Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Barry Murphy. Published: 2012-12-18 04:00:37Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. A pet peeve is a minor annoyance and anyone in an industry long enough will develop enough pet peeves to last a lifetime.  Some pet peeves represent harmless cynicism, while others may be indicative of a bigger problem.  Which is why when one person’s pet peeve becomes a whole industry’s pet peeve, change is inevitable.

At eDJ Group, we thought it would be fun to gather the pet peeves that collectively bothered our analysts in 2012 with the hopes that 2013 will show some improvement.

  • Pricing Confusion.  Service provider pricing models remain hard to understand and very difficult to use in vendor comparisons.  While this is a minor annoyance for analysts, it is a bigger problem for the market because it frustrates customers with a lack of transparency and consistency.  As customers become more experienced consumers, they will demand more apples-to-apples price comparisons, which many vendors seem reluctant to provide.  Those that hide behind complex pricing may be at a competitive disadvantage as customers become more savvy in the purchasing processes.
  • Easy Button.  Anyone who has worked in eDiscovery knows that it is not easy, no matter what kind of technology is applied to the process.  Any solution provider that promises to make eDiscovery easy is at risk of insulting the customer.  Increasingly, eDiscovery professionals are suspicious of that kind of marketing message – and so are we at eDJ.
  • Content management solutions that only manage to under-deliver and blow the budget.  Too often, these platforms promise automatic classification and reductions in overall information retention. In reality, the systems seem to dramatically increase retention of content and most rely on user designation or an entire new team to constantly tune the filtering system.  Granted, companies need to become more mature in IG practices, but the systems that make the solution seem too easy really get under our skin.
  • “360” We all love buzz-words and the Technology and eDiscovery communities are no exception.  But, when something becomes the linguistic flavor of the month and gets used ad nauseum in software names and marketing copy, it quickly becomes meaningless.  This year’s meaningless term is “360”.  It’s began as a quick way to say something was looking at an issue from all of the angles, but now it’s just useless because it is overused.
  • e-discovery vs eDiscovery and metadata vs meta data.  Too often, our industry gets caught up in semantic debates; just think of TAR, CAR, predictive coding, etc.  With e-discovery versus eDiscovery and meta data versus metadata, however, we should be able to get an industry consensus.  At eDJ, we use eDiscovery and metadata.  We welcome you to join us.
  • Professional organizations that treat eDiscovery professionals who work for vendors as personae non gratae.  We get it – eDiscovery vendors have something to sell.  It is very difficult for someone who works at a vendor to come off as unbiased.  The community should realize that a lot of eDiscovery expertise exists within vendor organizations; after all, these vendors are involved in eDiscovery projects daily.  Organizations that exclude vendors do so at the risk of losing some valuable perspective.  It is important to recognize the potential bias that a vendor employee might have, but do so without excluding that employee from contributing to an organization and to the community.  We have been to many events where vendor employees participate with valuable insights without giving a sales pitch.
  • The “Silver Bullet”.  Whether it is ECA, predictive coding or The Cloud, each year there seems to be some new technology that promises to make eDiscovery easier and cheaper.  Buyers always seem to want it even though they don’t know what it does or how it works.  This leads to disappointment with an application that can’t possibly meet the client’s pumped-up expectations and to frustration with the whole idea of discovery technology.  A second aspect of the silver bullet effect is attorneys who complain that they don’t get to do any old fashioned lawyering anymore but still want the next silver bullet solution, but then don’t want to do the “lawyering” that would train the tool to be effective.  Something tells us this cycle will not end in 2013.

eDiscoveryJournal Contributor and eDJ Group Lead Analyst – Barry Murphy


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