With the Size of the Electronic Data Discovery (EDD) Market continuing to grow at an accelerating rate (Socha Survey Results from 2007) and therefore the overall cost of EDD processing also continuing to rise, I have been investigating the markets appetite for a less expensive and more efficient EDD solution that is delivered via a Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) model.
History, EDD has been the domain of the big box service bureau that processed your data and sent you back the results. This model has been working very well for a number of years and have made several of these vendors very wealthy. And, for the most part, any lawyer with even a medium amount of ESI for any case of any size monetarily, has relied on the big providers in this market to get their work done. As the old saying goes for deciding which vendor to choose, “you are never going to loose your job for choosing IBM or in this case one of the big established service bureaus in the EDD processing space”. However, it is my opinion that the technology behind these solutions is old, required a tremendous amount of hand holding and is in need of a complete rewrite.
So, with these two alternatives firmly entrenched and the cost of EDD processing continuing to rise across the board, I have wonder what the markets appetite for a less expensive and more efficient EDD solution that is delivered via a Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) model?
After talking to hundreds of lawyers from law firms and the legal departments of their Fortune 1000 clients, I have come to the conclusion that there there is indeed an appetite for a “next generation”, less expensive and easier to use EDD solution. However, when I have posed this same question to litigation technologists and the IT departments of these same Fortune 1000 clients, I have been met with skepticism regarding the ability of the current state of technology to support a truly SaaS based EDD solution. The main concerns seem to fit into one of the following categories:
1. The physical capabilities of efficiently moving massive amounts of data over the Internet.
There is no doubt that these are all legitimate concerns that would need to be addressed by anyone planning to enter this market with a SaaS based EDD solution. However, I believe that some of the answers have already been address with the emergence of the email achieving solutions and I think that I have at least a plausible answer to the remaining questions.
I plan to post my answers over the next week. But, before I do, I would encourage feedback so that I could incorporate your answers and comments into my next post on this subject.