Real World eDiscovery Wisdom from Digital Mountain

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The Business of eDiscovery – Top 10 Trends

Author: Digital Mountain

… 2. GB-Based Pricing Plummets. When we started in 2003, the GB-based pricing for processing was somewhere between $2,000-$4,000. Presently, the average range is $25/GB-$125/GB…

… 5. Consolidation – What Company Are We Working with Now? As a result of the increased funding invested in the eDiscovery market, there has been tremendous consolidation as investors require returns on their investments. As a result, the vendor that serviced you yesterday may change names, personnel, services, and even pricing tomorrow…

… 6. Forensic Tool Costs Soar – Why Hasn’t Hourly Pricing Increased?… the pricing for forensics services remains fairly level at $300-$550 per hour, the same rates of the past twenty years…

… 8. Messaging Apps Slowly Displacing Email… we’ve seen a surge in various messaging apps on smartphones, such as SMS/MMS/Chat, WeChat, WhatsApp, etc., as well as collaboration messaging such as Teams, Zoom, Slack, etc., and social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc…

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Editor Comment:

#2 – What is interesting to me is how customers focus on negotiating lower processing/hosting prices while ancillary tech/service prices (collections, analytics, classification/organization, productions, etc.) are often ignored. I do ROI reports based on the true TCO per matter/custodian/GB to get a better measurement. Overall I agree that the $/GB has been steadily dropping for the last 20 years.

#5 – I am not ashamed to tell clients or VCs when I do not recognize a provider brand. Once upon a time I knew all the national eDiscovery shops and tech companies. The last 5 years of consolidation and rebranding has made that impossible. So give yourself room to just look up a company when a peer mentions a new company name. There is a special, burning place for companies that rebrand without giving their company history in their About web page.

#6 – Forensic collection rates have stayed constant, but my experience auditing client invoices leads me to believe that many forensic shops are making a much higher profit on the extraction and analysis than most customers expect. I did a multimatter analysis that showed the client they were actually paying $2,500-3,000 per custodian instead of the $750/device they expected. So watch the bottom line here.

#8 – Great perspective on how long it takes litigation to catch up with the wave of new web/mobile data sources. This is one of my research focus areas for the next couple years.

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Written by Greg Buckles

Independent consultant focused on eDiscovery and IG solutions.

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