Pop-Up eDiscovery? The Pop-Up Employer in Today’s Workplace

Editor’s Note: Excellent article from the NY Times highlighting how information technology has made pop-up organizations a viable business approach with the potential to drastically shift staffing infrastructure costs. Is the flash organization viable for the practice of eDiscovery? From vendor to law firm and from legal department to staffing agency, the potential certainly appears to be worth detailed consideration.

Extract from article by Norm Scheiber

Temporary organizations capable of taking on complicated projects have existed for decades, of course, perhaps nowhere more prominently than in Hollywood, where producers assemble teams of directors, writers, actors, costume and set designers and a variety of other craftsmen and technicians to execute projects with budgets in the tens if not hundreds of millions.

In principle, many companies would find it more cost-effective to increase staff members as needed than to maintain a permanent presence. The reason they do not, economists have long argued, is that the mechanics of hiring, training and monitoring workers separately for each project can be prohibitively expensive.

But Ms. Valentine, who studies management science, and Mr. Bernstein, a computer scientist, note that technology is sharply lowering these costs. “Computation, we think, has an opportunity to dramatically shift several costs in a way that traditional organizations haven’t realized,” Mr. Bernstein said. “It’s way easier to search for people, bargain and contract with them.”

There is some evidence that the corporate world, which has spent decades outsourcing work to contractors and consulting firms, is embracing temporary organizations.

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