information to live in different places.
#2: Increased Security Risks
Storing data in disparate systems doesn’t just hide its value from your teams. It also increases your risk of security breaches. With less control and more storage locations, the odds of a breach (or a leak) go up.
They are also becoming costlier. According to the 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study: Global Overview, released by IBM security and the Ponemon Institute, the average total cost of a data breach is $3.6 million per incident, which represents a 6.4 percent increase from the previous year.
#3: Process Inefficiencies and Inconsistencies
Aside from the lack of insight, disparate data solutions also mean wasted time and effort across your organization. For example, different providers can create inconsistent work product—adding time and complexity to a matter once teams convene (in confusion) to discuss it. And different tools with different analytics engines can deliver different results, which then have to be reconciled by legal teams.
When it comes to cost, working with multiple providers and solutions could mean sending the same data out many times. That data is re-processed every time, and you’ll pay the associated costs.
Challenges also arise when it comes to upgrading software to new versions, downtime for maintenance or hardware updates, and other complications.
Stagnancy in software versions can lead to innovation gaps—and it can mean missing out on the latest and greatest tech out there. We know, for instance, that the average on-premises Relativity customer is 14 months behind on releases. It’s important to maintain a sustainable pace for upgrades, but the delay can result in missed opportunities to accomplish more with data. Additionally, different offices may be on different versions, which introduces compatibility and efficiency issues for everyone.
Today’s regulatory bodies expect faster turnaround times, putting an increased burden on corporate legal teams to turn information around quickly—and build a more comprehensive understanding of their data while they’re at it.
There are better ways to navigate the jungle of data coming out of your daily operations.
One option? Moving to the cloud. Many corporate legal teams are leveraging comprehensive, flexible, secure SaaS solutions for their data needs—including managing litigation, investigations, and regulatory requests. This allows them to maintain control of their data, improve security, increase efficiency, and keep up with the pace of change.
Dylan Salisbury is a strategist on the marketing team at Relativity, where he specializes in understanding and serving the corporate community.