In a joint survey conducted by Zapproved and Corporate Ediscovery, 185 in-house ediscovery professionals provided information regarding their litigation portfolios, processes across the ediscovery stages, departmental objectives, and challenges.
The survey results indicate that corporate legal departments prioritize streamlining and modernizing operations as a top priority (54 percent), reducing ediscovery costs (41 percent), and ensuring data security and privacy (34 percent). However, steps to address these priorities such as adoption of modern systems are lagging. The majority of these legal teams still use either manual processes or legacy on-premise software options for managing ediscovery. Additionally, implementation of best practices, such as processing and culling data in-house before being sent to a third party for review, are below 50 percent across the board.
“The survey results paint an intriguing picture of struggle. With pressure to improve efficiency, security, and bottom line costs, corporate legal teams have clearly identified the pressing need to modernize their operations,” said Rebecca Sprynczynatyk, Senior Director of Marketing, Zapproved. “But they haven’t figured out to overcome budget and staffing hurdles to upgrade from outdated processes and systems. So they’re still engaging in practices that are opposed to their organizational goals.”
Security is another area where concerns are not translating to solutions development. While businesses rating security as a priority are significantly better at adopting secure data handling practices – examples include hosting data in a corporate-controlled environment rather than sending it to third-parties, and having a process to dispose of data after matter resolution – those adoption rates are still below 40 percent of the total surveyed.
The benchmark results suggest that no single model of managing ediscovery has become dominant, with significant variance in the number of teams responsible for managing ediscovery, the adoption of software versus manual process use, and outsourcing versus in-house by matter type.