It's more clear than ever that electronic discovery is now playing a major role in the discovery process. At least in civil discovery, it looks as though the endless quest towards the paperless office continues.
How big is eDiscovery now? Well, according to the International Data Corporation, just over $10 billion worldwide.
What the Study Indicates
The online legal technology site, LegalTech News got ahold of Sean Pike, a program director at eDiscovery and Information Governance and Next-Generation Data Security. Of that $10 billion number, he the services sector accounted for about 80 percent of the total, and software accounted for most of the rest.
As for regions of the world, the Americas were the largest region, followed by Europe and then by Asia. It's predicted that by 2019, the growth of eDisocvery will actually increase at around 10 percent compounded annually.
According to Pike, blame the government: "Increased regulation, litigation and data governance concerns," are driving the increased growth in eDiscovery. Litigation, he explains, leads to discovery needs. Clients can do this in one of two ways -- or eventually both: software or hiring discovery services.
In addition, improvements in how eDiscovery is handled has only improved over time leading to the inevitable and constant rush to keep up with current software and methods. Between services and software, the two seem to be growing toe-to-toe with each other at a consistent rate.
World Market Comparison
Another factor is the reality of the legal development in different parts of the world. Projections look rosy for Asia while American and Europe are almost entirely saturated at this point. So, the real growth area is in Asia as those legal markets mature.
Competition for Work
In both eDiscovery services and software, law firms may be on the losing side of the changes despite the growth in the overall market because software consulting firms can, in many ways, supplant the services provided by attorney-consultants. Technology consultants need not necessarily be attorneys in order to guide firms in their own discovery.