Every 18 to 24 months, IDC surveys the IT executives (from the most litigious industries), who are involved in their organization's eDiscovery and compliance programs, on the business trends and technology priorities impacting these projects. The IDC survey notes that the average volume of electronically stored information (ESI) collected per matter continues to rise. In the 2010 survey, 37% of the respondents reported an average collection volume of at least 2.5TB in 2009, that's a 19-point increase from the prior year's panel.
The 7th Fulbright & Jaworski Litigation Trends Survey was released in Early October. This annual report canvasses the General Counsel of corporations in the United States and the U.K. on the developments influencing the costs, technology investments and priorities, and drivers around litigation and regulatory investigations. This year's results note that after reporting declines in litigation filings in 2006 and 2007, suits started to rise in 2008 and 2009. This upward trajectory continued in 2010, with more than a quarter of the panel indicating expectations of increases in disputes in the next 12 months.
The combination of increasing litigation volumes, rising ESI collection volumes per matter, and budget constraints are underpinning an interest in early case assessment applications (ECA). Majority in the technology vendor community are hyping up ECA as the magic bullet that would contain runaway eDiscovery costs. As a result, there is a lot of confusion between ECA as a technology product, and ECA as a process, especially as more and more vendors slap-on the ECA marketing sticker on their applications.
IDC offers the following advice for individuals who suddenly find themselves responsible for creating the shortlist and for selecting the technology solutions supporting their organization's eDiscovery and compliance programs:
First of all, keep in mind that eDiscovery is a non-linear, iterative, highly complex process chain. The efficacy and efficiency of an organization's eDiscovery program is dependent on the state of its information management, compliance, storage and archiving, and information security practices. Think of these activities as critical nodes in the information supply chain. There are many interrelated and dynamic moving parts. eDiscovery requires the integration of technical processes and the migration of data across multiple applications, within and across the corporate firewalls. It is nearly impossible for one application to handle the entire eDiscovery alone. The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM.net) provides a good starting point for understanding the critical activities and core capabilities to execute one's eDiscovery obligations.
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By: Vivian Tero