Extreme Heat? Summer 2021 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

Since January 2016, 2,522 individual responses to twenty-three quarterly eDiscovery Business Confidence surveys have been received from legal, business, and technology professionals across the eDiscovery ecosystem. These nonscientific quarterly surveys are designed to provide insight into the business confidence level of individuals working in the field of eDiscovery supporting cyber, data, and legal discovery tasks. 90 respondents shared their strongly optimistic opinions as part of the most recent survey.

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Content Assessment: Summer 2021 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

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

97%

Excellent

A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the recent post highlighting results from the Summer 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 purposed toward cyber, data, and legal discovery tasks. 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-third time in the summer of 2021, the survey has been conducted six times during the current global pandemic.

The Summer 2021 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

The summer 2021 survey response period was initiated on June 22, 2021, and continued until July 6, 2021. This summer’s survey was generously highlighted and promoted by the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM).  This quarter’s survey experienced a solid response rate with 90 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 summer 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 = 90 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 – 36.7% ↓
  • Law Firm – 28.9% ↑
  • Consultancy – 13.3% ↓
  • Corporation – 11.1% ↑
  • Governmental Entity – 5.6% ↓
  • Media/Research Organization – 1.1% ↓
  • Other – 3.3% ↑
1 – Survey Respondents by Organizational Segment – Summer 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 – 60.0% ↑
  • Normal – 31.1% ↓
  • Bad – 8.9% ↑
2 – Current Business Climate Overview – Summer 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 – 58.9% ↓
  • Same – 38.9% ↑
  • Worse – 2.2% ↓
3 – Business Climate Overview + Six Months – Summer 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 – 63.3% ↑ 
  • Same – 33.3% ↓
  • Lower – 3.3% ↓
4 – Revenue Overview + Six Months – Summer 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 – 51.1% ↑
  • Same – 40.0% ↓
  • Lower – 8.9% ↓
5 – Profits Overview + Six Months – Summer 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

  • Increasing Types of Data – 24.4% ↑
  • Increasing Volumes of Data – 20.0% ↑
  • Lack of Personnel – 20.0% ↑
  • Budgetary Constraints – 17.8% ↓
  • Data Security – 8.9% ↓
  • Inadequate Technology – 8.9% ↓
6 – Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance – Summer 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) – 90.0% ↓
  • Europe (UK) – 4.4% ↑
  • Europe (Non-UK) – 2.2% ↑
  • North America (Canada) – 1.1% ↓
  • Middle East/Africa – 1.1% ↑
  • Central/South America – 1.1% ↑
  • Asia/Asia Pacific – 0.0% =
7 – Survey Respondents by Geographic Region – Summer 2021

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

  • Legal/Litigation Support – 74.4 ↑
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions) – 22.2% ↑
  • IT/Product Development – 3.3% ↓
8 – Survey Respondents by Primary Function – Summer 2021

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

  • Executive Leadership – 31.1% ↑
  • Operational Management – 43.3% ↑
  • Tactical Execution – 25.6% ↓
9 – Survey Respondents by Level of Support – Summer 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=79 Respondents

  • Increasing – 20.3% ↓
  • Unfluctuating – 34.2% ↑
  • Decreasing – 10.1% ↑
  • Do Not Know – 35.4% ↓
10 – eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory – Days Sales Outstanding – Summer 2021

11. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) during the last quarter?
n=80 Respondents

  • Increasing – 38.8% ↑
  • Unfluctuating – 21.3% ↓
  • Decreasing – 7.5% ↓
  • Do Not Know – 32.5% ↑
11 – eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory – Monthly Recurring Revenue – Summer 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=80 Respondents

  • Increasing – 46.3% ↑
  • Unfluctuating – 20.0% ↓
  • Decreasing – 6.3% ↓
  • Do Not Know – 27.5% ↓
12 – eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory – Distribution of Revenue Across Customer Base – Summer 2021

Trend Notes

  • ↑ Increase from the last survey.
  • ↓ Decrease from the last survey.
  • = No change from the last survey.

Past Survey Results

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

Source: ComplexDiscovery

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ComplexDiscovery is an online publication that highlights cyber, data and legal discovery insight and intelligence ranging from original research to aggregated news for use by cybersecurity, information governance, and eDiscovery professionals. The highly targeted publication seeks to increase the collective understanding of readers regarding cyber, 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 cyber, data and legal discovery organizations. Focused primarily on supporting the ComplexDiscovery publication, the company is registered as a private limited company in the European Union country of Estonia, one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world. The company operates virtually worldwide to deliver marketing consulting and services.

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