One of the most exciting aspects of legal technology is accelerating innovation, which is powered by cloud and development platforms. SaaS solutions based on public utility clouds already offer end users unprecedented performance and security. In the legal industry, breakthrough applications have been built and deployed on existing SaaS platforms, often faster and at a fraction of the cost of building from scratch. Platforms with open APIs allow developers to turn their ideas into reality while achieving scalability, security and manageability. The multitude of applications based on these platforms makes life easier, especially for project managers (PMs) who work in the field of e-discovery.
“As a developer, I was surprised to see that so many platforms have closed APIs, but open APIs make a huge difference for developers like me,” said Stu Craft, director of technical services at Anexsys, an XDD company. “The biggest differentiator of a platform like Relativity is that it was open from the start and we had the opportunity to jump into the platform and do things to better serve our customers.”
Companies with in-house technical functions but not focused on building software often use platforms to build apps. These can be tools for rapid, low-code / no-code application development. or extensible, configurable enterprise applications that contain a robust API interface. Regardless of the size of the business, the goal in building a platform is to reduce overhead and keep the developer focused on the business logic or unique functionality that is being created.
Daniel Gold, managing director of BDO’s Managed Services practice, and his team developed Athenagy, an application based on the RelativityOne e-discovery platform that gives legal professionals transparency and insights into a company’s data for all litigation, e- Discovery and E-Discovery offers investigation lifecycle.
“With Athenagy we tried to solve the problem of data transparency in the market. We wanted to empower lawyers to be more successful, which meant we had to develop something to increase efficiency and enable that success, ”said Gold. “Our goal is to empower these professionals to make better business decisions by understanding how the data flows on the platform and enabling them to leverage custom insights.”
The BDO team develops highly customized compliance and monitoring tools that customers can use to visualize their own data and gain valuable insights. Company monitors are typically independent companies that report to a regulatory agency (e.g. the Department of Justice). The monitor provides the compliance knowledge and competence to ensure that the settlement conditions are met.
BDO’s technology aggregates documents and data from different entities, makes this data available to project managers and eliminates manual tracking in spreadsheets. The automation of data aggregation in combination with the project management know-how of BDO enables decisive efficiency gains in view of the constantly growing volume of data. As any PM will tell you, the less manual work, the better.
BDO is not alone in driving automation. The teams at Aons Cyber Solutions / Stroz Friedberg (Aon) and Anexsys also create and implement applications to automate manual work and minimize human error. An open platform allows legal technology developers to quickly build and test applications, enabling an agile approach to current and future data models.
Ericka Browne, VP Cyber Solutions at Aon, and her team use the company’s tools called ExportOne and Export QC Wizard to make exporting productions less manual and more efficient. It’s no secret that people make mistakes, but these tools make it easier for teams to see and find them. They also help project managers keep track of changes made by customers, such as: B. edit a certain field to ensure data consistency within and between projects.
Before these apps existed, Browne recalled that they had to rely on the same teams to create production results and were unable to automate quality controls and accelerate the production process. Thanks to these tools, they were able to use those hours to create even better tools that provide more efficient results not only for PMs but also for engineers.
“The applications our Technical Solutions Engineers have developed are our lifesavers and enable us to deliver a higher quality, more accurate product in an efficient time frame,” said Browne. “When you’re leading a team that may have to work 12, 14 hours, or more and on weekends, you find that so much is being corrected and re-exported. I expect engineers to design tools so that our PMs can achieve a better work-life balance. The creation of a tool is just as important to us as it is to our customers. “
Another element that can really disrupt e-discovery and review teams is newsrooms. An app like Anexsys’ Mask You can speed up the process of tagging editorial offices to focus more on quality control. While there is no direct Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Mask It, Craft stated that they work with PII tools that use context-sensitive AI detectors to detect personally identifiable information when searching spreadsheets or documents.
Regarding AI, Craft also notes that AI is and will remain an integral part of the growth of the industry, but it’s important that people know how to use AI and understand it. For example, BDO’s supervisory bodies use AI in international cases as part of their machine translation skills. BDO also plans to include AI in the next phase of its Athenagy app.
“We’d like to add Predictive Analytics to the app, which can help us determine what the next matter is costing us from the start of a case to the dump. Such technology can tell how much the difference in costs can be between handling a case and filing a lawsuit in Atlanta versus Chicago or Kansas City, ”Gold added. “Teams need to know more than the cost of simply collecting and reviewing case data. You need to see the full cost of the case. “
AI certainly offers powerful new ways to save time, money and influence the strategies of PMs and e-discovery teams. The rise in AI applications and use cases further intensifies the trend towards cloud platforms. Public utility clouds have the most data and are therefore best placed to train algorithms that support AI. In addition, developers and users on platforms can bring their preferred AI capabilities to the platform of their choice and embed analytics and machine learning in addition to their workflow tools. These trends will continue to drive innovation in the industry, making the lives of PMs easier and enabling them to do what they do best: strategize and execute projects.