A 'big four' firm achieves operational efficiency and around-the-clock processing with bespoke workflows in e-discovery

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Project:Workflow automation and mobile apps Date Completed:

Company overview

A top four professional services organization performs forensic investigation, litigation, and integrity preservation services across the globe. A team of 5000 forensic accountants helps the company collect, analyze, and act on forensic data—with incidents often spanning multiple countries and continents.

Opportunity

A distributed, global workforce introduces three opportunity areas that include operational, process, and client experience improvements:

  • High-cost IT operations: The e-discovery process generates immense amounts of data that is globally distributed and hosted in local data centers—without the ability to leverage discounts from consolidated providers. Cross-border data regulatory requirements create significant operational overhead.
  • Lower processing speed: Due to a fragmented platform footprint, an incident in the U.S. can only be processed by staff in the U.S.—restricting the firm from leveraging around-the-clock processing and global resource availability.
  • Inadequate client experience: Similar to the above, a fragmented platform limits the firm from aggregating forensic metrics for clients that have global operations—from individual incident progress reporting to global data footprint and incident awareness.

Approach

To lower the barrier of entry for adoption, Devbridge recommended a multi-stage approach for the engagement. First, a workshop with key stakeholders identified a high-level product roadmap and broke it down into five major release targets. Second, a data-driven prototype was built in two months to demonstrate the technical feasibility, as well as to stage a customer testing session. Lastly, the product roadmap was refined after user research sessions to inform the product teams on the highest-value features for the business.

eDiscovery automation

Devbridge worked with the project sponsors to identify high-value features for the clients in core verticals and led the implementation with that scope. This allowed the pilot teams to demonstrate value to senior executives and secure funding for subsequent releases. Devbridge facilitated the product funding cycle using lean startup techniques—delivering functional software and value for the business with each micro-release.

The firm's forensic platform combines multiple workflows, tools, and off-the-shelf products to facilitate the provided services. Technical spikes allowed the team to identify components that could be scaled globally (and reduce overall implementation cost) and components that would benefit from a bespoke design and implementation—such as custom dashboards for customers that aggregated global discovery results, custom data ingestion workflows on-site, and many more.

Results

Enterprises often struggle with large-scale, global strategic initiatives. Using a product-centric approach with the customer as the North Star allowed a 'big four' consultancy to lower IT operational costs, improve global work throughput, while building stronger relationships with customers through bespoke experiences across web and mobile applications. Iterative releases and iterative funding de-risked the engagement and built momentum inside the organization as client adoption demonstrated the realized value early in the delivery schedule.

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