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E-Discovery Software Market Experiencing Accelerated Growth

Created on January 8, 2013

Many people were taken aback when Gartner projected in its 2011 Magic Quadrant on E-Discovery Software that the e-discovery software market would grow to $1.5 billion in 2013. We knew the e-discovery technology market was hot; but was it really that hot?

Fast forward two years, and it turns out Gartner was indeed a bit off. They actually underestimated the growth of the e-discovery software market. According to a new Gartner Market Trends report published in December, the e-discovery software market generated $1.4 billion in total revenue in 2012 and continues to grow approximately 15% annually.

What accounts for the accelerated growth?

One of the major drivers is that more organizations are bringing e-discovery spending in-house. According to the report, up until a few years ago e-discovery spending decisions were largely made by external legal counsel and tended to revolve around specialized, “best-of-breed" technologies. Today, many larger organizations, especially those in litigious industries, are looking to bring in more comprehensive products that cover a greater portion of the e-discovery process. While these technologies carry a more substantial upfront investment than their “best-of-breed" counterparts, organizations typically save money in the long run by reducing the amount of billable work traditionally outsourced to outside counsel or e-discovery service providers.

Another trend underscored by Gartner and other experts has been the increasing convergence of information governance and e-discovery. The aggressive growth and mobility of electronically stored information (ESI) over the past few years has prompted many organizations to pursue systematic, automated processes for storing, archiving and disposing of ESI. At the same time, they must be ever-cognizant of their legal obligation to preserve responsive ESI when litigation arises. This dual need – to systematically manage and dispose of ESI yet ensure all e-discovery requirements are met – has compelled many organizations to invest in technologies – e-discovery among them - that help support larger information governance strategies.

A third factor listed in the report is the expansion of the e-discovery software market outside of North America. As we've outlined in the past, international discovery and data protection rules are swiftly evolving and can differ greatly than those in the United States. Many global corporations are grappling with major e-discovery challenges and looking to invest in new technologies to address them. The United Kingdom, for instance, is in the process of implementing new civil justice reforms that have the potential to greatly increase e-discovery software sales in the region, according to Gartner.

Read about some of the other e-discovery trends we're keeping an eye on for 2013 here.