E-discovery: Ascending to the cloud creates negligible e-discovery risk

With the advancement of technology, companies may even realize e-discovery cost savings by moving their data to the cloud.

Cloud computing platforms (a set of pooled computing resources that are powered by software and delivered over the Web) have been generating quite a bit of press in the last year. Indeed, in just recently computing giant Microsoft launched its Microsoft 365 cloud computing platform, designed to rival Google’s "mega-cloud" platform, which launched in May 2010. Since the release of the first commercial cloud computing platform by Amazon in 2006, cost-conscious companies have been racing to evaluate the pros and cons of moving their computing operations to “the cloud.” According to the Booz, Allen, Hamilton technology consulting firm, “Cloud computing may yield:

  • Life cycle costs that are 65 percent lower than current architectures
  • Benefit-cost ratios ranging from 5.7 to nearly 25
  • Payback on investments in three to four years

Notably absent from that cost-benefit analysis, however, is the effect cloud computing may have on the costs and risks associated with conducting electronic discovery. Those engaged in such activities may well ask the question, “Will the savings companies expect from moving their data to the cloud be absorbed by the additional costs/risks created by conducting e-discovery in the cloud?”


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Steven Hunter

Steven V. Hunter, Esq. is a partner in the Chicago office of Quarles & Brady LLP where he specializes in business litigation.

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