Electronic Discovery by the Numbers

The mainstream press is starting to focus on the growth in market demand for electronic discovery services.

AP technology writer Brian Bergstein reports on certain trends, and a few numbers caught my eye:

— $2 billion and 35% (the size and growth rate of the electronic discovery market according to Michael Clark of EDDix LLC).

— Two petrabytes (the the size of the data center at Kroll Ontrack, which has quadrupled in 18 months).

— 120 (the expected 2006 employee count of Fios Inc., nearly triple that of 2004).

At the end of the article Gerald Massey, president of Fios, makes a prediction:

“The ultimate buyers of a company like ours have only just begin to emerge in our space,” […] “The names we’ll associate with the services we provide in three, four, five years from now will be like IBM and EMC and Oracle.”

IBM and Oracle. I think I’ve heard of their work.

Also quoted is Jonathan Redgrave of Redgrave Daley Ragan & Wagner LLP, a firm that specializes in electronic discovery and related litigation issues. One of Mr. Redgrave’s partners is Lori Wagner, who was interviewed last year in this space.

For the companies that are targets of litigation and the consumers of electronic discovery services, one of the long term issues will be document retention. Perhaps IBM or someone else will offer an outsourced, combined document storage/retention/electronic discovery service.

The implicit issue in all this isn’t what to keep. It’s facing the ongoing challenge of what to get rid of. Probably 90%+ of what is on company servers is either unnecessary or redundant.

If a vendor can help figure out the 10% to keep–now that’s something people would listen to.