The Glass is Half Full | eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results – Fall 2018

This is the twelfth quarterly eDiscovery business confidence survey conducted by ComplexDiscovery. More than 1,100 individual responses have been received from legal, business, and technology professionals across the eDiscovery ecosystem in the course of the last three years and 85 respondents shared their opinions as part of the fall 2018 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 multiple choice questions focused on factors related to the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. Additionally, in the fall of 2018 three new questions were added to determine 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 twelve times with 1,193 individual responses.

Fall 2018 Survey Results

The fall 2018 survey response period was initiated on October 14, 2018, and continued until registration of 85 responses (October 26, 2018). This limiting of responders is reflective of an adjusted survey participant listing based on GDPR implementation by ComplexDiscovery and sensitivity to the increasing number of industry surveys.

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 fall of 2018.


Business Confidence Questions (Required)

n = 85 Respondents

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

  • Consultancy – 17.6%
  • Software and/or Services Provider – 37.6%
  • Law Firm – 35.3%
  • Corporation – 1.2%
  • Other – 3.5%
  • Governmental Entity – 4.7%
  • Media/Research Organization – 0%
Fall 2018 Survey Respondents by Organization

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 – 62.4%
  • Normal – 34.1%
  • Bad – 3.5%
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 – 44.7%
  • Same – 51.8%
  • Worse – 3.5%
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 – 57.6%
  • Same – 36.5%
  • Lower – 5.9%
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 – 41.2%
  • Same – 45.9%
  • Lower – 12.9%
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 – 14.1%
  • Increasing Volumes of Data – 18.8%
  • Data Security – 15.3%
  • Increasing Types of Data – 20%
  • Lack of Personnel – 17.6%
  • Inadequate Technology – 14.1%
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) – 80%
  • Asia/Asia Pacific – 4.7%
  • Europe (UK) – 4.7%
  • North America (Canada) – 8.2%
  • Europe (Non-UK) – 2.4%
  • Central/South America – 0%
  • Middle East/Africa – 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 – 76.5%
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions) – 17.6%
  • IT/Product Development – 5.9%
Fall 2018 Survey Respondent Function

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

  • Executive Leadership – 41.2%
  • Operational Management – 30.6%
  • Tactical Execution – 28.2%
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=78 Respondents

  • Increasing – 17.9%
  • Unfluctuating – 33.3%
  • Decreasing – 7.7%
  • Do Not Know – 41%
Fall 2018 Survey DSO

11. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) during the last quarter?
n=77 Respondents

  • Increasing – 39%
  • Unfluctuating – 23.4%
  • Decreasing – 3.9%
  • Do Not Know – 33.8%
Fall 2018 Survey MRR

12. Which of the following statements best describes the distribution of your organization’s revenue across your customer base during the last quarter?
n=77 Respondents

  • Increasing – 42.9%
  • Unfluctuating – 24.7%
  • Decreasing – 5.2%
  • Do Not Know – 27.3%
Fall 2018 Survey Revenue Distribution

eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Meta Results

Provided below for review and download is a high-level PDF highlighting all previous survey responses since the initiation of the survey in January of 2016.

eDiscovery-Business-Confidence-Survey-Meta-Results-102718-Final

 Past Survey Results

Source: Original Research

Have a Request?

If you have information or offering requests that you would like to ask us about, please let us know and we will make our response to you a priority.

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.

Business as Unusual? Eighteen Observations on eDiscovery Business Confidence in the Summer of 2020

The results of the recent Summer 2020 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey present the unfortunate and continuing impact of COVID-19 on the business of eDiscovery. However, for these pandemic-driven results to be fully understood, they should be viewed through the contextual lens of the results of all nineteen surveys that have been administered to eDiscovery professionals since the inception of the eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey in early 2016.



Check Out the Observations Now!

Interested in Contributing?

ComplexDiscovery combines original industry research with curated expert articles to create an informational resource that helps legal, business, and information technology professionals better understand the business and practice of data discovery and legal discovery.

All contributions are invested to support the development and distribution of ComplexDiscovery content. Contributors can make as many article contributions as they like, but will not be asked to register and pay until their contribution reaches $5.

Five Great Reads on eDiscovery for September 2020

From cloud forensics and cyber defense to social media and surveys,...

Time for a Change? FTC Proposes Changes to HSR Act Premerger Notification Rules

The Federal Trade Commission, with the support of the Department of...

An eDiscovery Holiday Season Down Under? Macquarie Prepares Nuix for IPO

According to John Beveridge, writing for Small Caps, Macquarie holds a...

Collaborative Cyber Defense: The U.S. Army and Estonia Sign Historic Agreement

“Estonia is a cyber country of excellence with a robust cyber...

A Running List: Top 100+ eDiscovery Providers

Based on a compilation of research from analyst firms and industry...

The eDisclosure Systems Buyers Guide – 2020 Edition (Andrew Haslam)

Authored by industry expert Andrew Haslam, the eDisclosure Buyers Guide continues...

The Race to the Starting Line? Recent Secure Remote Review Announcements

Not all secure remote review offerings are equal as the apparent...

Enabling Remote eDiscovery? A Snapshot of DaaS

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) providers are becoming important contributors to...

Home or Away? New eDiscovery Collection Market Sizing and Pricing Considerations

One of the key home (onsite) or away (remote) decisions that...

Revisions and Decisions? New Considerations for eDiscovery Secure Remote Reviews

One of the key revision and decision areas that business, legal,...

A Macro Look at Past and Projected eDiscovery Market Size from 2012 to 2024

From a macro look at past estimations of eDiscovery market size...

An eDiscovery Market Size Mashup: 2019-2024 Worldwide Software and Services Overview

While the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for worldwide eDiscovery software...

Festive or Restive? The Fall 2020 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey

Since January 2016, 2,189 individual responses to nineteen quarterly eDiscovery Business...

Casting a Wider Net? Predictive Coding Technologies and Protocols Survey – Fall 2020 Results

The Predictive Coding Technologies and Protocols Survey is a non-scientific semi-annual...

Business as Unusual? Eighteen Observations on eDiscovery Business Confidence in the Summer of 2020

Based on the aggregate results of nineteen past eDiscovery Business Confidence...

A Growing Concern? Budgetary Constraints and the Business of eDiscovery

In the summer of 2020, 56% of respondents viewed budgetary constraints...

An eDiscovery Holiday Season Down Under? Macquarie Prepares Nuix for IPO

According to John Beveridge, writing for Small Caps, Macquarie holds a...

ayfie to Acquire Haive

According to Johannes Stiehler, CEO of ayfie Group AS, “This acquisition...

Innovative Discovery and Integro Merge

“Integro and Innovative Discovery’s services and solutions are highly complementary. Our...

Software Growth Partners Makes Majority Investment in Venio Systems

According to the press announcement, industry analysts have enthusiastically supported this...

Five Great Reads on eDiscovery for September 2020

From cloud forensics and cyber defense to social media and surveys,...

Five Great Reads on eDiscovery for August 2020

From predictive coding and artificial intelligence to antitrust investigations and malware,...

Five Great Reads on eDiscovery for July 2020

From business confidence and operational metrics to data protection and privacy...

Five Great Reads on eDiscovery for June 2020

From collection market size updates to cloud outsourcing guidelines, the June...