A Chill in the Air: eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results – Winter 2019

This is the thirteenth quarterly eDiscovery business confidence survey conducted by ComplexDiscovery. More than 1,265 individual responses have been received from legal, business, and technology professionals across the eDiscovery ecosystem since the inception of the survey and 75 respondents shared their opinions as part of the winter 2019 survey.

The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey

The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a non-scientific quarterly survey designed to provide insight into the business confidence level of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey consists of nine core multiple choice questions focused on factors related to the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. Additionally, the survey contains three optional questions focused on responder sentiment regarding the business operational metrics of days sales outstanding (DSO), monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and revenue distribution across customer bases. The survey is open to legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem and individuals are invited to participate by ComplexDiscovery primarily via direct email invitations.

Initiated in January 2016, to date the survey has been administered thirteen times with 1,268 individual responses.

Winter 2019 Survey Results

The winter 2019 survey response period was initiated on December 27, 2018, and continued until registration of 75 responses (January 10, 2019).

While individual answers to the survey are confidential, the aggregate results are published without commentary below to highlight the business confidence level of participants regarding economic factors impacting the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services during the winter of 2019.


Business Confidence Questions (Required)

n = 75 Respondents

1. Which of the following segments best describes your business in eDiscovery?
Part of the eDiscovery ecosystem where your organization resides.

  • Software and/or Services Provider – 29.3%
  • Law Firm – 29.3%
  • Consultancy – 22.7%
  • Corporation – 10.7%
  • Governmental Entity – 5.3%
  • Other – 2.7%
  • Media/Research Organization – 0%
Survey Respondents by Organizational Segment

2. How would you rate the current general business conditions for eDiscovery in your segment?
Subjective feeling of business performance when compared with business expectations.

  • Good – 53.3%
  • Normal – 36.0%
  • Bad – 10.7%
Current Business Climate Overview

3. How do you think the business conditions will be in your segment six months from now?
Subjective feeling of business performance when compared with business expectations.

  • Better – 52.0%
  • Same – 44.0%
  • Worse – 4.0%
Business Climate Overview + Six Months

4. How would you guess revenue in your segment of the eDiscovery ecosystem will be six months from now?
Revenue is income generated from eDiscovery-related business activities.

  • Higher – 41.3%
  • Same – 50.7%
  • Lower – 8.0%
Revenue Overview + Six Months

5. How would you guess profits in your segment of the eDiscovery ecosystem will be six months from now?
Profit is the amount of income remaining after accounting for all expenses, debts, additional revenue streams, and operating costs.

  • Higher – 28.0%
  • Same – 65.3%
  • Lower – 6.7%
Profits Overview + Six Months

6. Of the six items presented below, what is the issue that you feel will most impact the business of eDiscovery over the next six months?
Challenges that may directly impact the business performance of your organization.

  • Budgetary Constraints – 22.7%
  • Increasing Volumes of Data – 21.3%
  • Increasing Types of Data – 18.7%
  • Inadequate Technology – 13.3%
  • Lack of Personnel – 12.0%
  • Data Security – 12.0%
Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance

7. In which geographical region do you primarily conduct eDiscovery-related business?
The location from which you are basing your business assessments.

  • North America (United States) – 88%
  • Europe (UK) – 5.3%
  • North America (Canada) – 4.0%
  • Europe (Non-UK) – 1.3%
  • Central/South America – 1.3%
  • Middle East/Africa – 0%
  • Asia/Asia Pacific – 0.0%
Survey Respondents by Geographic Region

8. What are best describes your primary function in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery-related business?

  • Legal/Litigation Support – 73.3%
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions) – 17.3%
  • IT/Product Development – 9.3%
Survey Respondents by Primary Function

9. What are best describes your level of support in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery-related business?

  • Executive Leadership – 33.3%
  • Operational Management – 33.3%
  • Tactical Execution – 33.3%
Survey Respondents by Level of Support

Business Metric Trajectory Questions (Optional)

10. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) during the last quarter?
n=68 Respondents

  • Increasing – 10.3%
  • Unfluctuating – 26.5%
  • Decreasing – 17.6%
  • Do Not Know – 45.6%
DSO Metric

11. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) during the last quarter?
n=69 Respondents

  • Increasing – 31.9%
  • Unfluctuating – 17.4%
  • Decreasing – 5.8%
  • Do Not Know – 44.9%
MRR Metric

12. Which of the following statements best describes the distribution of your organization’s revenue across your customer base during the last quarter?
n=69 Respondents

  • Increasing – 34.8%
  • Unfluctuating – 15.9%
  • Decreasing – 4.3%
  • Do Not Know – 44.9%
Distribution Metric

 Past Survey Results

Source: Original Research