The impact of social networks on my job hit me yet again today. I was doing my daily look at LinkedIn and a contact of mine – John Mancini, the President of AIIM – had a status update (via integration with Twitter, no less) about a recent AIIM report on Content Analytics. What caught my eye was that the status update said, “There are strong plans adopt DAM, Faceted Search, E-discovery and Content Assessment in next 18 months.” Any time that eDiscovery term crops up, I want to read about it.
AIIM is getting more and more involved in eDiscovery as we’ve pointed out in other articles. I dove into the report and found that it was a mixture of good and bad. There are some interesting numbers as they relate to the state of the eDiscovery market, but the report is also very broad and simplifies what eDiscovery is to a certain extent. The report is called “Content Analytics – Research Tools For Unstructured Content and Rich Media” and is focused on what kinds of use-cases organizations will use search tools for. The report does seem to skew a bit toward the more sexy topics of finding information for business purposes and the ability to search new forms of data like pictures and video (which is fine because those are important topics). But, it does not go deep into the usage of new types of automated content intelligence tools and their adoption for eDiscovery. From my perspective, however, I’m happy to see AIIM again recognizing the importance of eDiscovery within the information management spectrum.
The report defines eDiscovery tools as “search tools which analyze content for its likely relevancy to litigation by, for example, linking names, time periods, and terms used. May also extend to legal hold and partitioning of content for further scrutiny.” This is a fairly over-simplified definition because there is so much to eDiscovery, but let’s put that aside for now as the definition it does work for the context of the report. The way to think of eDiscovery tools within this report is as tools for corporations to reduce the cost of collecting, preserving, and quickly assessing information in response to investigations. With that as the background, here are the interesting numbers for the eDiscovery market:
- Almost 90% of the respondents are aware of and know about eDiscovery. That is more than any other topic surveyed including digital asset management, web analytics, faceted search, text analytics, and copyright detection.
- Despite knowing what eDiscovery is, only about 40% have adopted use of eDiscovery tools. This should get to over 60% within the next 18 months, which is good news for the vendors in our market.
- Most organizations plan to spend at least the same or more in the coming 12 months on eDiscovery applications. Again, good news for the vendors in our market.
Personally, I would love to see more reports about the use of new, innovated content analytics tools within eDiscovery projects. Of course, with the need for rules, case law, and more general eDiscovery maturity at end-user organizations, that progress will come slowly. But, there is progress – and that is encouraging. Give the AIIM report a read. If you are interested in information management, it will be good food for thought.