E-discovery user survey 2010 – a view from the front lines

Some of the best-kept secrets in e-discovery are not the kind revealed in a courtroom.  We all know about legal confidentiality, but the IT side has its own code of silence – call it “analyst-client privilege.”

It’s not that users and customers won’t talk about their vendors and methods – especially if they’re unhappy with those vendors, or have a horror story to share, which many do.  But users rarely go on-the-record with specifics in e-discovery.

So this year we introduce our first annual user survey.  It’s available as part of our just-released E-discovery and E-disclosure report for 2010, or you can access a copy through Applied Discovery here.  It will also be featured in our upcoming BrightTALK webinar on Thursday, May 27th at 12 noon ET, presented by Research Director Nick Patience.  Register here to attend.

And what did we learn?

Users report that corporate litigants still overwhelmingly use existing in-house resources and employees to fulfill discovery requests.  In spite of vendors’ claims that the market demands one throat to choke, customers still purchase tactically depending on their requirements.  About half perform e-discovery on an ad-hoc basis with no repeatable business process or dedicated staff.

What they are buying is even more revealing – our data gives the distribution of usage between 50+ vendors, with purchasing broken down by product or step in the EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model), and whether customers choose software, services, law firms or in-house systems for each function.  Cross-tabbing by industry, company size, volume of litigation and legal budget shows even more granular trends and hot spots in what remains a highly fragmented market.

Beyond a snapshot of current holdings, half our respondents have shopping plans for 2010, showing shifts in vendor traction and product purchasing.  Users have strong predictions of their own for the market as well.  They are clear on pain points in the process and vendor selection criteria.  That said, future purchasing plans show little critical mass on vendor selection – it’s still anybody’s game in e-discovery.

And what about the cloud?  Or information governance?  Is cost still king for everyone?

Join us for a thorough run down of the state of the market in 2010 – a view from the front lines of e-discovery.  Register here to attend.

New year, new e-Discovery research & survey

We are embarking on an update to our e-Discovery report that we published in December 2008, called e-Discovery & e-Disclosure: this market is now in session. We aim to publish this new report in late Q1. It will be fully up to date with the newest products and services from vendors and service providers, as many will update their offerings in and around LegalTech in New York in early February, which Katey Wood and I will be attending.

As part of that report we are aiming to generate what we think will be the largest end user survey conducted in this market. The survey is online and open to anyone (although it isn’t anonymous so we are able to filter out any non-relevant entries).

The link is here and if you’re an end user in the e-Discovery or e-Disclosure world, be it a lawyer (whether in a law firm or general counsel department), a project manager at a law firm, a litigation support specialist; in fact anything relevant to e-Discovery/e-Disclosure, we’d love for you to participate to make this a fully-informed survey.

Also if you can help us distribute the link to make it a more inclusive survey, please get in touch via Twitter – @nickpatience or @kwood451.