Here’s an eDiscovery Survey with No Filter: eDiscovery Trends

It’s getting to be a broken record for me to say “so many stories, so little time”, so I won’t.  Oh wait, I just did.  😉  Regardless, here’s the sixth annual edition of a survey of eDiscovery trends that is always “unfiltered”.

Earlier this month, Ari Kaplan Advisors, a leading legal industry advisory company, released its sixth annual E-Discovery Unfiltered: A Survey of Current Trends and Candid Perspectives report, which features insights from corporate law department leaders and law firm partners about 29 eDiscovery vendors* and a variety of popular trends. The report highlights eDiscovery pricing patterns and preferences, projected investments, the impact of the cloud, outsourcing and remote review shifts, vendor selection criteria, and the need for international eDiscovery, among other topics.

Ari personally interviewed 27 individuals responsible for eDiscovery decision-making, including eight in-house lawyers, eleven in-house administrative eDiscovery leaders, and eight law firm partners. All of them develop and implement eDiscovery processes, and select eDiscovery tools and vendors. 96 percent of them influence their organization’s eDiscovery budget.  So, needless to say, these people have personal experiences with various eDiscovery vendors and trends.

The most frequently cited trends for 2020 were applying analytics beyond litigation, vendor consolidation, project management, the impact of artificial intelligence on discovery and contract review, remote review, increased regulatory requirements, social, mobile, and cloud data, and searching and interpreting emojis, ephemeral messages, and non-custodial persistent communications. The leading areas of investment noted for 2020 were software, training, data mapping, and automation.

The report’s key findings include:

  • 91 percent of corporate respondents highlighted that the law department’s internal team selects both software vendors and outside service providers;
  • 95 percent of corporate respondents agree that legal departments are bringing more of the eDiscovery process in house;
  • 21 percent of corporate respondents have seen their eDiscovery budgets and average spend per matter increase;
  • 16 percent of corporate respondents are willing to work with a provider that outsources elements of its eDiscovery;
  • Prior to the pandemic, 58 percent of corporate respondents and 50 percent of law firm partners expressed a willingness to work with companies that offer remote document review. The current crisis has generally prompted many to reconsider their concerns with this approach, assuming an appropriate level of security;
  • 37 percent of corporate respondents and 38 percent of law firm partners are open to off-shoring their eDiscovery;
  • 89 percent of corporate respondents and 75 percent of law firm partners prefer to access their software solutions in the cloud;
  • 68 percent of corporate respondents and 63 percent of law firm partners need international discovery;
  • 53 percent of corporate respondents noted that the GDPR has impacted their approach to data retention and discovery.

In addition to offering public trends, Ari Kaplan Advisors prepares individual reports for subscribing vendors providing both detailed insights from their target customer base along with a comprehensive SWOT analysis to help guide their sales and marketing initiatives.  As I wrote a few weeks ago, now is a great time to update your SWOT analysis!

Anyway, you can contact Ari Kaplan Advisors here (or at 646-641-0600) for a series of infographics that summarize the report’s findings and additional guidance on its Unfiltered sales training programs.  It’s also worth noting that Ari has been running a daily Virtual Lunch community call since the pandemic began and he has also had a number of notable guests to present interesting topics.  He even kept it up last week on his vacation!  I believe this is the twentieth week and this Friday will be the 100th Virtual Lunch!  Kudos to Ari for his efforts to bring the community together during this challenging time!  You can search for #virtuallunch in LinkedIn to find his post on how to join the daily Zoom calls.

So, what do you think?  Are you surprised by any of the report key findings above?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

*The press release to announce the survey notes: “The list of vendors under review is not meant to be comprehensive and the inclusion of a company in the discussion is not designed to indicate any market position.”

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Leave a Reply