Editor’s Note: The eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey is a non-scientific quarterly survey that shares insight into the business confidence of individuals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem. The survey consists of nine core questions on factors related to the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services. Additionally, the survey contains three optional questions focused on the business operational metrics of days sales outstanding (DSO), monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and customer revenue distribution. Administered for the twenty-first time in the winter of 2021, the survey has been conducted four times during the current COVID-19 crisis.

The Winter 2021 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey Results

The winter 2021 survey response period was initiated on January 3, 2021, and continued until January 12, 2021. This quarter’s survey experienced a solid response rate with 60 eDiscovery professionals sharing their opinions on the business of eDiscovery.

While individual answers to the survey are confidential, the aggregate and unfiltered results are published to highlight the business confidence of participants regarding economic factors impacting the creation, delivery, and consumption of eDiscovery products and services during the winter of 2021. These results may be useful to legal, information technology, and business professionals seeking to better understand current and potential future business conditions as shared by survey participants.


Business Confidence Questions (Required)

n = 60 Respondents

1. Which of the following segments best describes your business in eDiscovery?
Part of the eDiscovery ecosystem where your organization resides

  • Law Firm – 41.7% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Software or Services Provider – 28.3% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Consultancy – 13.3%  (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Corporation – 5.0% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Governmental Entity – 5.0% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Media/Research Organization – 5.0% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Other – 1.7% (Down from Fall 2020)

1 – Survey Respondents by Organizational Segment


2. How would you rate the current general business conditions for eDiscovery in your segment?
Subjective feeling of business performance when compared with business expectations

  • Good – 43.3% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Normal – 41.7% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Bad – 15.0% (Down from Fall 2020)

2 – Current Business Climate Overview


3. How do you think the business conditions will be in your segment six months from now?
Subjective feeling of business performance when compared with business expectations

  • Better – 50.0% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Same – 45.0% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Worse – 5.0% (Down from Fall 2020)

3 – Business Climate Overview + Six Months


4. How would you guess revenue in your segment of the eDiscovery ecosystem will be six months from now?
Revenue is income generated from eDiscovery-related business activities

  • Higher – 51.7% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Same – 35.0% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Lower – 13.3% (Same as Fall 2020)

4 – Revenue Overview + Six Months


5. How would you guess profits in your segment of the eDiscovery ecosystem will be six months from now?
Profit is the amount of income remaining after accounting for all expenses, debts, additional revenue streams, and operating costs

  • Higher – 41.7% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Same – 43.3% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Lower – 15.0% (Down from Fall 2020)

5 – Profits Overview + Six Months


6. Of the six items presented below, what is the issue that you feel will most impact the business of eDiscovery over the next six months?
Challenges that may directly impact the business performance of your organization

  • Budgetary Constraints – 43.3% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Increasing Volumes of Data – 18.3% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Increasing Types of Data – 16.7% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Data Security – 13.3% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Lack of Personnel – 5.0% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Inadequate Technology – 3.3% (Down from Fall 2020)

6 – Issues Impacting eDiscovery Business Performance


7. In which geographical region do you primarily conduct eDiscovery-related business?
The location from which you are basing your business assessments

  • North America (United States) – 86.7% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • North America (Canada) – 5.0% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Europe (Non-UK) – 3.3% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Europe (UK) – 3.3% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Asia/Asia Pacific – 1.7% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Middle East/Africa – 0.0% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Central/South America – 0.0% (Same as Fall 2020)

7 – Survey Respondents by Geographic Region


8. What are best describes your primary function in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery-related business?

  • Legal/Litigation Support – 75.0% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Business/Business Support (All Other Business Functions) – 21.7% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • IT/Product Development – 3.3% (Down from Fall 2020)

8 – Survey Respondents by Primary Function


9. What are best describes your level of support in the conduct of your organization’s eDiscovery-related business?

  • Executive Leadership – 45.0% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Operational Management – 36.7% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Tactical Execution – 18.3% (Down from Fall 2020)

9 – Survey Respondents by Level of Support


Business Metric Trajectory Questions (Optional)

10. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) during the last quarter?
n=54 Respondents

  • Increasing – 31.5% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Unfluctuating – 29.6% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Decreasing – 9.3% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Do Not Know – 29.6% (Down from Fall 2020)

10 – eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory_ Days Sales Outstanding


11. How would you characterize the trajectory of your organization’s Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) during the last quarter?
n=54 Respondents

  • Increasing – 29.6% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Unfluctuating – 31.5% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Decreasing – 11.1% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Do Not Know – 27.8% (Down from Fall 2020)

11 – eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory_ Monthly Recurring Revenue


12. Which of the following statements best describes the distribution of your organization’s revenue across your customer base during the last quarter?
n=54 Respondents

  • Increasing – 31.5% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Unfluctuating – 31.5% (Up from Fall 2020)
  • Decreasing – 13.0% (Down from Fall 2020)
  • Do Not Know – 24.1% (Down from Fall 2020)

12 – eDiscovery Business Metric Trajectory_ Distribution of Revenue Across Customer Base


Past Survey Results

Source: ComplexDiscovery

 

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