Editor’s Note: This concise analysis of the Spring 2024 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey critically examines the industry’s current state and future expectations. With contributions from 81 professionals from various sectors, including cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery, the survey sheds light on the optimism, challenges, and technological advancements shaping the eDiscovery field. As these insights reveal shifts in business conditions, data management challenges, and technological integration, they offer essential guidance for industry professionals aiming to refine strategic decisions and improve operational efficiencies. This article is a key resource for anyone engaged in or affected by the rapidly evolving eDiscovery landscape.

Content Assessment: Flowering Optimism? Profiling Spring 2024 eDiscovery Business Confidence

Information - 95%
Insight - 94%
Relevance - 96%
Objectivity - 97%
Authority - 95%



A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit expressed as a percentage of positive reception of the latest quarterly eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey from ComplexDiscovery OÜ.

Background Note: The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a well-established, quarterly research initiative designed to provide insights into the state of business confidence in the eDiscovery ecosystem. Since its inception, the survey has been administered 34 times, drawing approximately 97 respondents per survey and totaling 3,300 responses in aggregate. This consistent pulse check has played a pivotal role in understanding industry sentiment, capturing trends in revenue and profit, and identifying the key challenges eDiscovery professionals face.

The Spring 2024 edition of this quarterly survey was administered between April 10 and May 13, 2024. The promotion of the survey was primarily handled through direct emails* from ComplexDiscovery, with coordinated, collaborative, and commendable communications support from the EDRM. The Legal Tech Talent NetworkeDiscovery Today, and other leading eDiscovery organizations also continued to offer generous survey awareness support. This inclusive promotion approach ensured a broad and diverse range of respondents, making the findings representative and insightful.

The Spring 2024 survey saw participation from 81 industry professionals. 

Industry Survey

Flowering Optimism? Profiling Spring 2024 eDiscovery Business Confidence

ComplexDiscovery Staff

The Spring 2024 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey, meticulously conducted by ComplexDiscovery OÜ, involved 81 participants from the interconnected realms of the cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery sectors. This in-depth survey explores the vibrant interplay between robust optimism, strategic adaptability, and the brisk pace of technological evolution that currently defines the eDiscovery landscape. Its findings provide a lens into the industry’s pulse, reflecting both current conditions and anticipations for the near future.

Demographic and Sector Insights: Software and/or service providers are the foremost participants, making up 33% of the responses. This underscores the foundational role of technology in the eDiscovery industry, where sophisticated software solutions and specialized services are essential for the efficient management and analysis of voluminous and complex data sets. Law firms, constituting 31% of the survey’s participants, emphasize the crucial interplay between legal acumen and technological tools in navigating the intricate processes of eDiscovery. Consultancies, which account for 15% of the feedback, underscore the industry’s reliance on expert guidance and operational efficiency, providing strategic insights that drive the sector forward. The survey also captures inputs from other critical sectors like corporations, government entities, and media/research organizations, illustrating a broad spectrum of stakeholders engaged in eDiscovery across various professional contexts.

Current and Future Business Conditions: The survey reveals a prevailing sentiment of optimism among industry professionals, with more than half of the participants describing current business conditions as favorable. This positive outlook is not only reflective of the current state but is also projected to either maintain or improve, with 43% of the respondents anticipating better business conditions in the next six months. Such optimistic revenue and profit expectations indicate a sector poised for growth and stability, even as it navigates the complexities of a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Challenges on the Horizon: The survey identifies increasing types and volumes of data as the paramount challenges, with approximately 53% of the respondents highlighting these as the most pressing issues. This reflects the ongoing struggle within the industry to scale processes and technologies to manage the deluge of data effectively. Budgetary constraints, noted by 21% of the respondents, and data security concerns, cited by 11%, add layers of complexity to the operational landscape, necessitating robust strategic and technological responses to overcome these hurdles.

Geographical Dominance and Diversity: The strong concentration of respondents from the United States, representing 88% of the survey population, underscores the significant role of the U.S. market in the global eDiscovery arena. This dominance reflects the advanced legal and technological infrastructure that supports the extensive adoption and integration of eDiscovery solutions. However, the presence of respondents from other regions, including Europe, Canada, and the Asia-Pacific, highlights the expanding international reach of eDiscovery practices and points to the growing importance of global compliance and interoperability in legal technologies.

Organizational Roles and Leadership: The survey delineates a significant engagement of executive leadership, with 41% of respondents operating at this level, indicating that strategic decisions and oversight in eDiscovery are often guided by top-level management. The role of operational management, represented by 31% of participants, emphasizes the crucial function of overseeing day-to-day operations and ensuring that strategic objectives are effectively implemented. Tactical execution roles, making up 28% of the feedback, reflect the practical application of strategies and tools in specific legal scenarios, highlighting the hands-on expertise required in the field.

Adoption and Perspectives on AI Technologies: A substantial segment of the industry is actively exploring the integration of LLMs and GAI, with many already incorporating these technologies into their workflows. Despite the challenges related to accuracy, compliance, and return on investment, the drive towards utilizing AI reflects a broader industry trend aimed at enhancing service delivery and operational efficiency. The potential for AI to offer competitive advantages and cost savings is particularly appealing, although it comes with the need for careful implementation and ongoing evaluation.

Financial Metrics and Operational Health: Financial metrics such as Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) and Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) provide critical insights into the operational health of firms within the industry. While some firms report positive trends, indicating healthy cash flow and revenue stability, a notable portion of respondents express uncertainty about these financial measures, pointing to areas that may require strategic focus and improvement.

Concluding Thoughts: The Spring 2024 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey paints a picture of an industry that is not only managing its current challenges with a degree of confidence but is also actively preparing for future demands through strategic innovations and technology integration. The strong leadership involvement and the focus on operational and tactical execution suggest a well-rounded approach to navigating the complexities of the eDiscovery landscape. As such, the eDiscovery industry appears well-positioned to continue its growth trajectory, driven by a blend of technological savvy, strategic planning, and an adaptive business culture. This environment is conducive to not only surviving but thriving amid the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

This first look at the Spring 2024 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey provides a comprehensive snapshot of the current state and future expectations within the eDiscovery industry. As the industry continues to evolve, these insights will continue to be invaluable for professionals navigating this dynamic landscape. Future analyses will delve deeper into these trends, offering a more detailed understanding of the business of eDiscovery.

Spring 2024 Survey Results

n = 81 Respondents

Business Confidence Questions

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: 33.33%
  • Law Firm: 30.86%
  • Consultancy: 14.81%
  • Corporation: 7.41%
  • Governmental Entity: 6.17%
  • Media/Research Organization: 6.17%
  • Other: 1.23%
Survey Respondents by Organizational Segment - Spring 2024

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: 50.62%
  • Normal: 48.15%
  • Bad: 1.23%
Current Business Climate Overview - Spring 2024

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: 43.21%
  • Same: 50.62%
  • Worse: 6.17%
Business Climate Overview + Six Months - Spring 2024

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: 58.02%
  • Same: 38.27%
  • Lower: 3.70%
Revenue Overview + Six Months - Spring 2024

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: 44.44%
  • Same: 45.68%
  • Lower: 9.88%
Profits Overview + Six Months - Spring 2024

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

  • Increasing Types of Data: 30.86%
  • Increasing Volumes of Data: 22.22%
  • Budgetary Constraints: 20.99%
  • Data Security: 11.11%
  • Inadequate Technology: 9.88%
  • Lack of Personnel: 4.94%
Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance - Spring 2024

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: 87.65%
  • North America – Canada: 3.70%
  • Europe – United Kingdom: 2.47%
  • Europe – Non-UK: 2.47%
  • Middle East/Africa: 2.47%
  • Asia/Asia Pacific: 1.23%
  • Central/South America: 0.00%
Survey Respondents by Geographic Region - Spring 2024

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

  • Legal/Litigation Support: 62.96%
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions): 27.16%
  • IT/Product Development: 9.88%
Survey Respondents by Primary Function - Spring 2024

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

  • Executive Leadership: 40.74%
  • Operational Management: 30.86%
  • Tactical Execution: 28.40%
Survey Respondents by Level of Support - Spring 2024

10. How would you characterize the use of LLMs and GAI in your organization’s operations or offerings?

  • Considering and Evaluating: 23.46%
  • Testing and Piloting: 28.40%
  • Integrating and Deploying: 43.21%
  • No Plans: 4.94%
Use of LLMs and GAI in Organization's Operations or Offerings - Spring 2024

11. Of the options provided, which do you perceive as the primary benefit of integrating LLMs and GAI into your organization’s operations or offerings?

  • Improved Service/Product Delivery: 46.91%
  • Competitive Advantage: 22.22%
  • Cost Savings: 13.58%
  • Enhanced Decision Making: 9.88%
  • Risk Mitigation: 2.47%
  • No Perceived Benefit: 4.94%
Primary Benefit of Integrating LLMs and GAI into Organization's Operations or Offerings - Spring 2024

12. Of the options provided, which do you perceive as the primary challenge of integrating LLMs and GAI into your organization’s operations or offerings?

  • Results Accuracy: 35.80%
  • High Costs: 22.22%
  • Regulatory and Privacy Compliance: 13.58%
  • Skill Gap: 13.58%
  • Unclear ROI: 9.88%
  • Ethical Concerns: 4.94%
Primary Challenge of Integrating LLMs and GAI into Organization's Operations or Offerings - Spring 2024

13. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) during the last quarter?

n=75 Respondents

  • Increasing: 22.67%
  • Unfluctuating: 32.00%
  • Decreasing: 2.67%
  • Do Not Know: 42.67%
eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory - Days Sales Outstanding - Spring 2024

14. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) during the last quarter?

n=76 Respondents

  • Increasing: 38.16%
  • Unfluctuating: 28.95%
  • Decreasing: 2.63%
  • Do Not Know: 30.26%
eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory - Monthly Recurring Revenue - Spring 2024

15. Which of the following statements best describes the distribution of your organization’s revenue across your customer base during the last quarter?

n=75 Respondents

  • Increasing: 36.00%
  • Unfluctuating: 30.67%
  • Decreasing: 2.67%
  • Do Not Know: 30.67%
eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory_ Distribution of Revenue Across Customer Base - Spring 2024

 *Survey methodology focuses on the achievement of at least 50 responses with the least number of emails sent to the ComplexDiscovery industry professional database. This approach seeks to minimize the number of requests for participation in surveys while ensuring a solid number of responses from which to generally assess market sentiment in survey areas of interest.
Respondent Backgrounder
Aggregate Surveys (Winter 2016 – Spring 2024)
Spring Surveys (Spring 2016 – Spring 2024)

Complete Presentation: Market Kinetics – eDiscovery Business Confidence – Spring 2024 (PDF) – Mouseover to Scroll

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Additional Reading
Source: ComplexDiscovery OÜ


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