2014 Ediscovery Trends: Survey Results
With about six weeks remaining in the year, let the “2014 reflections” bombardment begin! You know what I am talking about — the close of the calendar year prompts oodles of nostalgic news stories recalling the biggest events of the year. Okay, I will admit it…about this time last year, I willingly clicked on Google’s Top Ten Trending Stories of 2013 and BuzzFeed’s The 27 Movies We Loved in 2013. There is just something about this time of year that makes us want to ponder the past.
So, wholeheartedly jumping in to the “year in review” spirit, Kroll Ontrack surveyed over 550 law firm and corporate ediscovery professionals to gauge the biggest trends and impacts in ediscovery in 2014. This was a great year for the world of ediscovery, and now is the perfect time to share some of the interesting 2014 trends with all of you. To see the full set of ediscovery trends, please download the “2014 Ediscovery Trends: Industry Survey Results” guide.
Security is a Foremost Concern
The trends show that nearly two-thirds of respondents considered security in some way. While only 8% hired an outside security consultant, 31.5% at least held internal discussions to reaffirm security protocol, and a healthy 22.9% made changes to security infrastructure. However, 37.6% of survey respondents indicated that security had no impact on ediscovery practices in 2014. Big Data has brought big security risks in litigation, and security is likely to become an even bigger issue in the future.
Predictive Coding on the Rise
Big Data is expanding, but technology has allowed tech-savvy litigants to keep pace. In 2014, law firms and corporations emphatically embraced predictive coding, with 40% of law firms and corporations reporting participation in at least one matter that involved the technology. The benefits of predictive coding are clear: it cuts costs and increases efficiency. While the majority of law firms and corporations combined still seem to have avoided predictive coding in 2014, we can expect this number to shrink as more and more litigants turn to reliable predictive coding technology to curb the ever-increasing costs of the ediscovery process.
New Forms of ESI: Social Media, BYOD and IoT
The growth and proliferation of social media and personal devices spawned new collection sources for ediscovery matters in 2014. In fact, over 50 percent of law firms and corporations reported that they were involved in a matter that used social media data. Similarly, 58 percent of survey respondents reported that they had at least one ediscovery matter involving personal devices (BYOD), and 26 percent said BYOD devices played a role in three or more ediscovery matters in 2014.
Further, Internet of Things (IoT) data is likely to be a growing source of new litigation data within the next decade, with 29 percent of respondents preparing for its impact on ediscovery. Thirty-eight percent reported they have made no preparations for IoT and 33 percent have never heard of the IoT.
What will 2015 hold for ediscovery? Better visibility into cybersecurity practices? Greater focus on information governance practices? Increased adoption of predictive coding? When asked what ediscovery topic will take center stage in 2015, 26 percent of respondents cited information governance practices, with an equal percentage (26%) noting improved use of analytics to deal with growing demands to preserve and process data.