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Compare and Contrast: Storage Getting Cheaper, Hosting Fees Still Expensive

In the span of two days this week, I’ve noticed that Seagate is coming out with a 3TB drive for $250, and then over at the Bowtie Law Blog, a challenge to make using hosted ediscovery review tools less expensive.

So let’s see, I can buy 3TB worth of storage for my machines, for a measly $250, but if I get sued and need to send my documents to an attorney to review, it’s going to cost me $760 per month for just a few GB? (Using Josh’s estimate, which doesn’t seem far off compared to what I’ve seen quoted)

Does anyone else see a problem here? Technology is making it easier, and cheaper, to store data. The legal industry, however, is making it more and more expensive to be involved in civil litigation, mostly due to the amount of data there is. Somehow, our industry needs to catch up and find efficient ways of dealing with data. The lawyers and vendors who do this, will survive, while those who don’t, simply won’t.

Still think you can continue to practice law the same way you have for 20-30 years? Not likely.

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  1. Not that I’m going to defend lawyers, but I’d image litigation data is going to be stored on a server using much more expensive disks than the 3tb usb drives you can purchase for $250. However there is no way it should cost anywhere near $760 per month….Maybe I’m in the wrong business and should start hosting for ediscovery companies ;)-

  2. The $760 per month is not for the drive. You are paying for the vendor servers, colocation facility, software and staff to keep your data up 24/7. Too many people try to equate what hosting should cost to a cheap drive cost. There is a lot more to your bill than just the cost of the drive. Isn’t there a difference between an Armani suit and a JC Penney suit? There are vendors that will and do go cheap for hosting, but they are also the vendors that will fail, for they can not be profitable and will go out of business.

  3. Andy and George, I’m not trying to compare the costs as an apples-to-apples comparison. I know there’s a huge difference between an external HD and the server required to run an ediscovery review platform and have no expectation that they be similar. What I am trying to point out, sort of borrowing from Josh’s idea, is that consumer and business storage keeps getting cheaper and cheaper, making it much more likely that individuals and small businesses would have very large amounts of data. As that amount increases, we are not seeing a significant change in the per-GB pricing of ediscovery vendors, therefore, unless something gives, we are absolutely headed toward a place where only those with a Fortune 500-sized budget can afford to have access to the legal system.

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