To borrow a phrase I heard from the President, my gut reaction from LegalTech in thinking about my conversations with our customers is that a yawning chasm is developing between companies, such as Verizon, that have thought-leaders driving their electronic discovery efforts, and are major influences in the development of technologies in the marketplace, and those who aren’t. It’s a spectacular difference, and seemingly companies are in one camp or another camp – super prepared and ready to rock for the most part, or completely with their head in the sand about setting up processes and technology to be ready to produce electronically. There seem to be few “partial adopters”.
This blog post and related survey from Recommind begin to survey the ugly numbers about where these companies are.
The next wave this data tsuanmi will overrun is the ability of outside counsel to manage the huge increases in data volumes coming from their clients in the coming months and years. Outside counsel and inside counsel are woefully underprepared.
Again, this is literally an inevitability, the technology infrastructure set up to manage paper-based litigation is crumbling quickly with no respite in sight, including shrinking budgets and staff cuts in companies and law firms.
It’s time to get proactive and incremental – to get out of the cycle of shock and trance. To do nothing is to invite huge problems that will be substantially more expensive to solve if incremental action isn’t taken today. To invest in an entire infrastructure today is not financially feasible, nor desireable the technology and innovation is coming too fast. Woes to the company locked into high fees for a document review platform.
This is where real value is generated, between denial and perfection, between shock and trance. It’s a very difficult environment to get clarity in – even for those of us with years of experience in it. That’s why I think the coming technology trends are going to be focused on a values-driven model of technology evaluation, and away from a features evaluation. More on that later.