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Everlaw’s 2022 Ediscovery Innovation Report Reveals Leader/Laggard Divide

by Casey Sullivan

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For legal professionals today, the cloud is not just the future of ediscovery—it is increasingly the norm. But when it comes to cloud adoption, there are clear leaders and laggards, with remarkable differences between them. 

Leaders, defined as those using cloud-based ediscovery solutions managed in house, generally move faster and more efficiently than their counterparts, laggards, those using in-house, on-premises ediscovery tools. 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.

This divergence between leaders and the rest was not a foregone conclusion. Rather, it emerged organically from the candid insights shared by hundreds of legal professionals across law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and legal service providers.

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Download this report for insights from 200+ legal professionals featuring important benchmarking data on common ediscovery challenges, cost control and recovery, and technology implementation.

For Everlaw’s “2022 Ediscovery Innovation Report: Leaders & Laggards,” Everlaw and the Association of Certified Ediscovery Specialists surveyed nearly 200 legal professionals on their ediscovery technology, challenges, and successes. Those results paint a stark contrast between organizations who have already adopted the cloud and those left behind. 

The Cloud Is Where the Leaders Are

Data from the survey shows us an industry at a turning point. The days of overly complex, incredibly cumbersome discovery technology are increasingly behind us. So too, the ad-hoc, one-off approaches that have long been the norm. When it comes to ediscovery, the legal profession’s transformation to the cloud is well on its way.

Ediscovery is rapidly moving to the cloud 

An overwhelming majority of respondents say cloud-based discovery is or will soon be the norm. Further, the percentage of respondents saying cloud-based ediscovery is currently the standard has risen 66% year over year, from 29% in 2021 to 48% today. As discovery migrates to the cloud, it is also firmly established in-house, with 55% of respondents managing an in-house solution, whether cloud-based or on-prem. 

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The contrast between cloud leaders and laggards is stark

Leaders deploying cloud-based, “software as a service” solutions reported real benefits to workflow efficiency, developing predictable cost reduction models, and making use of advanced tools in the ediscovery process.

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Leaders experience fewer ediscovery challenges, particularly in key areas

Overall, laggards report 37% more challenges in their current ediscovery process than leaders. Concerns about ediscovery were lower in nine of 10 categories for respondents using the cloud compared to on-prem users, with leaders outpacing the rest, particularly in the key areas of speed, handling novel data sources, creating efficient workflows, and efficiently leveraging staff. Only when it comes to cost predictability do cloud leaders report greater challenges than the norm.

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Percentage difference from the average of all responses to the question “What are the biggest challenges with your current ediscovery process?”

Despite the Cloud Divide, Common Challenges Remain

Not all discovery challenges can be seen through the lens of leaders and laggards. Regardless of the ediscovery deployment respondents reported, managing new and complex file types and improving internal processes remain significant issues for all. But in 2022, the data is clear: not only is cloud-based ediscovery increasingly becoming standard practice, but early adopters are also seeing significant advantages, while those tied to legacy solutions continue to fall behind. 


To uncover the rest of the findings, including important benchmarking data on common ediscovery challenges, cost control and recovery, and technology implementation, download your copy of the “2022 Ediscovery Innovation Report: Leaders & Laggards” today.