Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2014-12-28 19:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

New Years and the rising tide of LTNY briefing requests tell me that it is a good time to look back at 2014. The year included a complete transformation of the eDJ Group from a niche market analyst team into a much smaller strategic consulting team. Mikki and I continue to conduct independent market research, but it is now driven by active client engagements and requests. I at least wanted to comment on several themes from my 2014 market overview decks. Most of these were created for corporate, VC or provider clients trying to better understand the rapidly changing market drivers.

Impact Trends of 2014:

Cloud Migration – Almost every eDJ corporate client is either evaluating or actively migrating communications and content to MS Office 365 or other cloud repository. CIOs are convinced that $8/user/month is just too cheap to pass up. This trend has kept us busy with solution designs to fill the cracks in the MSFT eDiscovery Center or administrative functionality as IT departments push to phase out on-premise Exchange and SharePoint farms for unlimited storage in the cloud.

Mobile Workforce – BYOD, virtual desktops and a host of new cloud apps now create unique and critical ESI on smart phones, tablets and other user owned devices. While many counsel would prefer to pretend that mobile devices are not relevant to discovery obligations, it takes strong policy and technology controls to minimize the potential risk and cost of these new data repositories.

Analytics/PC-TAR – Understanding the analytics market was my major research project for 2014 and I hope that you have taken an eDJ poll so that you can download the research report. I was surprised at the disconnect between the providers marketing predictive coding review and the consumers who were much more comfortable with analytics used in processing/organizing collections prior to review. The analytics market is strong, but my impression is that many providers are chasing a tiny number of cases on the cutting edge of discovery review.

Market Consolidation/Splits – 2014 saw national service providers gobbling up regional boutique shops for their customers. This consolidation in the EDD services market has accelerated through 2013 and 2014, leaving a much smaller set of truly ‘global’ providers that may be worth a separate eDJ Matrix category. In contrast, giant technology companies seem to be splitting up left and right. HP, Symantec, eBay and other software giant with wildly diverse product portfolios have discovered how hard the blue sky ‘solution’ sale can be. I am watching IBM, Epiq and Kroll to see if they are next on the ‘smaller is better’ list. Other eDiscovery and Info Gov technology providers like Recommind have transformed themselves into SaaS providers.

Information Governance – Came in like a lion at LTNY 2014, but no one really seems to buy ‘IG’. Instead, eDJ saw shorter term practical initiatives like defensible deletion, smart migrations, tape elimination and other projects with clear ROI being funded and pushed. Despite delivering several ‘What is IG?’ stakeholder sessions to global corporations this year, I still see the path to IG maturity being paved with small, smart steps instead of big technology platform leaps.

2014 brought a lot of challenges and changes to the eDiscovery market. I hope that caselaw, regulators and consumers can start to clear the muddy waters in 2015 as we watch the slow integration of eDiscovery functionality into basic enterprise and cloud platforms.


Greg Buckles can be reached at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com for offline comment, questions or consulting. His active research topics include analytics, mobile device discovery, the discovery impact of the cloud, Microsoft’s 2013 eDiscovery Center and multi-matter discovery. Recent consulting engagements include managing preservation during enterprise migrations, legacy tape eliminations, retention enablement and many more. Blog market perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment.

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