eDiscovery predictions for 2017

  • December 31, 2016
  • by David Carns

2017 will be a year for both revolution and evolution in eDiscovery.

The eDiscovery industry has experienced many waves of innovation over the last two decades. From database improvements, document similarity and near duplicate detection, to data filtering, Early Case Assessment (ECA), and most recently, the embedding of analytics to support Technology Assisted Review (TAR).

But technology revolution is always followed by a period of evolution. A polishing and perfecting of the new technology. 2017 is set to be routed in a similar duality. A year of dramatic eDiscovery change and technological revolution in eDiscovery, as well as one that sees the continued evolution and maturation of existing features and capabilities.

This is what the revolution will bring

2017 will see Artificial Intelligence (AI) becoming truly central to eDiscovery. Where TAR has been about fulfilling a legal team’s obligations to discovery, AI will help them develop a strategy for discovery.

Beyond the use of TAR and buzz words like active learning, AI will:

  • Start bringing serious new efficiencies to the entire eDiscovery process, not just document review.
  • Make it easier to identify important characters in a legal matter.
  • Help legal teams select the key documents needed to build a strategy around a case.
  • Support teams distill the information needed to make the important business decisions about a case, and not just the legal determinations.

This AI revolution is likely to ignite new interest in TAR from legal teams that have previously been hesitant to use it in any serious way. So we can expect to see a dramatic increase in the application of TAR across the industry.

This is how evolution will play out

The many independent software companies who make the kind of commodity solutions that dominate the industry will recognize that their software isn’t really fit for purpose. That it doesn’t really meet all of a legal teams’ needs. They will try to improve existing workflows by creating and rolling out ‘bolt-on’ products. Whether these will deliver the level of integration really needed for a seamless workflow will need to be seen.

The market will also continue to consolidate, driven by three main factors:

  • Small to midsized eDiscovery service providers will continue to ‘cash out’ on a market that has grown increasingly competitive.
  • Larger companies that have stagnated will buy these small to midsized companies to increase their customer base and acquire talent.
  • Companies will also consolidate to offer more cross-selling capabilities, much in the way that ‘Big Law’ has consolidated over the past 10 years.

Finally, an increase in the use of cloud computing will see data volumes continue to grow across matters, leading to an increase in cloud collection requests from legal teams. By the end of the year, it’s likely that cloud collection will start to become the rule rather than the exception.

Casepoint has been leading the innovation revolution for almost a decade. We love being at the vanguard and we’re continually listening to customers and evolving our solutions to deliver break-through new features and functions like CaseAssist. Take a look at some of these innovations here.

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