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Is the eDiscovery World Flat?

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Is the eDiscovery World Flat?

Over the years, various cultures have had conceptions of a flat Earth, including ancient Babylon, Ancient Egypt, pre-Classical Greece and pre-17th century China. This view contrasts with the realization first recorded around the 4th century BC by natural philosophers of Classical Greece that the Earth is spherical.

In February 2010 at the Legal Tech convention in New York City, I was dumbfounded at how many litigators believe, in essence, that the world is flat in regards to Software-as-as-Service (SaaS) in eDiscovery and that venturing into hosted technology solutions will end in disaster.

However, this current day belief cannot be reconciled with reality. According to Gartner, the market for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) was forecast to reach $8 billion in 2009, a 21.9 percent increase from 2008 revenue of $6.6 billion, . Gartner further predicts that the market will show consistent growth through 2013 when worldwide SaaS revenue will total $16 billion for the enterprise application markets.

"The adoption of SaaS continues to grow and evolve within the enterprise application markets as tighter capital budgets in the current economic environment demand leaner alternatives, popularity increases, and interest for platform as a service and cloud computing grows,” said Sharon Mertz, research director at Gartner.

“Adoption of the on-demand deployment model has grown for nearly a decade, but its popularity has increased significantly within the last five years,” Ms. Mertz said. “Initial concerns about security response time and service availability have diminished for many organizations. As SaaS business and computing models have matured, adoption has become more widespread.”

Trying to deny the adoption of SaaS technology in the world and therefore in eDiscovery would be like taking the position that all of this Electronically Stored Information (ESI) is just a fad and will subside in time. SaaS is here, the use of SaaS is going to grow and denying it or ignoring it is not going to make a difference. To use another analogy, 'The train has already left the station" and it was odd to listen to some at Legal Tech in New York in 2010 standing "at the empty station" pontificating about the dangers of SaaS and whether or not it has a place in eDiscovery

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1 Comments:

At February 8, 2010 at 11:17 AM , Blogger Robert said...

IT and Legal Depts are like Americans and British - 2 people separated by a common language. I think the Legal apprehension of which you speak would be better described in relation to Cloud-based computing, where an organization is utilizing internet-based resources for server and infrastructure functionality, but retain responsibility for the software stack and data. The same apprehension about Cloud is felt by IT for any other mission critical ap. SaaS, and its more complex cousin, Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) approaches have been in place for years with outsourced service providers.

 

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