The Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance: Budgetary Constraints (Fall 2017)

Article by Rob Robinson

The Impact of Budgetary Constraints on the Business of eDiscovery

Initiated in January of 2016, the eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a non-scientific quarterly survey designed to provide insight into the business confidence level of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey consists of nine multiple choice questions focused on factors related to the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. The survey is open to legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the eDiscovery ecosystem and individuals are invited to participate via the ComplexDiscovery blog, via social media, and via direct email invitations. To date, the survey has been administered eight times since January 2016 with 842 individuals responses. The latest survey was administered in the Fall of 2017 and had 100 respondents in roles that included executive leadership (48%), operational management (36%), and tactical execution (16%).

One of the questions in the quarterly survey asks participants to select from a listing of six issues the issue they view as potentially having the most impact on their eDiscovery business during the next six months. The issues presented include:

  • Budgetary Constraints
  • Data Security
  • Inadequate Technology
  • Increasing Types of Data
  • Increasing Volumes of Data
  • Lack of Personnel

While not all-inclusive, the listing of issues provides a realistic overview of potential areas that appear to have a direct and ongoing impact on the business of eDiscovery.

Based on the aggregate results of past surveys, the following findings and charted overviews of responses to the question of issues impacting business may be helpful in understanding the collective mindset of many industry experts regarding these issues and their impact over time on the business of eDiscovery.

Seven Key Findings

  • In the Fall of 2017, 31% of respondents viewed budgetary constraints as potentially having the greatest business impact on their business in the next six months. This percentage is the highest of all concerns represented in the survey.(Chart 1)
  • Budgetary constraints appear to have the greatest potential impact now on business than at any time since the initiation of the eDiscovery Business Confidence surveys. (Chart 2)
  • The percentage of respondents viewing the impact of data security as a top business issue increased slightly over the last quarter but still is only viewed as the top concern by 13% of survey respondents. (Chart 3)
  • In the Fall of 2017, the impact of inadequate technology on eDiscovery business performance continues to be the least concerning issue amongst presented issue choices. (Chart 4)
  • The percentage of respondents viewing the impact of increasing types of data as a top business issue decreased markedly over the last quarter and now is the leading concern regarding impact to eDiscovery business performance by only 11% of survey respondents. (Chart 5)
  • The impact of increasing volumes of data continues to be one of the top issues impacting business performance and increased as a concern over the last quarter. (Chart 6)
  • The impact of lack of personnel on eDiscovery business performance appears to be less of an issue now than it was in the previous quarter. (Chart 7)

Survey Charts

(Charts Can Be Expanded for Detailed Viewing)


Chart 1: An Aggregate Overview of Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance

Chart 1 – Ongoing Business Impact – Up to October 2017

 


Chart 2: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Budgetary Constraints as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

Chart 2 – Ongoing Budgetary Constraints – Up to October 2017

 


Chart 3: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Data Security as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

Chart 3 – Ongoing Data Security – Up to October 2017

 


Chart 4: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Inadequate Technology as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

Chart 4 – Ongoing Inadequate Technology – Up to October 2017

 


Chart 5: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Increasing Types of Data as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

Chart 5 – Ongoing Types of Data – Up to October 2017

 


Chart 6: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Increasing Volumes of Data as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

Chart 6 – Ongoing Volumes of Data – Up to October 2017

 


Chart 7: An Overview of the Percentage of Respondents Viewing Lack of Personnel as the Top Issue Impacting eDiscovery Business

Chart 7 – Ongoing Lack of Personnel – Up to October 2017

 


Running Listing of Survey Results

 


Chart 8: Survey Participant Overview

Survey Responder Overview – 2016-2017

Source: Original Research