Anyone who has been involved in major corporate litigation knows how time consuming the discovery process can be. Although you might think that IT could ease the burden of discoveries, in reality IT often makes the process more complex because of the sheer volume of information that has to be analyzed.
Naturally, there's nothing about the e-discovery process that helps the bottom line, so anything that can be done to simplify it is a good idea. That's the thinking behind an appliance offering from Lateral Data called Viewpoint 4.5. According to Dean Kuhlmann, the company's vice president of business development, the e-discovery process used by most companies is discombobulated. Different systems are used to de-duplicate data and then filter and analyze it. Lateral Data is proposing that all those functions should be handled in one integrated appliance that not only lowers the cost of the hardware associated with e-discovery, but that also lowers the total cost of the process.
Obviously, Viewpoint is not going to make the pain of the discovery process go away. But a more structured approach to e-discovery is probably in order because most IT organizations have thrown a collection of point products at the problem, versus developing an actual system with repeatable processes to make it simpler.
According to Kuhlmann, the average large corporation deals with around 600 lawsuits a year, each of which drags in people from IT who probably have something better to do than help lawyers who get paid by the hour to find documents that primarily only serve to help drive up billable hours.