On December 4, 2019, AccessData will join with our customers, business partners and electronic discovery industry counterparts to celebrate “E-Discovery Day,” an annual moment on the calendar to step back and recognize our important contributions to international business. More than 2,500 professionals are expected to participate worldwide through a variety of in-person events and webcasts.
The e-discovery industry continues to play a crucial role in the way that we manage corporate compliance, internal investigations and commercial litigation. In fact, E-Discovery Day organizers estimate that the e-discovery industry is expected to reach almost $19 billion per year by 2023, up from more than $10 billion in 2018.
Of course, the road to this level of prominence was not a straight line. There are a variety of opinions about where to find the earliest roots of e-discovery, but most industry experts agree that a key launching event was a series of landmark opinions in the early 2000s from U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York (e.g., Zubulake v. UBS Warburg). These opinions set in motion a new body of knowledge around the notion of electronic evidence preservation and collection as part of the litigation discovery process. In 2005, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) was created and by that time the industry was off and running.
As the volume of data that had to be collected and processed continued to soar, so did the management challenges facing corporate law departments. In the early 2010s, in-house law departments began to explore every avenue possible to push back against a runaway train of e-discovery costs and complexities. This inevitably led to new strategies to contain vendor costs, new processes to manage information governance risks, and the development of new technology tools to help corporate teams increase control over their own data. One key result of this evolution has been to bring more e-discovery management in-house.
As we celebrate E-Discovery Day 2019, corporate legal departments — and their colleagues in other departments such as Compliance and IT — are under greater stress than ever when it comes to information governance and data management. Just consider a few of the pressures these professionals face daily:
- More data to manage across the enterprise
- New cybersecurity threats both externally and internally
- Increasingly complex information types
- Compliance with new data privacy regulations
Corporate legal teams are now dealing with enormous amounts of digital data, all being shared among teams, departments, global locations and devices. In-house professionals — in industries from healthcare to finance to energy — all want to manage digital investigations and e-discovery faster, more efficiently and more securely, while reducing cost.
The good news for corporate legal teams is that e-discovery software companies continue to innovate in ways that support the evolving needs of the marketplace.
For example, 47% of respondents to IDG Research Services’ MarketPulse survey reported that the use of piecemeal e-discovery software solutions poses a challenge because they don’t integrate well. AccessData has addressed this frustration with the development of
AD eDiscovery®, a complete end-to-end e-discovery management platform that integrates all phases of digital evidence collection, processing, review and production.
Another example of innovation to support the emerging e-discovery needs of corporate legal teams is a new tool that helps to automate data collections following an HR incident. With the new AccessData API, AD eDiscovery can connect with a company’s HR software platform of choice. If HR puts a notice on an employee (e.g., termination, monitor, etc.), the software can communicate that information to AD eDiscovery via the API. This initiates a collection job within moments at a designated endpoint, based on a user-created template, saving countless staff hours by removing a manual process for corporate data retention.
In addition, corporate legal departments are seeing their frustrations with piecemeal solutions eased with the development of connector applications that enable in-house teams to use their preferred review platforms with their preferred collection and processing tools. For example, AccessData has released a seamless connector to Relativity®. This allows corporate legal departments to use their own instance of Relativity to review documents if they are comfortable with that review platform. A corporate legal or IT team can use AD eDiscovery for legal holds, collections, early case assessment and first-pass review before seamlessly passing the data off to Relativity if that is their preferred review tool.
Other areas of innovation include the development of tools to help corporations fulfill their compliance obligations with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), improve their management of legal holds, and more efficiently handle data processing and early case assessment in-house. An exciting area to watch in the next year is the rollout of new applications that will make digital evidence review faster and more secure.
AccessData has been providing software tools for more than 30 years to help corporate legal professionals and their colleagues with the collection, processing, review and production of data as part of their various corporate compliance, digital investigations and litigation responsibilities. As we celebrate E-Discovery Day 2019, we say Thank You to our more than 130,000 clients around the world, from Denver to Dubai, for their trust in our technology solutions and their confidence in our ability to continue innovating the next generation of e-discovery tools.