Ask these questions to cut through the marketing noise and ensure quality and longevity.

Modern legal departments are adopting technology at a faster rate than ever before – to improve their ability to draw insights from case data, reduce costs within e-discovery tech stacks and create business growth opportunities. Decision makers are under immense pressure to select technology for their business that can most efficiently and accurately organize data, discover the truth and act on it. With so many legal technology solution providers in the market, selecting the one that will cater to the unique needs of your legal department and the long-term objectives of your business requires that you look beyond traditional criteria and know how to cut through the marketing noise. By leveraging the key questions outlined here, you can go beyond typical business requirements and establish what really sets a legal tech service provider apart from its competition.

What investments is the service provider making to ensure that they offer best-in-class security?

Many legal technology solution providers will say that they have the most secure platform and the most comprehensive security programs, but it’s important to determine if and how the provider is actually investing in the processes and technology that best protect your data. Is it investing in single or multifactor authentication, 24/7 monitoring, encryption at rest and in transit, secure coding, penetration testing, vulnerability management, etc.? How well trained are their employees when it comes to security? One accidental click of a link in a phishing email could have major consequences, affecting the company’s product, communications mechanisms, and ultimately its customers. Most important, has the provider invested in a fully integrated security team that works around the clock to anticipate threats, mitigate risks and stay ahead of adversaries?

Does the technology integrate seamlessly with the cloud?

According to Flexera’s “Cloud Computing Trends: 2020 State of the Cloud Report,” by 2025, 51 percent of data will be in data centers and 49 percent will be in the public cloud. In addition, over 80 percent of large corporations will likely move some of their operations to the cloud by 2022, with cloud usage increasing dramatically across organizations. If your service provider isn’t cloud native, you should verify that it has a plan for this transition. Will the company be prepared for it?

Is this solution flexible enough that it can handle multiple use cases, allowing access to teams across the company that can leverage it for their own functions?

At Relativity, our users include not only legal professionals but also employees from human resources, compliance, information technology and other departments that handle things like internal investigations, legal holds, data subject access requests and more. It’s worth asking if the solution includes integrations that can be tailored to best meet your unique data challenges in e-discovery and beyond. For example, Relativity’s App Hub has 140 applications that customers can utilize and 104 developer partners building on top of Relativity’s technology to further extend the platform and tackle data challenges. Have a conversation with your service provider to ensure that the solution you’re bringing on can be leveraged across your company and customized to meet your needs. This is also important to help you justify the spend.

What is the service provider’s outlook and perspective on artificial intelligence (AI)?

I’m not including AI simply because it has been and continues to be a hot topic. At Relativity, we believe that it’s important for any technology service provider to have meaningfully and strategically thought about how the advent of AI will impact them and the way they do business. If they haven’t thought about it, be wary of moving forward with them. It’s a likely indicator that the company lives too much in the present, without looking ahead.

What’s the company culture like?

High employee retention is one indicator of a strong company culture. Investing in a service provider’s solution when the company has high employee turnover means that your account management team may change every few months – causing disruption and forcing your team to continually build new relationships and educate the account management team on your business. Ask what employee retention rates are like and what talent management processes they have in place that reflect the company’s investment in its workforce and their future.

How does their company culture support inclusion, diversity and belonging?

It’s important to ask how the company is working to foster a culture of inclusion, diversity and belonging. What is the company doing to bring in more diverse job candidates? Do underrepresented groups and allies have a safe space to share experiences, celebrate differences, and connect in a more meaningful, personal way? Are there a diverse group of voices contributing to the decision-making process to ensure different perspectives are driving decisions? Fostering a culture of inclusion is not only the right thing to do – it’s also beneficial for you as a customer to work with a company that embraces talent with diverse backgrounds.

Will you be just another client to them? Or will they view this as a true partnership?

If you pick up the phone and call with an issue late in the night, will there be a person at the other end of the line? Will you get an email response back within 24 hours? Do they have someone on call 24/7?

What are the service provider’s core values, and how will they carry over into the work they’re doing for you?

All companies should have a set of established core values that serve as the blueprint for where the company stands. At Relativity, our core values are woven into the work we do every day. A service provider’s core values should be an important part of who they are and how they conduct their work. If they’re unable to articulate what they value, you risk partnering with a company that lacks clear direction and a sense of responsibility to its customers and community.

Ultimately, when selecting a legal technology solution provider, it should be about much more than finding a tool that simply gets the job done. Ask the hard questions to establish whether the company is forward-thinking, invested in its tech and its employees, dedicated to providing the level of support your company needs to achieve its goals, and infused with a strong company culture. At Relativity, we exemplify all of the above and go beyond the traditional criteria to bring our customers the best user experience possible. When you work with us, you join a thriving, passionate community of users and partners who are just waiting to jump in and help. We hope that you ask us about it.