IST Discover-E White Paper:

What to Expect from eDiscovery in 2018

At IST Discover-E, we have years of experience helping our clients with their eDiscovery needs along with full scale legal support management systems.  We are expert in creating and customizing eDiscovery processes that best fit our client’s needs and expectations.  Our model is uniquely transparent, easy to understand and effective in aiding our clients get the decision they want for their clients.

eDiscovery to Play a Greater Role in Cost Containment in 2018

A big part of one year’s end is planning for the following year’s beginning; and in doing so, it’s important to look back and clearly understand what happened in eDiscovery in 2017.

In 2017, some of the major, forward-thinking law firms continued use of eDiscovery partnerships and legal project management technology to increase efficiency and get a better grip on what Matters actually cost.  Some firms even further along that spectrum developed their own software and began selling their expertise in the area to make their clients’ legal departments more efficient.

A recent Gartner report forecasts that revenue in the eDiscovery software market will grow to $3.1 billion in 2018, and that annual revenue growth of approximately 15 percent is expected because of increasing volumes of litigation and regulatory investigation.

However, apart from those shining examples, most firms remained cautious about the full-scale adoption of technology in eDiscovery and other legal project management areas.  According to another Gartner report, the number one issue that law firms and corporations faced in 2017 was:

 

 

There is a disconnection between IT and legal and, as a result, each eDiscovery case is often an isolated event and handled as a project. This project-based approach means that organizations lose money and efficiency by investing in multiple tools and providers for their eDiscovery technology needs.

 

 

So, if the eDiscovery software market is projected to continue growing so rapidly, what should traditional legal and corporate counsel do to resolve the issues faced in 2017?

In a perfect world, firms and corporations would proactively create an eDiscovery stakeholder group which consists of IT, legal counsel, legal operations, risk and security leaders to oversee projects, seek to identify eDiscovery tools and/or manual processes now in use by both IT & legal and consolidate solutions where overlapping capabilities may exist.

While further integration of legal and IT teams in eDiscovery and legal project management technology may sound daunting, there are firms out there today that are realizing the benefits:

  • Legal can take advantage of complete visibility, process efficiency, proactive intelligence, streamlined communications and regulatory compliance.
  • IT teams benefit from advanced integrations, efficient collections, clear instructions, and flexible deployment options.

By 2018, at least 30% of the data reviewed in eDiscovery will be stored in the cloud with expected 5 percent increase year over year.

What’s ahead for 2018?  It is a given that law firms are being forced into a wheel-and-deal business model that is moving toward value pricing with real market forces at play. The traditional law firm now has to understand its data and its business in a way that it never has before.

To that end, the use of more cohesive eDiscovery and legal project management technology is expected to increase 13 percent over the next two years.  Firms will shop more aggressively for support technology and partnerships to obtain better pricing and tools. Firms will begin to unitize, track and report internal activities under more precise categories and have a more exacting grasp on overhead and partnerships.

Legal operations staff will gain more power inside legal departments and the traditional competition for Big Law work will be upended by firms who can offer more certain fees.  Firms that have integrated better technology to understand their actual unit costs rather than all-encompassing, fluctuating billable hours.

That won’t happen everywhere all at once next year. But better technology will make the change begin to gather speed.

Delivering the necessary control and insight into critical information that drive smarter decisions while ensuring enterprise IT investments are leveraged to their fullest capabilities is the name of the game.

In step, legal technology providers will continue to make the connection between IT and legal teams easier and easier. eDiscovery providers like IST Discover-E create a single solution to use in concert with IT and information management.  IST Discover-E also provides a business dashboard with real-time, data-driven insight into eDiscovery costs, trends and efficiencies. Integrating eDiscovery with IT protocols will save significant costs and reduce risks associated with litigation exposure, compliance and internal investigations as a standardized, repeatable and defensible processes are put into place.

IST understands that every law practice is unique, which is why we offer and develop a wide range of eDiscovery solutions fulfilling both your and your client’s requirements.  The best part about partnering with IST is our customer-centric approach to all services provided.  From start to finish, we are with you every step of the way and are happy to assist you with further recommendations, advice/assistance, troubleshooting or expansion of process to additional matters.

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