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Three Current Ediscovery Trends That Are Shaping the Future

by Giulianno Lopez

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In 2022, there can be no question that ediscovery has transitioned to a new era. Everything changed in 2020 when teams had no choice but to adopt a remote-style working arrangement. Cloud technology became less of a nice-to-have and more of a necessity, and that’s when something interesting happened: Legal professionals started seeing the very tangible benefits of modern technology. And, with that, so changed the industry’s attitudes and opinions toward newer, innovative legal technology.

For example, a whopping 96% of legal professionals believe that cloud-based ediscovery will be the standard by 2024, making it clear the legal industry is now in a new era. The advancement of machine learning in ediscovery workflows has already shown its potential to transform ediscovery, in some cases, reducing the reviewable data sizes by upward of 80%. On top of all this, the creation of different forms of discoverable data, such as A/V files, has ballooned data sets, necessitating new strategies for efficient, effective review.

So, what does this all mean for the present of ediscovery? 

Below are a few current ediscovery trends that may predict where the legal and ediscovery industries are headed.

1. We’ll See More Legacy Solutions Discontinued, at a Higher Frequency

The recent news of IPRO sunsetting Eclipse SE and Thomas Reuters shuttering eDiscovery Point should have legacy software users on high alert. With the rise of major cloud-based platforms in the market, some ediscovery players have made the prudent decision to eliminate software that simply isn’t viable in 2022. But the end users are the ones that have to deal with the most significant consequences of these decisions.

Generally, adopters of on-prem solutions have to set aside significant resources for the management and maintenance of their antiquated platforms, and when these solutions are retired, they are left with two decisions: stick with the solution without continued security or technical support or partake in the process of identifying a new solution. If you are currently leveraging an on-premise solution, now might be a good time to act proactively.

2. Our Digital Lives Are Creating More Discoverable Data

Zoom, for all its glory during the pandemic, is not doing ediscovery professionals many favors. Cloud tools used for communication, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Slack, are creating more and more discoverable data, and oftentimes managing complex data types can wreak havoc on traditional review processes. For example, A/V files are usually huge, require significant customization to be searchable, and are expensive to host. In order to effectively review these file types, automated transcription tools are needed to parse through lengthy (and rambling) conversations. And let’s not forget that mobile/app, chat, and message data types, which are taking on a more prominent role in litigation. With conversations spread over multiple tools and communication channels, tomorrow’s ediscovery professionals will need to be able to handle more data than ever and to create connections between ever-growing, highly disparate ESI sources.

3. It’s All About the Cloud

Given where the industry currently sits, cloud-based tools, even those that are not just for ediscovery use cases, have already reached mass adoption years ago. And the benefits of the cloud can not be exaggerated. 

According to our recent 2022 Ediscovery Innovation Report, legal professionals who don’t leverage cloud-based ediscovery technology experience 37% more challenges in their discovery process, compared to peers already on the cloud. As for peace of mind, the cloud brings that in spades. In the same report, on-prem adopters reported paying more at every step of the ediscovery process. If you’re not already in the cloud, maybe now would be a good time to start thinking about a change.

Where Does Ediscovery Go From Here?

We’ve seen a lot of changes these past few years, especially those surrounding the increased embrace of cloud platforms. As a result, the rest of 2022 will bring a slew of varied and increasingly essential data types, new innovations within the legal industry to address them, and further adoption of cloud-based ediscovery. The future isn’t coming; it’s already here.

For more information on current ediscovery trends and how Everlaw can turbocharge your ediscovery and narrative-building process into 2022 and beyond, request a demo today.