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Compliance Launches WFH Survey Results

Our partner Compliance Discovery recently conducted a short survey that sought to assess the impact of working from home on productivity, access to necessary tools and technologies, and whether working from home will become more prevalent in the future.

Compliance received 165 responses from across the industry, and 64% of respondents work at law firms and 36% of respondents work at corporations. ACEDS is proud to present the results from their survey below.

QUESTION 1

Since starting remote work, my team’s productivity has increased

QUESTION 2

My WFH team has access to all necessary tools and technology in order to perform their primary functions.

QUESTION 3

My team can perform from home–there is no “need” per se to be in an office environment.

Text Box: Overall Results
Strongly agree:		44.8%
Somewhat agree:		37.6%
Somewhat disagree:	17%
Strongly disagree:		0.6%

QUESTION 4

My team is looking forward to returning to the office

Text Box: Overall Results
Strongly agree:		9.7%
Somewhat agree:		35.2%
Somewhat disagree: 	43.6%
Strongly disagree:		11.5%

QUESTION 5

Looking 6 months into the future, my team will be offered the option to work from home.

Text Box: Similar Responses
Overall agreement:		26.7%
Corporate agreement:	34.5%
Law firm agreement:	21.9%

QUESTION 6

Over the next year, my firm will…

Chart

We hope that these stats provide valuable insight. For any questions about the results, please contact Compliance at marketing@complianceds.com.

Calculating Machine

A Growing Concern? Budgetary Constraints and the Business of eDiscovery

Editor’s Note: The results of the recent Summer 2020 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey present the continuing impact of COVID constraints on the business of eDiscovery. However, for these pandemic-driven results and their potential impact on the business of eDiscovery to be fully understood, they should be viewed through the contextual lens of the results of all nineteen surveys that have been administered to eDiscovery professionals since the inception of the eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey in early 2016.

Budgetary Constraints: A Current Concern for eDiscovery Professionals

The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a nonscientific quarterly survey designed to provide insight into the business confidence level of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey consists of nine core multiple-choice questions focused on factors related to the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. Additionally, the survey contains three optional questions focused on the business operational metrics of days sales outstanding (DSO), monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and revenue distribution across customer bases.

Initiated in January 2016, the survey has been administered nineteen times with 2,189 individual responses. The survey is open to legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem, and individuals are invited to participate primarily via direct email invitations. The latest survey was administered in the summer of 2020 and had 100 respondents in roles that included tactical execution (40%), operational management (30%), and executive leadership (30%). Industry segments represented in the survey included software and service providers (31%), law firms (28%), consultancies (22%), corporations (12%), governmental entities (4%), media and research professionals (1%), and others (2%). One of the questions in the quarterly survey asks participants to select from a listing of six choices the issue they view as potentially having the most impact on their eDiscovery business during the next six months. The issues presented include:
  • Budgetary Constraints
  • Data Security
  • Inadequate Technology
  • Increasing Types of Data
  • Increasing Volumes of Data
  • Lack of Personnel
While not all-inclusive, the listing of issues provides a realistic overview of potential areas that appear to have a direct and ongoing impact on the business of eDiscovery. Based on the aggregate results of past surveys, the following findings and charted overviews of responses to the question of issues impacting business may be helpful in understanding the collective mindset of many industry experts regarding these issues and their impact on the business of eDiscovery.

Six Key Findings in the Summer of 2020

  • In the summer of 2020, 56% of respondents viewed budgetary constraints as potentially having the greatest business impact on their business in the next six months. This percentage is the highest of all concerns represented in the survey and also is the highest rating for any business performance concern since the inception of the survey. This is also the eleventh time in nineteen surveys that the issue of budgetary constraints has been the top concern or tied for the top concern by survey respondents. (Charts 1,2, and 3)
  • The percentage of respondents that viewed increasing types of data as a top business concern increased strongly in the last quarter from 8.1% in the spring of 2020 to 14% in the summer of 2020. This is a solid rebound from spring 2020 which had the lowest rating in the category since the inception of the survey. (Chart 4)
  • Increasing data volumes continue to be a consistent concern for eDiscovery professionals with 14% of summer survey respondents viewing data volume challenges as potentially having a substantial impact on business in the next six months. However, the level of respondent concern in this area is the lowest since the inception of the survey. (Chart 5)
  • The percentage of respondents viewing the impact of data security as a top business issue decreased slightly from the last quarter and is now viewed as the top concern by 7% of survey respondents. The level of respondent concern in this area is also the lowest since the inception of the survey. (Chart 6)
  • The impact of a lack of personnel on eDiscovery business performance decreased during the last quarter and is the top concern for only 6% of survey respondents. (Chart 7)
  • In the summer of 2020, the impact of inadequate technology as the top business issue decreased by 2.2% from the last quarter and is now viewed as the top concern by only 3% of survey respondents. This is the lowest rating of any business performance impact concern in the summer 2020 survey. It is also is the seventeenth time in nineteen surveys that the impact of inadequate technology has been rated as the lowest area of business performance concern by survey respondents. (Chart 8)

Considering Nineteen Quarters of Results from 2016 to 2020

From a top issue perspective, the following potential issues and the number of quarterly times they have been considered the top concern by survey respondents is shared to create context as to the cyclical concerns of eDiscovery professionals.
  • Budgetary Constraints: The top concern eleven times in nineteen quarters (3x Winter*, 3x Spring, 3x Summer, 2x Fall).
  • Increasing Volumes of Data: The top concern six times in nineteen quarters (2x Winter*, 2x Spring, 1x Summer, 1x Fall).
  • Increasing Types of Data: The top concern three times in nineteen quarters (1x Winter, 1x Summer, 1x Fall).
  • Data Security: Never ranked as the top concern.
  • Lack of Personnel: Never ranked as the top concern.
  • Inadequate Technology: Never ranked as the top concern.
* Top concern tie between Budgetary Constraints and Increasing Volumes of Data in the Winter of 2017.

Survey Charts

(Charts Can Be Expanded for Detailed Viewing)
Chart 1: An Aggregate Overview of Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance 1 – Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance – Summer 2020

 
Chart 2: An Overview of Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance in the Summer of 2020 2 – Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance – Summer 2020

 
Chart 3: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Budgetary Constraints as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business 3 – Impact of Budgetary Constraints on eDiscovery Business – Summer 2020

 
Chart 4: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Increasing Types of Data as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business 4 – Impact of Increasing Types of Data on eDiscovery Business – Summer 2020

 
Chart 5: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Increasing Volumes of Data as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business 5 – Impact of Increasing Volumes of Data on eDiscovery Business – Summer 2020

 
Chart 6: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Data Security as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business 6 – Impact of Data Security on eDiscovery Business – Summer 2020

 
Chart 7: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Lack of Personnel as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business 7 – Impact of Lack of Personnel on eDiscovery Business – Summer 2020

 
Chart 8: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Inadequate Technology as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business 8 – Impact of Inadequate Technology on eDiscovery Business – Summer 2020

 

Running Listing of Survey Results


Chart 9: Survey Participant Overview 9 – Survey Respondents (Individual and Aggregate Overview) – Summer 2020
Additional Reading Source: ComplexDiscovery
Tempo - One

A Change in Tempo? eDiscovery Operational Metrics in the Summer of 2020

The Kinetics of Three eDiscovery Business Metrics in the Summer of 2020

The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a non-scientific quarterly survey designed to provide insight into the business confidence level of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey consists of nine core multiple-choice questions focused on factors related to the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. Additionally, the survey includes the following three optional questions focused on the business operational metrics of days sales outstanding (DSO), monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and revenue distribution across customer bases.

  • How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) during the last quarter? DSO represents the average number of days it takes credit sales to be converted into cash, or when a company’s account receivables can be collected.
  • How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) during the last quarter? MRR is income that a company can reliably anticipate every 30 days. Revenue from one-time purchases billed at the time of purchase is not included in MRR.
  • Which of the following statements best describes the distribution of your organization’s revenue across your customer base during the last quarter? Distribution is the reduction of revenue concentration across the customer base. The customer base is the group of customers who repeatedly purchase the products or services of a business.
Survey participants were presented with four potential answers to the optional business operational metric questions and asked to select one. The choices were as follows:
  • Increasing
  • Unfluctuating
  • Decreasing
  • Do Not Know
The three optional questions regarding business operational metrics were introduced into the quarterly eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey during the winter 2019 survey and to date, almost 900 individual responses to these optional questions have been received over the course of seven surveys. The aggregate results of the answers to the business operational metric questions are shared in the following observations and charted overviews. They provide an interesting vector view of the trajectories of these important measurements and the results may also be helpful to business and legal professionals as they consider the current conditions and trends in the business of data and legal discovery.

Key Observations in the Summer of 2020

General
  • In the summer of 2020, 91 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey participants chose to answer at least one of the optional business operational metric survey questions in the quarterly survey. This represents a strong number of participants given the summer survey was limited to 100 total responders to balance against the recent proliferation of new industry surveys and communications initiated during the current pandemic.
  • In the summer of 2020, 91% of eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey participants chose to answer at least one of the optional business operational metric questions in the quarterly survey. This is an increase in percentage from the 87.2% of participants answering the optional business operational metric questions in the spring of 2020 survey.
  • In the summer 2020 survey, between 28.9% and 39.6% of the respondents (depending on the question) did not know whether DSO, MRR, or distribution of customer revenue-based measures were increasing, unfluctuating, or decreasing.
Days Sales Outstanding (Chart 1)
  • Exactly 20.9% of survey respondents reported DSO as increasing in the summer of 2020. This is an increase from 19.3% reporting DSO as increasing in the spring of 2020. This is also the highest percentage of respondents reporting DSO as increasing since the introduction of operational metric questions into the business confidence survey.
  • There was an increase (1.1%) in the summer 2020 percentage (23.1%) of respondents reporting DSO as unfluctuating when compared to spring 2020 reporting (22%). This is the third-lowest percentage of respondents reporting DSO as unfluctuating since the introduction of operational metric questions into the business confidence survey, with the lowest being the 22% reported in the spring 2020 survey.
  • 16.5% of survey respondents reported DSO as decreasing in the summer of 2020. This is a slight increase from reporting in the spring of 2020 when 15.3% of respondents noted decreasing DSO.
Monthly Recurring Revenue (Chart 2)
  • There was a strong increase (11.4%) in the summer 2020 percentage (26.7%) of respondents reporting increasing MRR when compared to spring 2020 reporting (15.3%). This represents a strong quarter over quarter growth from the spring of 2020 when the lowest percentage of respondents reporting MRR as increasing since the introduction of operational metric questions into the business confidence survey occurred.
  • There was a solid decrease (6.4%) in the summer 2020 percentage (18.9%) of respondents reporting MRR as unfluctuating when compared to spring 2020 reporting (25.3%)
  • Just under 26% (25.6%) of survey respondents reported Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) as decreasing in the summer of 2020. This is a slight decrease from the 26% reporting MRR as decreasing in the spring of 2020 and is the second-highest percentage of respondents reporting MRR as decreasing since the introduction of business operational metric questions to the eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey in the winter of 2019.
Distribution of Revenue Across Customer Base (Chart 3)
  • The percentage of survey respondents reporting an increasing distribution of revenue across their customer base increased (4.2%) between the spring of 2020 (16%) and the summer of 2020 (20.2%). This is also the second-lowest percentage of respondents reporting increasing distribution of revenue across their customer base since the introduction of operational metric questions into the business confidence survey.
  • There was a decrease (3%) in the summer 2020 percentage (27%) of respondents reporting the distribution of revenue across their customer base as unfluctuating when compared to spring 2020 reporting (30%). This is also the second-highest percentage of respondents reporting unfluctuating distribution of revenue across their customer base since the introduction of operational metric questions into the business confidence survey.
  • There was also a slight decrease (0.7%) in the percentage of survey respondents reporting a decrease in revenue distribution across their customer base, with 18% reporting a decreasing distribution of revenue in the summer of 2020. This is also the second-highest percentage of respondents reporting decreasing distribution of revenue across their customer base since the introduction of operational metric questions into the business confidence survey.
Survey Charts (Charts Can Be Expanded for Detailed Viewing)
Chart 1: An Aggregate Overview of Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) Trajectory 1-Days-Sales-Outstanding-Summer-2020

Chart 2: An Aggregate Overview of Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) Trajectory 2-Monthly-Recurring-Revenue-Summer-2020

Chart 3: An Aggregate Overview of Distribution of Revenue Across Customer Base 3-Customer-Distribution-Summer-2020

Running Listing of eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

Additional Reading Source: ComplexDiscovery
Shifting-Gears

Shifting Gears? eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results – Summer 2020

Editor’s Note: The results of this summer eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey present the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the business of eDiscovery. The results also portray the concern and considerations of the people and providers of the eDiscovery ecosystem as shared by 100 legal, business, and technology professionals.

The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey

The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a non-scientific quarterly survey designed to provide insight into the business confidence level of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey consists of nine core multiple-choice questions focused on factors related to the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. Additionally, the survey contains three optional questions focused on the business operational metrics of days sales outstanding (DSO), monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and revenue distribution across customer bases.

Initiated in early 2016, to date the survey has been administered nineteen times with 2,189 individual responses. The survey is open to legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem. Quarterly individuals are invited to participate primarily via direct email invitations.

Summer 2020 Survey Results

The summer 2020 survey response period was initiated on June 26, 2020, and continued until the registration of 100 responses (July 10, 2020). Thanks to the support of organizations such as the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), this quarter’s survey experienced solid response rates despite being adjusted to a maximum of 100 responders to balance against the recent proliferation of new industry surveys and communications initiated during the current pandemic. While individual answers to the survey are confidential, the aggregate and unfiltered results are published to highlight the business confidence of participants regarding economic factors impacting the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services during the summer of 2020.

Business Confidence Questions (Required)

n = 100 Respondents 1. Which of the following segments best describes your business in eDiscovery? Part of the eDiscovery ecosystem where your organization resides
  • Software or Services Provider – 31% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Law Firm – 28% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Consultancy – 22% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Corporation – 12% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Governmental Entity – 4% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Other – 2% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Media/Research Organization – 1% (Down from Spring 2020)
1-Survey-Respondents-by-Organizational-Segment-Summer-2020

2. How would you rate the current general business conditions for eDiscovery in your segment? Subjective feeling of business performance when compared with business expectations
  • Good – 40% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Normal – 36% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Bad – 24% (Down from Spring 2020)
2-Current-Business-Climate-Overview-Summer-2020

3. How do you think the business conditions will be in your segment six months from now? Subjective feeling of business performance when compared with business expectations
  • Better – 48% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Same – 48% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Worse – 4% (Down from Spring 2020)
3-Business-Climate-Overview+Six-Months-Summer-2020

4. How would you guess revenue in your segment of the eDiscovery ecosystem will be six months from now? Revenue is income generated from eDiscovery-related business activities
  • Higher – 41% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Same – 47% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Lower – 12% (Down from Spring 2020)
4-Revenue-Overview+Six-Months-Summer-2020

5. How would you guess profits in your segment of the eDiscovery ecosystem will be six months from now? Profit is the amount of income remaining after accounting for all expenses, debts, additional revenue streams, and operating costs
  • Higher – 35% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Same – 48% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Lower – 17% (Down from Spring 2020)
5-Profits-Overview+Six-Months-Summer-2020

6. Of the six items presented below, what is the issue that you feel will most impact the business of eDiscovery over the next six months? Challenges that may directly impact the business performance of your organization
  • Budgetary Constraints – 56% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Increasing Types of Data – 14% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Increasing Volumes of Data – 14% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Data Security – 7% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Lack of Personnel – 6% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Inadequate Technology – 3% (Down from Spring 2020)
6-Issues-Impacting-eDiscovery-Business-Performance-Summer-2020

7. In which geographical region do you primarily conduct eDiscovery-related business? The location from which you are basing your business assessments
  • North America (United States) – 88% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • North America (Canada) – 6% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Europe (UK) – 4% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Asia/Asia Pacific – 1% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Central/South America – 1% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Europe (Non-UK) – 0% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Middle East/Africa – 0% (Down from Spring 2020)
7-Survey-Respondents-by-Geographic-Region-Summer-2020

8. What are best describes your primary function in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery-related business?
  • Legal/Litigation Support – 85% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions) – 12% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • IT/Product Development – 3% (Down from Spring 2020)
8-Survey-Respondents-by-Primary-Function-Summer-2020

9. What are best describes your level of support in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery-related business?
  • Operational Management – 30% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Tactical Execution – 40% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Executive Leadership – 30% (Up from Spring 2020)
9-Survey-Respondents-by-Level-of-Support-Summer-2020

Business Metric Trajectory Questions (Optional)

10. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) during the last quarter? n=91 Respondents
  • Increasing – 20.9% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Unfluctuating – 23.1% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Decreasing – 16.5% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Do Not Know – 39.6% (Down from Spring 2020)
10-eDiscovery-Business-Metric-Trajectory-Days-Sales-Outstanding-Summer-2020

11. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) during the last quarter? n=90 Respondents
  • Increasing – 26.7% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Unfluctuating – 18.9% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Decreasing – 25.6% (Down From Spring 2020)
  • Do Not Know – 28.9% (Down from Spring 2020)
11-eDiscovery-Business Metric-Trajectory-Monthly-Recurring-Revenue-Summer-2020

12. Which of the following statements best describes the distribution of your organization’s revenue across your customer base during the last quarter? n=89 Respondents
  • Increasing – 20.2% (Up from Spring 2020)
  • Unfluctuating – 27% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Decreasing – 18% (Down from Spring 2020)
  • Do Not Know – 34.8% (Down from Spring 2020)
12-eDiscovery-Business-Metric-Trajectory-Distribution-of-Revenue-Across-Customer-Base-Summer-2020

Past Survey Results

Source: ComplexDiscovery
Stadium-Home

Home or Away? New eDiscovery Collection Market Sizing and Pricing Considerations

Editor’s Note: Given the changing environmental and economic conditions based on the outbreak and impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), eDiscovery professionals are considering business revisions to their 2020 plans and also making or accelerating eDiscovery decisions supporting the collection, processing, and review of electronically stored information (ESI). One of the key home (onsite) and away (remote) decisions that business, legal, and IT professionals in the eDiscovery ecosystem are currently having to consider is how they plan for and execute the core eDiscovery task of collection in today’s new world. From adjusted market sizing to selected task pricing, the following update provides context and considerations that may be helpful for eDiscovery decision-makers as they consider the critical eDiscovery task of collection during 2020.

Revisions in Market Size: A New Estimate for the Task of Collection

In considering the relative costs of the three core eDiscovery tasks of collection, processing, and review, in 2020, the core task of collection is estimated to represent approximately 13% of total eDiscovery expenditures. While the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appears to be having a substantial impact on the economics and execution of eDiscovery, it does not appear at this early juncture in the evaluation of its on-going impact to have significantly altered the task percentage estimates in 2020 for collection, processing, and review.


Chart 1 – eDiscovery Relative Core Task Expenditures – 2020

1 – eDiscovery Relative Core Task Expenditures – 2020


Initial estimates (November 2019) suggested the market size for the collection task of eDiscovery to be at $1.65B during 2020. Revised modeling estimates that take into consideration the legal landscape changes driven by the outbreak and impact of COVID-19 have reduced market size estimations for the collection task of eDiscovery by approximately 23%, with the revised working estimate now being $1.28B for 2020. The model takes into consideration the generally standard market growth in the first quarter of 2020 as well as adjustments to revenue estimates based on marketplace changes during the last three calendar quarters of 2020.


Chart 2 – eDiscovery Market for Collection – 2020 – Revision

2-eDiscovery-Market-for-Collection-2020-Revision


Initial market model estimates for 2020 (non-published) suggested that approximately 95% of collections would take place onsite, while almost 5% would be performed remotely. However, with the outbreak and impact of COVID-19 and the corresponding location-dependent travel and group aggregation restrictions, revised estimates for the percentage of collections conducted onsite has been reduced from 95% to 10% for 2020. Correspondingly, the estimated percentage of collections to be performed remotely in 2020 has increased from 5% to 90%.


Chart 3 – eDiscovery Relative Core Collection Task Expenditures – 2020 – Revision

3-eDiscovery-Relative-Core-Collection-Task-Expenditures-2020-Revision


When applying revised market model estimates for the percentage of collections conducted onsite or remotely to the revised collection revenue estimates for 2020, it appears that the remote collection market will increase from original market size projections of $0.08B to $0.8B. Additionally, the onsite collection market will decrease from original market size projections of $1.57B to $0.48B. The model also takes into consideration the generally standard remote collection to onsite collection percentage ratio in the first quarter of 2020 as well as adjustments of these percentages based on marketplace changes during the last three calendar quarters of 2020.


Chart 4 – eDiscovery Market for Onsite and Remote Collection – 2020 – Revision

4-eDiscovery-Market-for-Onsite-and-Remote-Collection-2020-Revision


These collection-centric market size revisions will undoubtedly be reviewed and considered in the development of annual eDiscovery Market Size Mashups by ComplexDiscovery. However, they may be beneficial for business, legal, and information technology professionals as they consider the increasing acceptance and market size trajectory for remote collections in the conduct of eDiscovery.

Collection Pricing Considerations in the Summer of 2020

While the eDiscovery ecosystem is still in the early stages of understanding how the pandemic will directly impact the economics of eDiscovery and specifically the pricing of core collection tasks, the following summer results of the semi-annual eDiscovery Pricing Survey* from ComplexDiscovery may be helpful for industry professionals seeing to better understand currently reported general pricing ranges regarding selected collection-centric eDiscovery tasks.


eDiscovery Collection Pricing Survey Responses (May 11-20, 2020)

n=105 Respondents

What is the per hour cost for a collection by a forensic examiner?

  • Less than $250 per hour. 23.8% (Up from 18.8%)
  • Between $250 and $350 per hour. 61.0% (Down from 62.5%)
  • Greater than $350 per hour. 6.7% (Up from 2.5%)
  • Do not know. 8.6% (Down from 16.2%)

Chart 5 – Collection Pricing: Per Hour Cost by a Forensic Examiner

5-Collection-Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-for-a-Collection-by-a-Forensic-Examiner


What is the per-device cost for a collection by a forensic examiner?

  • Less than $250 per device. 12.4% (Down from 12.5%)
  • Between $250 and $350 per device. 30.5% (Up from 16.2%)
  • Greater than $350 per device. 43.8% (Down from 51.3%)
  • Do not know. 13.3% (Down from 20.0%)

Chart 6 – Collection Pricing: Per Device Cost for a Collection by a Forensic Examiner

6-Collection-Pricing-Per-Device-Cost-for-a-Collection-by-a-Forensic-Examiner


What is the per hour cost for analysis and expert witness support by a forensic examiner?

  • Less than $350 per hour. 15.2% (Up from 15.0%)
  • Between $350 and $550 per hour. 62.9% (Up from 60.0%)
  • Greater than $550 per hour. 7.6% (Up from 5.0%)
  • Do not know. 14.3% (Down from 20.0%)

Chart 7 – Collection Pricing: Per Hour Cost for Analysis and Expert Witness Support by a Forensic Examiner

7-Collection-Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-for-Analysis-and-Expert-Witness-Support-from-a-Forensic-Examiner


* The semi-annual eDiscovery Pricing Survey is designed to provide insight into eDiscovery pricing through the lens of 15 specific questions answered by legal, business, security, and information professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The summer 2020 survey was open from May 11, 2020, until May 20, 2020, and had 105 respondents share their understanding of the pricing of eDiscovery services.

Additional Reading

Source: ComplexDiscovery

Old Coins

A Matter of Pricing? A Running Update of Semi-Annual eDiscovery Pricing Survey Responses

The Semi-Annual eDiscovery Pricing Survey

Based on the complexity of data and legal discovery, it is a continual challenge to fully understand what is representative of industry-standard pricing for the delivery of eDiscovery products and services. With this challenge in mind, the semi-annual eDiscovery Pricing Survey is designed to provide insight into eDiscovery pricing through the lens of 15 specific questions answered by legal, business, and information professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey was first administered in December of 2018 and has been conducted four times during the last two years with 334 aggregate individual responses.

Survey Background

The eDiscovery Pricing Survey is a non-scientific and non-comprehensive survey and consists of 15 multiple choice questions focused on information and metrics related to eDiscovery pricing for collection, processing, and review tasks. The survey is open to legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem, and individuals are invited to participate semi-annually primarily by direct email invitation from ComplexDiscovery and leading industry educational partners to include the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS).

Aggregate Results

While individual respondent answers to the pricing survey are confidential, the anonymized aggregate results for all previously administered surveys are published below without commentary. These results highlight eDiscovery pricing on selected collection, processing, and review tasks as seen by survey respondents since the inception of the survey in December of 2018. The aggregate results of all surveys as shared in comparative charts may be helpful for understanding pricing and its impact on purchasing behavior on selected services over time.


Comparative Charts: A Look at Four Surveys

n=334 Respondents (Aggregate All Surveys)

Collection Pricing

1. What is the per hour cost for a collection by a forensic examiner?

1-Collection-Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-for-a-Collection-by-a-Forensic-Examiner


2. What is the per device cost for a collection by a forensic examiner?

2-Collection-Pricing-Per-Device-Cost-for-a-Collection-by-a-Forensic-Examiner


3. What is the per hour cost for analysis and expert witness support by a forensic examiner?

3-Collection-Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-for-Analysis-and-Expert-Witness-Support-from-a-Forensic-Examiner


Processing Pricing

4. What is the per GB cost to process electronically stored information based on volume at ingestion?

4-Processing-Pricing-Per-GB-Cost-to-Process-ESI-Based-on-Volume-at-Ingestion


5. What is the per GB cost to process electronically stored information based on volume at completion of processing?

5-Processing-Pricing-Per-GB-Cost-to-Process-ESI-Based-on-Volume-at-Completion-of-Processing


6. What is the per GB per month cost to host electronically stored information without analytics?

6-Processing-Pricing-Per-GB-Cost-Per-Month-to-Host-ESI-without-Analytics


7. What is the per GB per month cost to host electronically stored information with analytics?

7-Processing-Pricing-Per-GB-Cost-Per-Month-to-Host-ESI-with-Analytics


8. What is the user license fee per month for access to hosted data?

8-Processing-Pricing-User-License-Fee-Per-Month-for-Access-to-Hosted-Data


9. What is the per hour cost of project management support for eDiscovery?

9-Processing-Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-of-Project-Management-Support-for-eDiscovery


Review Pricing

10. What is the per GB cost to conduct predictive coding as part of technology-assisted review during the document review phase of eDiscovery?

10-Review-Pricing-Per-GB-Cost-to-Conduct-Predictive-Coding-in-a-Technology-Assisted Review


11. What is the cost per hour for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery?

11-Review-Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-for-Document-Review-Attorneys-to-Review-Documents


12. What is the cost per document for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery?

12-Review-Pricing-Per-Document-Cost-for-Document-Review-Attorneys-to-Review-Documents


Background Information

13. In which geographical region do you primarily conduct eDiscovery-related business?

13-Survey-Respondents-by-Geographic-Region


14. Which of the following segments best describes your business in eDiscovery?

14-Survey-Respondents-by-Organizational-Segment


15. What area best describes your primary function in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery business?

15-Survey-Respondents-by-Primary-Function


An Aggregate Overview of Survey Responses (Four Surveys)

16-Survey-Respondents-Aggregate-Overview


Past eDiscovery Pricing Surveys

Additional Research

Source: ComplexDiscovery

A Pandemeconomic Indicator? Summer 2020 eDiscovery Pricing Survey Results

Editor’s Note: According to the International Monetary Fund, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world into a recession. Initial estimates are that for 2020, pandemic-driven economic conditions may be worse than the global financial crisis that stressed financial markets and banking systems between mid-2007 and early 2009. The current pandemic has already dramatically influenced the eDiscovery ecosystem in areas such as the delivery of services, the pulse rate of investigations and litigation, and the frequency of merger and acquisition activities. However, we are still in the early stages of understanding how the pandemic will directly impact the economics of eDiscovery. With the need for this understanding in mind, the summer 2020 eDiscovery Pricing Survey from ComplexDiscovery may be helpful for legal, business, and information technology professionals as they seek to comprehend current sentiment and certainty regarding the pricing of core eDiscovery tasks.

The eDiscovery Pricing Survey

The eDiscovery Pricing Survey is a non-scientific and non-comprehensive survey designed to provide general insight into eDiscovery pricing as shared by individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem.

The survey consists of 15 multiple choice questions focused on information and metrics related to eDiscovery pricing for collection, processing, and review tasks. The survey is open to legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem. Individuals are invited to participate semi-annually primarily by direct email invitation from ComplexDiscovery and leading industry educational partners to include the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS).

Summer Survey Results

The summer 2020 survey response period was initiated on May 11, 2020, and closed on May 20, 2020. This was the fourth eDiscovery pricing survey conducted by ComplexDiscovery, the initial survey being conducted in December of 2018. This survey had 105 respondents.

While individual respondent answers to the pricing survey are confidential, the anonymized aggregate results for the 15 questions of the multiple-choice survey are published below without commentary. These results highlight eDiscovery pricing on selected collection, processing, and review tasks as seen by survey respondents in the summer of 2020.


eDiscovery Pricing Survey Questions (Required)

n=105 Respondents

Collection Pricing

1. What is the per hour cost for a collection by a forensic examiner?

  • Less than $250 per hour. 23.8% (Up from 18.8%)
  • Between $250 and $350 per hour. 61.0% (Down from 62.5%)
  • Greater than $350 per hour. 6.7% (Up from 2.5%)
  • Do not know. 8.6% (Down from 16.2%)

1-Collection-Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-for-a-Collection-by-a-Forensic-Examiner


2. What is the per-device cost for a collection by a forensic examiner?

  • Less than $250 per device. 12.4% (Down from 12.5%)
  • Between $250 and $350 per device. 30.5% (Up from 16.2%)
  • Greater than $350 per device. 43.8% (Down from 51.3%)
  • Do not know. 13.3% (Down from 20.0%)

2-Collection-Pricing-Per-Device-Cost-for-a-Collection-by-a-Forensic-Examiner


3. What is the per hour cost for analysis and expert witness support by a forensic examiner?

  • Less than $350 per hour. 15.2% (Up from 15.0%)
  • Between $350 and $550 per hour. 62.9% (Up from 60.0%)
  • Greater than $550 per hour. 7.6% (Up from 5.0%)
  • Do not know. 14.3% (Down from 20.0%)

3-Collection-Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-for-Analysis-and-Expert-Witness-Support-from-a-Forensic-Examiner


Processing Pricing

4. What is the per GB cost to process electronically stored information based on volume at ingestion?

  • Less than $25 per GB. 33.3% (Up from 23.8%)
  • Between $25 and $75 per GB. 45.7% (Down from 52.5%)
  • Greater than $75 per GB. 10.5% (Down from 13.7%)
  • Do not know. 10.5% (Up from 10.0%)

4-Processing-Pricing-Per-GB-Cost-to-Process-ESI-Based-on-Volume-at-Ingestion


5. What is the per GB cost to process electronically stored information based on volume at completion of processing?

  • Less than $100 per GB. 44.8% (Up from 32.5%)
  • Between $100 and $150 per GB. 31.4% (Down from 42.5%)
  • Greater than $150 per GB. 9.5% (Up from 8.8%)
  • Do not know. 14.3% (Down from 16.2%)

5-Processing-Pricing-Per-GB-Cost-to-Process-ESI-Based-on-Volume-at-Completion-of-Processing


6. What is the per GB per month cost to host electronically stored information without analytics?

  • Less than $10 per GB per month. 30.5% (Down from 23.8%)
  • Between $10 and $20 per GB per month. 50.5% (Down from 62.5%)
  • Greater than $20 per GB per month. 10.5% (Up from 5.0%)
  • Do not know. 8.6% (Down from 8.7%)

6-Processing-Pricing-Per-GB-Cost-Per-Month-to-Host-ESI-without-Analytics


7. What is the per GB per month cost to host electronically stored information with analytics?

  • Less than $15 per GB per month. 37.1% (Up from 28.7%)
  • Between $15 and $25 per GB per month. 32.4% (Down from 45.0%)
  • Greater than $25 per GB per month. 16.2% (Down from 15.0%)
  • Do not know. 14.3% (Up from 11.3%)

7-Processing-Pricing-Per-GB-Cost-Per-Month-to-Host-ESI-with-Analytics


8. What is the user license fee per month for access to hosted data?

  • Less than $50 per user per month. 21.0% (Up from 13.8%)
  • Between $50 and $100 per user per month. 60.0% (Down from 66.3%)
  • Greater than $100 per user per month. 12.4% (Down from 13.8%)
  • Do not know. 6.7% (Up from 6.1%)

8-Processing-Pricing-User-License-Fee-Per-Month-for-Access-to-Hosted-Data


9. What is the per hour cost of project management support for eDiscovery?

  • Less than $100 per hour. 6.7% (Up from 2.5%)
  • Between $100 and $200 per hour. 65.7% (Down from 73.8%)
  • Greater than $200 per hour. 22.9% (Up from 20.0%)
  • Do not know. 4.8% (Up from 3.7%)

9-Processing-Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-of-Project-Management-Support-for-eDiscovery


Review Pricing

10. What is the per GB cost to conduct predictive coding as part of a technology-assisted review during the document review phase of eDiscovery?

  • Less than $75 per GB. 49.5% (Up from 40.0%)
  • Between $75 and $150 per GB. 13.3% (Down from 25.0%)
  • Greater than $150 per GB. 8.6% (Up from 5.0%)
  • Do not know. 28.6% (Down from 30.0%)

10-Review-Pricing-Per-GB-Cost-to-Conduct-Predictive-Coding-in-a-Technology-Assisted-Review


11. What is the cost per hour for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery?

  • Less than $25 per hour. 2.9% (Up from 1.3%)
  • Between $25 and $40 per hour. 42.9% (Up from 31.3%)
  • Greater than $40 per hour. 42.9% (Down from 52.5%)
  • Do not know. 11.4% (Down from 14.9%)

11-Review Pricing-Per-Hour-Cost-for-Document-Review-Attorneys-to-Review-Documents


12. What is the cost per document for document review attorneys to review documents during the review phase of eDiscovery?

  • Less than $0.50 per document. 4.8% (Down from 11.3%)
  • Between $0.50 and $1.00 per document. 31.4% (Down from 35.0%)
  • Greater than $1.00 per document. 36.2% (Up from 26.3%)
  • Do not know. 27.6% (Up from 27.4%)

12-Review Pricing-Per-Document-Cost-for-Document-Review-Attorneys-to-ReviewDocuments


Background Information

13. In which geographical region do you primarily conduct eDiscovery-related business?

  • North America – United States. 86.7% (Down from 87.5%)
  • North America – Canada. 2.9% (Down from 5.0%)
  • Europe – United Kingdom. 2.9% (Up from 2.5%)
  • Europe – Non-UK. 2.9% (Up from 1.2%)
  • Asia/Asia Pacific. 2.9% (Up from 0.0%)
  • Middle East/Africa. 1.9% (Down from 3.8%)
  • Central/South America. 0.0% (No Change)

13-Survey-Respondents-by-Geographic-Region-Summer-2020


14. Which of the following segments best describes your business in eDiscovery?

  • Law Firm. 40.0% (Down from 52.5%)
  • Software and/or Services Provider. 37.1% (Up from 27.5%)
  • Consultancy. 11.4% (Up from 10.0%)
  • Corporation. 8.6% (Up from 5.0%)
  • Government Entity. 1.9% (Down from 2.5%)
  • Media/Research Organization/Educational Association. 1.0% (Down from 2.5%)

14-Survey-Respondents-by-Organizational-Segment-Summer-2020


15. What area best describes your primary function in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery business?

  • Legal/Litigation Support. 71.4% (Down from 78.7%)
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions). 22.9% (Down from 18.8%)
  • IT/Product Development. 5.7% (Up fro 2.5%)

15-Survey-Respondents-by-Primary-Function-Summer-2020


Past eDiscovery Pricing Surveys

Additional Research

Source: ComplexDiscovery

Currency-Keyboard-Pricing

Priced to Sell? The eDiscovery Pricing Survey (Summer 2020)

The eDiscovery Pricing Survey (Summer 2020)

Based on the complexity of data and legal discovery, it is a continual challenge to fully understand what is representative of industry-standard pricing for the delivery of eDiscovery products and services. With this challenge in mind, the eDiscovery Pricing Survey is designed to provide insight into eDiscovery pricing through the lens of 15 specific pricing questions answered by legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem.

The non-scientific, non-comprehensive, and multiple-choice survey is focused on establishing a pricing baseline for a specific selection of collection, processing, and review tasks. The survey is not designed to be all-inclusive but developed to provide a general overview of the pricing landscape with a market basket of eDiscovery offerings that can be analyzed over time to help establish an eDiscovery Pricing Index (eDPI*) that will be reported systematically.

The eDiscovery Market Basket for the survey consists of the following offerings:

Collection

  • Per Hour Cost for Collection by a Forensic Examiner
  • Per Device Cost for Collection by a Forensic Examiner
  • Per Hour Cost for Analysis, Affidavit, and Expert Witness Support by a Forensic Examiner

Processing

  • Per GB Cost to Process ESI (At Ingestion)
  • Per GB Cost to Process ESI (At Export)
  • Per GB Per Month Cost to Host ESI Without Analytics
  • Per GB Per Month Cost to Host ESI With Analytics
  • Per Month Cost Per User License for Access to Hosted Data
  • Per Hour Cost for Project Management Support

Review

  • Per GB Cost for Predictive Coding
  • Per Hour Cost for Document Review Attorney Review
  • Per Document Cost for Document Review Attorney Review

ComplexDiscovery anonymizes responses to this survey and does not share any individual or organizational contact data, demographics, or answers.

All 15 questions are multiple-choice and the entire survey can be completed in less than five minutes.

The summer 2020 eDiscovery Pricing Survey response period will be between today and no later than May 27th, 2020. Upon completion of the survey, the results will be anonymized, provided to all participants, and published on the ComplexDiscovery website during the summer of 2020.



To participate in the eDiscovery Pricing Survey (Summer 2020), please click here to complete and submit the short 15 question, multiple-choice survey. (https://complexd.blog/eDiscovery-Pricing-Summer-2020-Survey)

As your opinion is important in helping form a picture of industry-standard pricing on selected eDiscovery tasks, please do take the time to complete this short survey, as the anonymized results will provide professionals in the eDiscovery ecosystem an additional and helpful reference for considering pricing decisions.

Past eDiscovery Pricing Surveys

Additional Research

Source: ComplexDiscovery

* eDiscovery Pricing Index: A normalized average of price relative to a set of twelve eDiscovery offerings (eDiscovery Market Basket) for a given interval of time.

Remote Review

Revisions and Decisions? New Considerations for eDiscovery Secure Remote Reviews

Editor’s Note: Given the changing environmental and economic conditions based on the outbreak and impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), eDiscovery professionals are considering business revisions to their 2020 plans and also making or accelerating eDiscovery decisions supporting the collection, processing, and review of electronically stored information (ESI). One of the key revision and decision areas that business, legal, and IT professionals in the eDiscovery ecosystem are currently having to consider is how they plan for and execute the core eDiscovery task of review in today’s new world. From review market sizing to remote review decisions, the following update provides context and considerations that may be helpful for eDiscovery decision-makers as they consider the critical eDiscovery task of review during 2020.

Revisions in Market Size: A New Review Estimate

In considering the relative costs of the three core eDiscovery tasks of collection, processing, and review, in 2020, the core task of review is estimated to represent approximately 68% of total eDiscovery expenditures. While the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appears to be having a substantial impact on the economics and execution of eDiscovery, it does not appear at this early juncture in the evaluation of its on-going impact to have significantly altered the task percentage estimates in 2020 for collection, processing, and review.


Chart 1 – eDiscovery Relative Core Task Expenditures – 2020

1 – eDiscovery Relative Core Task Expenditures – 2020


Initial estimates (November 2019) suggested the market size for the review task of eDiscovery to be at $8.61B during 2020. Revised modeling estimates that take into consideration the legal landscape changes driven by the outbreak and impact of COVID-19 have reduced market size estimations for the review task of eDiscovery by approximately 23%, with the revised working estimate now being $6.65B for 2020. The model takes into consideration the generally standard market growth in the first quarter of 2020 as well as adjustments to revenue estimates based on marketplace changes during the last three calendar quarters of 2020.


Chart 2 – eDiscovery Market for Review – 2020 – Revision

2 – eDiscovery Market for Review – 2020 – Revision


Initial market model estimates for 2020 (non-published) suggested that approximately 90% of reviews would take place onsite, while almost 10% would be performed remotely. However, with the outbreak and impact of COVID-19 and the corresponding location-dependent travel and group aggregation restrictions, revised estimates for the percentage of reviews conducted onsite have been reduced from 90% to 10% for 2020. Correspondingly, the estimated percentage of reviews to be performed remotely in 2020 has increased from 10% to 90%.


Chart 3 – eDiscovery Relative Core Review Task Expenditures – 2020 – Revision

3 – eDiscovery Relative Core Review Task Expenditures – 2020 – Revision


When applying revised market model estimates for the percentage of reviews conducted onsite or remotely to the revised review revenue estimates for 2020, it appears that the remote review market will increase from original market size projections of $0.86B to $4.28B. Additionally, the onsite review market will decrease from original market size projections of $7.75B to $2.37B. The model also takes into consideration the generally standard secure remote review to onsite review percentage ratio in the first quarter of 2020 as well as adjustments of these percentages based on marketplace changes during the last three calendar quarters of 2020.


Chart 4 – eDiscovery Market for Onsite and Remote Review – 2020 – Revision

4 – eDiscovery Market for Onsite and Remote Review -2020 – Revision


These review-centric market size revisions will undoubtedly be reviewed and considered in the development of annual eDiscovery Market Size Mashups by ComplexDiscovery. However, they may be beneficial for business, legal, and information technology professionals as they consider the increasing acceptance and market size trajectory for secure remote reviews in the conduct of eDiscovery.

Decisions for Secure Remote Review: Qualifying Questions and Considerations

Given the rapid changes in the review services environment during 2020, many organizations that have not previously employed remote reviews as part of their eDiscovery arsenal are now actively and aggressively evaluating secure remote review services. As not all secure remote review offerings and providers are equal, the following qualifying questions and considerations may be helpful for law firms and corporations in their evaluation of remote review services.

Remote Review Offering Qualifying Questions and Considerations

General questions that may help clarify a provider’s experience and expertise with remote secure review services include but are not limited to:

  • How long have you offered secure remote review services (when was your first matter)?
  • How many secure remote review only projects have you completed, and for approximately how many distinct clients?
  • For your secure remote review only projects, what is the average team size, and what is the largest team size for those projects?
  • How many of your reviewers and review managers have participated in a secure remote review project, and what is the average number of projects they have participated in, including the average length of time for those projects?
  • How many full-time reviewers, QCers, and review managers have participated in and are available for secure remote review projects?
  • How many of your reviewers and review managers have participated in a training and certification program designed by your organization for secure remote review projects? Describe your remote training and certification program.
  • Is the secure remote review service you are offering organic to your organization or delivered through a partnership? If the latter, please name the partner(s).
  • Please provide three distinct client references for your secure remote reviews.

Areas that should be questioned and evaluated when selecting remote review services providers include:

  • Remote Technology
  • Remote Security
  • Remote Processes (Including QC/QA, Communications, and Auditing)

Questions around these three critical areas of experience include but are not limited to:

  • Does your secure remote review offering provide an integrated, single service capability for communicating, connecting, and conducting reviews?
  • Describe in detail the hardware, technology, and infrastructure that delivers/provides your secure remote review offering and describe the security requirements, including protections in place if reviewers use their own hardware and are using WiFi.
  • Does your offering include a secure email capability with limited email sending capabilities?
  • How do you prevent access to review workspaces from local computers?
  • Does your secure infrastructure support controls to restrict administrative rights, disable USB access to peripheral devices, prevent installing/uploading of software and read/write access to local drives/media, restrict downloading and exporting to local machines, and denying printing (local, network, and screenprint)?
  • Does your secure infrastructure support clipboard redirection (no copy/cut/paste) and file/folder redirection?
  • Describe in detail your remote individual and team QC/QA processes and how they differ from onsite reviews, as well as how they differ from other providers, including how you ensure that reviewers are coding accurately and consistently throughout the review from start to finish.
  • Describe in detail your remote communication processes (with clients/counsel and internal team communications) and how they differ from onsite reviews, including the use of encrypted chat.
  • Describe in detail your time and productivity auditing procedures, including ensuring accurate time entry, and handling of downtime.

In the area of secure remote review staffing, the following questions can provide insight into provider capability.

  • Describe the staffing, screening, and recruitment processes for secure remote projects and how they differ from onsite reviews.
  • How are reviewers selected for secure remote review projects?
  • What types of checks (e.g., background, security, references, etc.) are run against secure remote review candidates and team members, to include how often are these checks validated.
  • What concrete metrics are used to select new (to your organization) and veteran reviewers (within your organization) for your secure remote review projects?
  • What must reviewers agree to in terms of technological and physical security, work schedules, and privacy protections? Provide sample documentation, including NDA/Confidentiality Agreements and Work from Home (WFH) Rules/Agreements.

Additionally, from a collective experience perspective, the following questions may provide insight into the organizational experience and aptitude to support secure remote review projects.

  • Describe the structure of remote teams including first line, quality control, and review manager ratios.
  • Does your organization have a dedicated internal management structure to support the complete review process?
  • Does your organization have dedicated review management teams with experience working together?
  • Does your organization have a pool of trained, qualified, and certified reviewers who have worked together in support of review projects?

From the answers to these qualifying questions, eDiscovery decision-makers should have enough information to make an initial assessment of providers being considered for secure remote review projects and be prepared to move into formal provider evaluations that include presentations, demonstrations, and discussions.

Additional Reading

Source: ComplexDiscovery

Coronavirus-Mask

COVID-19 Constrained? The Impact of Six Issues on the Business of eDiscovery

Editor’s Note: The results of the recent Spring 2020 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey present the unfortunate impact of COVID-19 on the business of eDiscovery. However, for these pandemic-driven results and their potential impact on the business of eDiscovery to be fully understood, they should be viewed through the contextual lens of the results of all eighteen surveys that have been administered to eDiscovery professionals since the inception of the eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey in early 2016.

Budgetary Constraints: A Current Concern for eDiscovery Professionals

The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a nonscientific quarterly survey designed to provide insight into the business confidence level of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey consists of nine core multiple-choice questions focused on factors related to the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. Additionally, the survey contains three optional questions focused on the business operational metrics of days sales outstanding (DSO), monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and revenue distribution across customer bases.

Initiated in January 2016, the survey has been administered eighteen times with 2,089 individual responses. The survey is open to legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem, and individuals are invited to participate primarily via direct email invitations.

The latest survey was administered in the spring of 2020 and had 172 respondents in roles that included tactical execution (36.0%), operational management (35.5%), and executive leadership (28.5%). Industry segments represented in the survey included law firms (36.6%), software and service providers (29.1%), consultancies (16.9%), corporations (9.9%), governmental entities (4.7%), media and research professionals (1.7%), and others (1.2%).

One of the questions in the quarterly survey asks participants to select from a listing of six choices the issue they view as potentially having the most impact on their eDiscovery business during the next six months. The issues presented include:

  • Budgetary Constraints
  • Data Security
  • Inadequate Technology
  • Increasing Types of Data
  • Increasing Volumes of Data
  • Lack of Personnel

While not all-inclusive, the listing of issues provides a realistic overview of potential areas that appear to have a direct and ongoing impact on the business of eDiscovery.

Based on the aggregate results of past surveys, the following findings and charted overviews of responses to the question of issues impacting business may be helpful in understanding the collective mindset of many industry experts regarding these issues and their impact on the business of eDiscovery.

Six Key Findings in the Spring of 2020

  • In the spring of 2020, 51.2% of respondents viewed budgetary constraints as potentially having the greatest business impact on their business in the next six months. This percentage is the highest of all concerns represented in the survey and also is the highest rating for any business performance concern since the inception of the survey. This is also the tenth time in eighteen surveys that the issue of budgetary constraints has been the top concern or tied for the top concern by survey respondents. (Charts 1,2, and 3)
  • Increasing data volumes continue to be a consistent concern for eDiscovery professionals with 16.3% of spring survey respondents viewing data volume challenges as potentially having a substantial impact on business in the next six months. However, the level of respondent concern in this area is the lowest since the inception of the survey. (Chart 4)
  • The impact of a lack of personnel on eDiscovery business performance decreased slightly during the last quarter and is the top concern for 11% of survey respondents. (Chart 5)
  • The percentage of respondents that viewed increasing types of data as a top business concern decreased significantly in the last quarter from 25.3% in the winter of 2020 to only 8.1% in the spring of 2020. This is also the lowest rating in the category since the inception of the survey. (Chart 6)
  • The percentage of respondents viewing the impact of data security as a top business issue decreased 4.2% from the last quarter and is now viewed as the top concern by 8.1% of survey respondents. (Chart 7)
  • In the spring of 2020, the impact of inadequate technology as the top business issue decreased by 2.3% from the last quarter and is now viewed as the top concern by only 5.2% of survey respondents. This is the lowest rating of any business performance impact concern in the spring 2020 survey. It is also is the sixteenth time in eighteen surveys that the impact of inadequate technology has been rated as the lowest area of business performance concern by survey respondents. (Chart 8)

Considering Eighteen Quarters of Results from 2016 to 2020

From a top issue perspective, the following potential issues and the number of quarterly times they have been considered the top concern by survey respondents is shared to create context as to the cyclical concerns of eDiscovery professionals.

  • Budgetary Constraints: The top concern ten times in eighteen quarters (3x Winter*, 3x Spring, 2x Summer, 2x Fall).
  • Increasing Volumes of Data: The top concern six times in eighteen quarters (2x Winter*, 2x Spring, 1x Summer, 1x Fall).
  • Increasing Types of Data: The top concern three times in eighteen quarters (1x Winter, 1x Summer, 1x Fall).
  • Data Security: Never ranked as the top concern.
  • Lack of Personnel: Never ranked as the top concern.
  • Inadequate Technology: Never ranked as the top concern.

* Top concern tie between Budgetary Constraints and Increasing Volumes of Data in the Winter of 2017.

Survey Charts

(Charts Can Be Expanded for Detailed Viewing)


Chart 1: An Aggregate Overview of Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance

1-Issues-Impacting-eDiscovery-Business-Performance-Aggregate-Spring-2020


 


Chart 2: An Overview of Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance in the Spring of 2020

2-Issues-Impacting-eDiscovery-Business-Performance-Spring-2020


 


Chart 3: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Budgetary Constraints as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

3-Impact-of-Budgetary-Constraints-on-eDiscovery-Business-Aggregate-Spring-2020


 


Chart 4: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Increasing Volumes of Data as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

4-Impact-of-Increasing-Volumes-of-Data-on-eDiscovery-Business-Aggregate-Spring-2020


 


Chart 5: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Lack of Personnel as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

5-Impact-of-Lack-of-Personnel-on-eDiscovery-Business-Aggregate-Spring-2020


 


Chart 6: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Increasing Types of Data as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

6-Impact-of-Increasing-Types-of-Data-on-eDiscovery-Business-Aggregate-Spring-2020


 


Chart 7: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Data Security as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

7-Impact-of-Data-Security-on-eDiscovery-Business-Aggregate-Spring-2020


 


Chart 8: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Inadequate Technology as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

8-Impact-of-Inadequate-Technology-on-eDiscovery-Business-Aggregate-Spring-2020


 


Running Listing of Survey Results


Chart 9: Survey Participant Overview

9-Survey-Participant-Overview-Aggregate-Spring-2020

Additional Reading

Source: ComplexDiscovery