I’ve spent a lot of time this year reading and having conversations with experts and vendors about the electronic discovery market and where we are headed. I’ve felt that information on the electronic discovery market is, for the most part, anecdotal. It’s difficult to put your hands on anything like hard numbers or to pull together direct evidence to support trends that many of us commonly accept as true.
“EDD Supplier Landscape” from EDDix, LLC represents a welcome step toward giving us the data we need to understand what is happening in the world of electronic discovery.
“EDD Supplier Landscape” is EDDix’s first in a series of research projects and analytical reports on the business of electronic discovery. It gets the series off to a very strong start. EDDix has gotten the answers to many of the questions that everyone interested in electronic discovery has been asking.
I was impressed both by the reasonable and even-handed approach to interpreting the numerical data gathered from the surveys of vendors that form the basis for much of the report and the insightful conclusions that the report draws from this data. This careful approach to the underlying numbers gives the conclusions the great impact they have. It’s nice, for a change, not to see conclusions based on extrapolations on the high range of the data that most favors those conclusions.
For example, during 2004, I’ve heard many people throw around the idea that electronic discovery could be a billion dollar business. This report is the first place I’ve found where someone shows how you can reasonably arrive at that number.
I found many valuable nuggets of information all through the report. Let me note that while, by a 2 to 1 margin, law firms make the selection of EDD providers, in the majority of cases the projects are awarded on a non-competitive basis, in many cases without even a request for proposals. The survey responses also indicated a belief that 75% of the AmLaw 200 law firms did not have the expertise to handle a complex electronic discovery case.
I also found new ways of looking at the business of electronic discovery that are quite helpful in understanding developments in the industry.
For example, I think that there is much to be gained from thinking in terms of the report’s underlying theme that EDD is a market, not a standalone industry. In that market we are simultaneously likely to see consolidation at the top and significant expansion at the bottom of the market as new providers move into the EDD market. Yet, as the report notes, EDD is a surprisingly non-competitive market.
The information I found in the report made for compelling reading, but the informal and engaging style also helped. I especially like the comments on why the acronym EDD is used for “electronic discovery.” The report also makes excellent use of graphs and charts.
I was so impressed with the report that I called Michael Clark at EDDix to tell him how good it was and to thank him for getting a copy to me. We talked for a while about the EDD market and I pitched him about setting up a way to give readers of this blog a discount if they bought the report. He seemed pretty responsive and I’m hoping that I’ll have some news on that in the next day or two.
I’ve had a good number of calls from EDD providers in the last few months wanting to pick my brain about the EDD market, so I know many companies, law firms and individuals are doing research these days.
Based on my own experience at trying to track down good information, I can tell you that you will not find any better starting point than “EDD Supplier Landscape.” You will save enough time to more than pay for the report.
Any EDD provider who wants to grow and capture a bigger share of this market must read this report.
Lawyers and large litigation clients will also find much of value in this report. In the case of the discussion of the changing locus of decision-making, law firms will be well-advised to study the results and the implications for the survival of firms who do not develop strategies to address the issues raised by EDD.
“EDD Suppliers Landscape” is, by a significant margin, the most important work on the electronic discovery business I’ve read to-date and I’m looking forward to the upcoming reports on other aspects of the EDD industry.