I recently moderated a panel at the 2016 EDI Leadership Summit with several corporate industry experts about the evolution of ediscovery. Looking back at the last year, panelists commented on a few major shifts and provided insights. For those of you who missed it, I have summarized three key takeaways below.
- People are starting to “get it.” The education gap between true ediscovery practitioners and those who happened upon ediscovery as part of merits counsel work was startling before, and, although there is still a slight gap, people are starting to spot issues and ask questions. Although there are still many days where outside counsel or a claims professional makes “interesting” ediscovery decisions, people are trending towards asking the experts.
There are several factors that are helping to drive the closing of the education gap. As electronic data continues to grow, ediscovery comes up increasingly more often. Gone are the days where it can be avoided. To address this, some states, such as California, are highlighting ediscovery knowledge as a necessity to the practice of law so that is pushing awareness. Additionally, many corporations now have in-house ediscovery experts that can be leveraged by in-house counsel as well as outside counsel.
Despite the closing of the education gap, there is still a lot of efficiency to be gained. People are asking questions but they still are not always thinking broadly enough. People have a tendency to go about their day and forget to look at the bigger picture and/or goal of the matters. People are still trying to boil the ocean, although that is starting to change. With better education, we should see people continue to shift to a more practical approach.
More can be done to improve our process and continue to close the education gap in 2017 and beyond. Continuing to normalize ediscovery, train people to think about ediscovery, and ask questions to understand goals will all go a long way in this effort.
- There is a better understanding of analytics and when to use them. For the last decade, people have touted analytics as the “easy button” without a true understanding of when/where to use them. Greater awareness has finally driven analytics to become more of a norm than ever before. Expect to see more adoption and training around analytics as we move into 2017.
- The adoption of the cloud is increasing, specifically around Office 365. The compliance center in Office 365 is something that has been talked about for the last several years but corporations clearly had reservations. Over the past year, however, the discussion has changed from a worry over cloud security to a discussion about what features corporations can expect when going to the cloud. In 2017, with the integration of the predictive coding technology into the Office 365 Legal and Compliance Center, corporations can expect to have a lot more data reduction power available within their environments before needing to send the data to a third party.
The panel concluded with the panelists sharing their predictions for 2017, but I am interested in hearing what you predict will be the biggest change in the ediscovery landscape in 2017. Take this short survey and share your thoughts.
If you would like to discuss this topic further or have questions, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.