The current rate of change within corporate eDiscovery programs is amazing and the enormous amount of energy and creativity in approaches, thinking and execution is inspiring.

Our dinner in Los Angeles last night reiterated the prevalent themes we’ve been hearing in New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago—that 40% of the Fortune 500 are re-evaluating their eDiscovery business models, and that our thinking needs to evolve from “Best Practices” to “Better” and perhaps even “Model Practices.”

Here are my top 3 Sound-Bites from our Los Angeles Dinner:

  1. The Drivers of change are cost savings, cost management and cost predictability—with Nirvana being cost avoidance.
    50% of corporate law departments are focused on cost savings, 25% on cost management, 20% on cost predictability, and only 5% are actively working towards cost prevention and avoidance—aka information governance. Our guests at dinner last night defined “actively” as making actual Cap X investments.
  2. Most cost savings will come from process improvement and the paradigm shift from a chaotic vendor-centric model to a strategic vendor partner model. We explored this evolution from vendor to strategic partner in Chicago as well. As law departments improve and vendors improve, the process will only continue to get better and more prevalent.
  3. Changing expectations of technology. Discovery technology has remained relatively constant for the past 4-plus years and many companies are still having trouble really embracing and truly leveraging the horsepower of existing tech (e.g. “getting the Ferrari out of first gear.” More needs to be done to educate attorneys about technology and combining it with better process. So technology needs to be easier to use in order to have better adoption, rather than more fancy bells and whistles. That leads me to believe that organizations will need to find new ways to work with the tools they have and look for partners that have the power and possibility to transform their use of these tools. Yet another vote for the rise of strategic partnerships.