Corporate Legal Ediscovery Innovation Report Highlights In-House Momentum Toward Cloud

In-house legal departments have increasingly been a catalyst of change in the legal industry. And when it comes to adopting cloud-based ediscovery technologies, they continue to embrace that role. 

Their status as leaders in cloud adoption emerged from candid insights shared by nearly 200 legal professionals across law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and legal services providers in a survey by Everlaw and the Association of Certified Ediscovery Specialists. 

Not only did the survey show corporate legal professionals to be more likely than their Big Law and public sector counterparts to believe that cloud-based tools are the baseline approach to ediscovery, many have already rolled out cloud technology within their organizations and are managing it in-house.

Given the pressures in-house legal professionals are facing and the benefits of modern technologies – such as speed, scalability, and rapid innovation – the willingness to upgrade to the cloud is not surprising. Working in small teams with tight budgets, corporate legal professionals are challenged to stay ahead of ballooning data sets and complex new file types. Despite lingering concerns about certain facets of cloud technology, such as misperceptions about data security, growing numbers view cloud-based ediscovery tools as critical to scaling operations and reducing costs. 

Our “2022 Ediscovery Innovation Report: Corporate Legal,” which distilled insights from the survey responses of corporate legal professionals on their ediscovery technology, challenges, and successes, paints a picture of in-house legal teams as increasingly ready to leave outmoded discovery tools and processes behind. 

 

Adoption Levels Underscore Growing Trust in Cloud Ediscovery

A number of insights emerged from survey respondents about shifting attitudes and practices surrounding ediscovery technology in the corporate legal sector. 

The highlights include:

 

In-house legal teams view the cloud as standard today 

A majority of corporate in-house respondents said they believed the cloud is the modern way to approach ediscovery, with 63% reporting that they already consider cloud-based ediscovery the norm today. 

Corporate respondents were nearly twice as likely as survey respondents in both Big Law firms and public sector organizations to view the cloud as the new baseline today. And 35% of corporate in-house lawyers reported that the cloud will become the standard in the next year or two, underscoring the momentum behind the shift to the cloud.

Graph showing corporate legal as most likely to say that cloud-based ediscovery "is already the norm"

 

Cost considerations continue to drive discovery work in-house

With data volumes skyrocketing and lean legal teams doing more with less on tighter budgets, corporate legal departments are leaning into cloud technologies to help them scale their operations, reduce overall litigation spend, and accomplish more with less.

Not only are corporate legal departments increasingly moving ediscovery to the cloud, more also plan to handle the process in-house. 

A majority of respondents (56%) said they would bring more work in-house to rein in ediscovery costs. In fact, 44% said that they would do so within the next two years. 

 

Graph showing corporate legal strategies for handling ediscovery workloads

 

Cloud connectors are worth the investment

Data collection and handling are a core part of in-house teams’ ediscovery responsibilities – all corporate legal team respondents said they managed data collection in-house, and most also handle data culling and processing internally. 

Among the biggest ediscovery challenges for corporate legal professionals are collecting and delivering ESI and handling new or complex file types. 

An overwhelming majority of respondents (80%) named cloud connectors to data sources as the #1 capability that they are willing to pay extra for to help streamline data collection and handling. 

 

Graph showing corporate legal's willingness to pay for ediscovery features

 

Security, a key cloud advantage, remains a stumbling block for some 

Safeguarding data ranks among the most important capabilities in an ediscovery solution for corporate legal teams, yet more than 40% of respondents believe that a key challenge of cloud-based ediscovery tools is the ability to keep data secure and private. This is despite the fact that many are using less secure channels, such as file sharing via email or shared drives.

Many cloud technology adopters are in fact seeing significant advantages over those who are still using legacy software, including cost savings, speed and scalability, and data security. Learn more about the stark contrast between those who have modernized their discovery processes and those who remain with legacy systems in the “2022 Leaders & Laggards Ediscovery Innovation Report.”

 

The Future Points to the Cloud for Corporate Legal

Across all the responses shared as part of the 2022 Ediscovery Innovation survey, one thing is clear: cloud-based ediscovery is increasingly becoming standard practice and adopters are seeing significant advantages.

The choice between a cloud or on-premises ediscovery solution can have a consequential impact on an entire legal organization, affecting everything from deployment, costs, efficiency, and future viability. Embracing the cloud and moving more matters in-house offer tangible benefits for corporate departments: more control over budgets and workflows, increased team bandwidth and collaboration, and an enhanced ability to drive change within an organization. 

Secure in their position as the legal industry’s leaders in cloud technology adoption, corporate legal professionals view the cloud as the future – and are increasingly adopting it today. 

 

Download your copy of the 2022 Ediscovery Innovation Report: Corporate Legal” edition for more insights.