A Splash of Optimism? Spring 2021 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

This is the twenty-second quarterly eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey conducted by ComplexDiscovery. It is also the fifth time the survey has been conducted during the current pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter life as we know it. It also continues to alter the business landscape of everyone in the eDiscovery ecosystem. 2,432 individual responses have been received from legal, business, and technology professionals across the eDiscovery ecosystem since the inception of the survey. 100 respondents shared their splashingly optimistic opinions as part of the most recent survey.

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Content Assessment: A Splash of Optimism? Spring 2021 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

Information - 95%
Insight - 95%
Relevance - 100%
Objectivity - 95%
Authority - 95%

96%

Excellent

A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the recent post highlighting results from the Spring 2021 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey.

Editor’s Note: The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a non-scientific quarterly survey that shares insight into the business confidence of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey consists of nine core questions on factors related to the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. Additionally, the survey contains three optional questions focused on the business operational metrics of days sales outstanding (DSO), monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and customer revenue distribution. Administered for the twenty-second time in the spring of 2021, the survey has been conducted five times during the current COVID-19 crisis.

The Spring 2021 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

The spring 2021 survey response period was initiated on March 28, 2021, and continued until April 11, 2021. This quarter’s survey experienced a solid response rate with 100 eDiscovery professionals sharing their opinions on the business of eDiscovery.

While individual answers to the survey are confidential, the aggregate and unfiltered results are published to highlight the business confidence of participants regarding economic factors impacting the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services during the spring of 2021. These results may be useful to legal, information technology, and business professionals seeking to better understand current and potential future business conditions as shared by survey participants.


Business Confidence Questions (Required)

n = 100 Respondents

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

  • Software or Services Provider – 37.0% (28.3% in Winter 2021)
  • Law Firm – 25.0% (41.7% in Winter 2021)
  • Consultancy – 16.0% (13.3% in Winter 2021)
  • Corporation – 9.0% (5.0%  in Winter 2021)
  • Governmental Entity – 8.0% (5.0% in Winter 2021))
  • Media/Research Organization – 3.0% (5.0% in Winter 2021)
  • Other – 2.0% (1.7% in Winter 2021)
1 – Survey Respondents by Organizational Segment – Spring 2021

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 – 57.0% (43.3% in Winter 2021)
  • Normal – 35.0% (41.7% in Winter 2021)
  • Bad – 8.0% (15.0% in Winter 2021)
2 – Current Business Climate Overview – Spring 2021

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 – 60.0% (50.0% in Winter 2021)
  • Same – 37.0% (45.0% in Winter 2021)
  • Worse – 3.0% (5.0% in Winter 2021)
3 – Business Climate Overview + Six Months – Spring 2021

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 – 52.0% (51.7% in Winter 2021)
  • Same – 40.0% (35.0% in Winter 2021)
  • Lower – 8.0% (13.3% in Winter 2021)
4 – Revenue Overview + Six Months – Spring 2021

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 – 44.0% (41.7% in Winter 2021)
  • Same – 43.0% (43.3% in Winter 2021)
  • Lower – 13.0% (15.0% in Winter 2021)
5 – Profits Overview + Six Months- Spring 2021

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 – 25.0% (43.3% in Winter 2021)
  • Increasing Types of Data – 22.0% (16.7% in Winter 2021)
  • Increasing Volumes of Data – 19.0% (18.3% in Winter 2021)
  • Data Security – 14.0% (13.3% in Winter 2021)
  • Lack of Personnel – 11.0% (5.0% in Winter 2021)
  • Inadequate Technology – 9.0% (3.3% in Winter 2021)
6 – Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance – Spring 2021

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) – 94.0% (86.7% in Winter 2021)
  • North America (Canada) – 2.0% (5.0% in Winter 2021)
  • Europe (UK) – 2.0% (3.3% in Winter 2021)
  • Europe (Non-UK) – 1.0% (3.3% in Winter 2021)
  • Middle East/Africa – 1.0% (0.0% in Winter 2021)
  • Asia/Asia Pacific – 0.0% (1.7% in Winter 2021)
  • Central/South America – 0.0% (0.0% in Winter 2021)
7 – Survey Respondents by Geographic Region – Spring 2021

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

  • Legal/Litigation Support – 72.0% (75.0% in Winter 2021)
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions) – 22.0% (21.7% in Winter 2021)
  • IT/Product Development – 6.0% (3.3% in Winter 2021)
8 – Survey Respondents by Primary Function – Spring 2021

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

  • Executive Leadership – 31.0% (45.0% in Winter 2021)
  • Operational Management – 39.0% (36.7% in Winter 2021)
  • Tactical Execution – 30.0% (18.3% in Winter 2021)
9 – Survey Respondents by Level of Support – Spring 2021

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=93 Respondents

  • Increasing – 22.6% (31.5% in Winter 2021)
  • Unfluctuating – 22.6% (29.6% in Winter 2021)
  • Decreasing – 9.7% (9.3% in Winter 2021)
  • Do Not Know – 45.2% (29.6% in Winter 2021)
10 – eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory_ Days Sales Outstanding – Spring 2021

11. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) during the last quarter?
n=93 Respondents

  • Increasing – 33.3% (29.6% in Winter 2021)
  • Unfluctuating – 23.7% (31.5% in Winter 2021)
  • Decreasing – 10.8% (11.1% in Winter 2021)
  • Do Not Know – 32.3% (27.8% in Winter 2021)
11 – eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory_ Monthly Recurring Revenue – Spring 2021

12. Which of the following statements best describes the distribution of your organization’s revenue across your customer base during the last quarter?
n=93 Respondents

  • Increasing – 33.3% (31.5% in Winter 2021)
  • Unfluctuating – 25.8% (31.5% in Winter 2021)
  • Decreasing – 6.5% (13.0% in Winter 2021)
  • Do Not Know – 34.4% (24.1% in Winter 2021)
12 – eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory_ Distribution of Revenue Across Customer Base – Spring 2021

Past Survey Results

0 – Survey Respondents (Individual and Aggregate Overview) – Spring 2021

Source: ComplexDiscovery

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ComplexDiscovery is an online publication that highlights data and legal discovery insight and intelligence ranging from original research to aggregated news for use by business, information technology, and legal professionals. The highly targeted publication seeks to increase the collective understanding of readers regarding data and legal discovery information and issues and to provide an objective resource for considering trends, technologies, and services related to electronically stored information.

ComplexDiscovery OÜ is a technology marketing firm providing strategic planning and tactical execution expertise in support of data and legal discovery organizations. Registered as a private limited company in the European Union country of Estonia, one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world, ComplexDiscovery OÜ operates virtually worldwide to deliver marketing consulting and services.

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