This week we are posting an excerpt from our recently published EDRM Buyer’s Guide; a phase-by phase walkthrough and checklist created by a former Litigation Project Manager using guidelines developed during implementation of a top oil and gas company’s e-discovery program. The Guide is designed to help stakeholders evaluate software and workflow solutions at each phase of the e-discovery process in a neutral way and contains advisory sections on everything from information security to considerations when TIFFing documents. We will be posting excerpts from both the long form and checklist portions of the guide every few weeks – moving from left to right along the Electronic Data Reference Model [EDRM.NET]. This week we are focusing on Application Platform and User Interface basics, arguably still to the left of the EDRM process, but nonetheless important areas for consideration when building an E-Discovery process.
Application Platform and User Interface Basics
The application platform of any competitive product should make full use of current technology including 64-bit operating systems, clustering technologies, true multi-threading and various OS versions. It should also be lightweight, flexible and allow for remote access.
When considering a new E-Discovery platform, include evaluation of the following:
- The application should support both the novice and experienced user and require minimal training to operate. Reduced learning curve equates to more time spent on business critical functions.
- The solution should be as agnostic as possible, because it’s essential that the system “play well with others” (for example supports numerous files types and forensic containers and able to export multiple load files) since the market is diverse with many organizations using different providers with unique requirements.
- As for hardware, the application should not have limitations on number or size of RAM or CPU and must have the ability to scale to meet the geographic, network and workload demands of your organization. Make sure the solution doesn’t create chokepoints for other business processes.
- Evaluate based on peak processing and/or collection requirements and be certain that the solution can support them, but also assume the current workload and organization structure will grow exponentially over time. The chosen solution should not require material reinvestment to meet growth requirements. Some basic performance metrics to measure can include collection times, processing times per/GB, per/TB, time it takes to open a document in review panel, time needed to export GB or TB of data, time to render (TIFF/PDF) GB or TB of documents.
- Finally, the user interface driving this whole process must be web enabled. Preferably the interface will leverage web browser technology cleanly, requiring few third-party add-ons or the installation of native applications for viewing certain file types. This allows for an “access anywhere” capability while being lightweight from a resource and IT management perspective.
- The web-enabled UI should also support dual monitor review with interchangeable review panels for maximum reviewer efficiency and flexibility.
If you would like to read more from the EDRM Buyers Guide, you can download a free copy of the full document.