Cloud computing is a hot topic. The cloud’s ability to provide solutions that are lower cost and simpler to manage just cannot be ignored. Our recent SaaS survey showed that approximately 75% of respondents are leaning toward SaaS or hybrid on-premise/SaaS solutions for eDiscovery. Craig Ball recently put out a very interesting article about how running eDiscovery technology in the cloud will be more efficient. Craig goes so far as to say, “cloud computing makes collection unnecessary.”
Certainly, if every single organization in the world suddenly decided to store all information in the cloud, collection would become unnecessary. However, we need to be pragmatic, especially in the eDiscovery industry. There is no arguing that “the cloud” is a juggernaut and that most organizations will utilize it in some way. But to think that on-premise storage will go away any time soon is shortsighted. We’ve got the data to back this up. We are in the midst of a survey about the cloud and eDiscovery. To date, we’ve gotten 164 respondents and the results paint a picture that clearly contrast near-term realities with long-term trends. The long-term trend is that cloud computing will gain more and more traction. As that happens, the need for on-premise eDiscovery tools could diminish. In the short-term, however, eDiscovery professionals need tools for collection and preservation of content where it lives now. And the location of data now is very much on premise.
According to our research, the dominant places that users store data today is on their local machines or network file shares.
Clearly, there is a huge need for on-premise collection tools. Currently, about 43% of respondents claim to be proactively storing information in cloud-based solutions. On-premise won’t be going away any time soon. First, organizations would have to buy into the cloud 100%. No matter how much it might make sense, that won’t happen. For every CIO I meet that loves the cloud, I meet two that are wary of it. Second, organizations would need to essentially turn off local access to data; not going to happen. There is no stopping the cloud, but we must be pragmatic and realize that mix of on-premise and cloud-based solutions is our reality for the foreseeable future.
As analysts, we are always interested hearing from the people working on these issues. Take our survey to give us feedback on your opinions on ESI and the Cloud here and maybe you’ll win a Kindle Fire. Feel free to email or comment below on your thoughts as well.