Women Who Achieve: Susan Ardisson, Esq.
Before we became a customer, I met with PNC to learn about the bank's support of women-owned businesses and certification opportunities. I knew then that they would be a supportive business partner.
Identifying and Fulfilling Market Needs
One morning late in 2006, Susan Ardisson and her husband (both lawyers) were discussing an important legal development over breakfast. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were about to be amended, setting new parameters for the collection, preservation and use of electronically stored information (ESI) as evidence in legal proceedings and trials. The amendments would affect both e-discovery (the process of sifting through potentially millions of electronic documents to identify those relevant to a case) and computer forensics (gathering, preserving, uncovering and analyzing evidence from computers, networks, smartphones and other devices to solve incidents of white-collar crime, theft of trade secrets and confidential information, privacy breaches, employee harassment suits, etc.).
Susan saw an opportunity.
“As a former litigator, I recognized the need and the potential of this legal development,” she explains. “The impact of these new rules would be widespread, and law firms would need the support of a company with the right combination of technical skills and legal expertise. At that time, there really weren’t any Pittsburgh-based companies poised to fill this niche, so I decided to start a business that would respond to the need.”
In February 2007, Susan launched bit-x-bit. And while she was confident that her legal expertise prepared her to anticipate the needs of her clients, she knew she would need to build a technical team. She leveraged her network to identify ideal candidates and created a team with just the right balance of legal and information technology expertise.
From Educator to Provider
Susan and her team developed continuing education programs to help lawyers and corporate legal teams understand the implications of the new rules. She also published articles in law journals and in her own monthly e-newsletter, which provided insights into how the courts were handling cases involving ESI and computer forensics. bit-x-bit became known as an authority in the areas of e-discovery and computer forensics; its exclusive endorsement by the local bar association further solidified its reputation as an industry leader in western Pennsylvania. Today, the company’s momentum continues as it expands to serve clients nationwide.
For their own needs, the bit-x-bit team trusts companies who share their service mentality — companies like PNC. Susan moved to PNC in 2010, sharing, “Before we became a customer, I met with PNC to learn about the bank's support of women-owned businesses and certification opportunities. I knew then that they would be a supportive business partner. Today, I trust PNC with my personal banking as well as our business banking. They understand the importance of building relationships and providing great customer service.”
Susan Ardisson, Esq., CEO
Company: bit-x-bit, LLC
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
The keys to building a strong company are starting with a great group of professionals and always putting your clients first. Make sure both know they can trust and rely on you.
- Member, Women Presidents’ Organization, Pittsburgh Chapter, 2013 – present
- United Way Women’s Council, 2014 – present
- Trustee, Mills College, and Board of Governors, Alumnae Association of Mills College, 2015
- CWE MyBoard Mentor, Chatham University Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, 2013-14
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