Cloud Computing Will Emerge as a Viable Option for eDiscovery in 2009

As a follow-up to my September 23, 2008 article titled, “Cloud Computing is Coming to eDiscovery,” it appears that Cloud Computing is beginning to gain favor with the eDiscovery crowd. 2009 will be a big year for Cloud Computing in general as analysts are predicting that that by 2011 the volume of Cloud Computing market opportunity would amount to $160bn, including $95bn in business and productivity apps (email, office, CRM, etc.) and $65bn in online advertising. Given this fact and based on what I am seeing and hearing in the eDiscovery market, I am now willing to predict that it will be one of the big litigation technology trends for 2009 in eDiscovery.

Melanie Rodier, commented in a January 23, 2009 article appearing in the Regulatory Compliance Section of the Wall Street and Technology website titled, “Cloud Computing Gives E-Discovery a Lift,” that, “With the amount of infrastructure required to support e-discovery capabilities, firms are looking to cloud computing’s utility model as a way to rein in storage and retrieval costs while improving their regulatory response. I agree with Melanie and believe that our current economic crisis that is forcing Information Technology (IT) budget cuts along with the associated and quickly emerging regulatory and compliance requirements, will prompt enterprises, who may have previously been considering an “in-house” solution, to consider Cloud Computing based eDiscovery / eCompliance solutions much more aggressively in 2009.

In a January 25 2009 Blog posting titled “E-Discovery Cloud Computing Marketplace Outlook,” Brad Jenkins states that, My prediction (and I am not alone) is that e-discovery cloud computing will make a significant impact on the EDD marketplace and how data is processed. I expect that software companies moving to a Web 2.0 platform and offering on-demand web-based solutions will gain significant market share over the next few years.”

However, not everyone is on board. I continue to hear detractors claiming that Cloud Computing is nothing more than “baked over” ASP and will never amount to anything. Or that enterprises are never going to allow their data to reside outside the firewall. And others of pointed out that “the Internet pipe” still isn’t big enough to move all the massive amounts of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) required for eDiscovery and eCompliance. And some, such as Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and creator of the GNU operating system, have resorted to name calling and says cloud computing is “stupidity” that ultimately will result in vendor lock-in and escalating costs.

Well, many once thought that the world was flat and that turned out to not be true (unless you live in Kansas). So, I am going to stand by my prediction that Cloud Computing will be a big trend in eDiscovery in 2009.

About Charles Skamser
Charles Skamser is an internationally recognized technology sales, marketing and product management leader with over 25 years of experience in Information Governance, eDiscovery, Machine Learning, Computer Assisted Analytics, Cloud Computing, Big Data Analytics, IT Automation and ITOA. Charles is the founder and Senior Analyst for eDiscovery Solutions Group, a global provider of information management consulting, market intelligence and advisory services specializing in information governance, eDiscovery, Big Data analytics and cloud computing solutions. Previously, Charles served in various executive roles with disruptive technology start ups and well known industry technology providers. Charles is a prolific author and a regular speaker on the technology that the Global 2000 require to manage the accelerating increase in Electronically Stored Information (ESI). Charles holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from Macalester College.