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Taneja Blog

Taneja Blog / Primary Storage

ILTA: Clarity and Confusion

I just returned from the International Legal Technology Conference held in Dallas, Texas. This once-small conference has been seeing steady growth the past few years as its tide is buoyed by fast-growing interest in eDiscovery. This interest is largely driven by the legal industry whose lawyers and clients are being hit hard by the substantial costs of litigation eDiscovery support.

However, there is still a good deal of confusion in the marketplace. There are three primary reasons for this:
 

  1. eDiscovery is NOT synonymous with litigation support. The term is being used as shorthand for litigation support technology, but litigation support is a subclass of eDiscovery. Other subsets include compliance, governance, data security, and data and knowledge management. Without question the primary driver for the eDiscovery technology class is litigation, making it a natural gateway for eDiscovery vendors and products. But they are not the same thing and never have been.
  2. Market confusion is a big problem. Even within the litigation support subset, there is still a good deal of customer confusion about what eDiscovery is and what vendor does what. Most vendors simply call their wares an “eDiscovery” application, but eDiscovery -- even in the single litigation subset -- is complex. Classification schemes range from the very simplistic formula of collection/review/production to the more complete nine-stage Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). eDiscovery applications may cover multiple points and stages, or may be pure point products for specialized requirements. As yet there is no one eDiscovery application that independently reaches all the points of the litigation support workflow.
  3. Customers are not always clear on what exactly they're buying. Neither legal nor IT are always crystal clear on what an "eDiscovery" application is meant to do for them. This leads to confusion and buying eDiscovery products that are either too much or not enough to serve customer needs. Both groups should clearly assess their needs and have a foundation to assess the products to meet those needs. This can be a difficult proposition in a relatively new, broad and popular technology class like eDiscovery.


This is why we are going to be doing more analysis and writing, not only on specific eDiscovery vendors but also on eDiscovery classifications, key capabilities and trends. We’ll concentrate on eDiscovery for litigation support but go on to include compliance, security, knowledge management, and data management. We'll be writing both for legal and IT, who need to make eDiscovery decisions together. Both of these groups are faced with big decisions when choosing eDiscovery platforms and applications, and we can help.

  • Premiered: 08/28/08
  • Author: Taneja Group
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