eDiscovery Daily Blog

Brad Jenkins of CloudNine: eDiscovery Trends

This is the first of the 2017 LegalTech New York (LTNY) Thought Leader Interview series.  eDiscovery Daily interviewed several thought leaders at LTNY (aka LegalWeek) this year to get their observations regarding trends at the show and generally within the eDiscovery industry.

Today’s thought leader is Brad Jenkins of CloudNine™.  Brad has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, as well as 15 years leading customer focused companies in the litigation technology arena. Brad also has authored several articles on document management and litigation support issues, and has appeared as a speaker before national audiences on document management practices and solutions.  He’s also my boss!  🙂

What are your observations about LTNY this year and how it compared to other LTNY shows that you have attended?

Once again, a majority of my time at LTNY was spent in meetings with colleagues and business partners as CloudNine had a suite and we had several meetings set up over the course of the three days of the show.  It seems that the meetings outside the show have become as big as the show itself.  Several people that I met with had hardly spent any time (if any) at the show when I met with them.  Because it’s the biggest conference of the year, LTNY provides a unique opportunity for face to face meetings you don’t get during the rest of the year, so it pays to take advantage of that opportunity.  Unfortunately, that comes at the expense of attending most of the conference itself.

I was able to attend some of the conference and spent a little time in the exhibit hall.  Based on what I saw, attendance seemed down this year and some of the exhibitors that I spoke with seemed to agree.  I assume the decision by ALM to charge a fee for the Exhibits Plus passes for the first time ever had an impact on attendance in the exhibit hall.  Not surprisingly, some criticized that decision, so it will be interesting to see if exhibitors push back on that and if ALM decides to charge that fee again next year.

Regardless, with so many opportunities for providers to reach prospects in a less expensive manner and with a market that clearly appears to be consolidating, I would expect that it will continue to be a challenge for ALM to retain exhibitors.  Over the past few years, the number of exhibitors have dropped and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that trend continue unless ALM gets creative in identifying new ways to attract potential exhibitors to the conference.

What about general industry trends?  Are there any notable trends that you’ve observed?

Last year, I noted a clear trend toward SaaS automation within eDiscovery and I think it’s clear that trend has not only continued, but expanded.  In addition to the investment in some automation providers, and the emergence of others like our company, CloudNine, we’ve seen several of the “big boys” (such as Ipro, Thomson Reuters and kCura) roll out their own cloud-based automation initiatives.  In the past year, we also saw organizations like Gartner acknowledge that cloud eDiscovery solutions are gaining momentum in the market due to their ease of use and competitive and straightforward pricing structures.  The move to the cloud for eDiscovery reflects a similar migration to the cloud within organizations for everything from SalesForce.com to Office 365.  In fact, Forbes.com recently published an article that reflected a prediction that, by 2020, 92% of everything we do will be in the cloud.  So, it makes sense that eDiscovery solutions would reflect that trend.

Another trend that has been happening for a few years and is certainly accelerating is the move to the left of the EDRM model for discovery and analytics.  With estimates of data doubling in organizations every 1.2 years, organizations are certainly having to turn to technology to address the challenges associated with that explosion of data.  The need for discovery is no longer initiated just by trigger events such as litigation or investigations – the need for organizations to perform discovery is a perpetual need.  You’re seeing organizations beginning to focus on data discovery to explore patterns and trends within unstructured data, even at the point of data creation, to gather insight into the data they have.  Then, when those trigger events occur, organizations are progressing into more traditional legal discovery to identify, preserve, collect, process, analyze, review and produce key ESI to support legal or investigative activities.  I think you’ll see that trend toward an increased focus on data discovery continue to accelerate as a way for organizations to address the challenges associated with the explosion of data in their environments.

One last trend that I’ll mention is the growing number of state bar associations that have adopted some sort of expectation or guidance for technology competence among their bar members.  I believe that there are 26 states now that have adopted some version of Comment 8 to ABA Model Rule 1.1 and Florida has become the first state to actually mandate technology CLE for their attorneys – three hours of technology CLE over a three year period.  At CloudNine, we believe that educated clients make the best clients and we’ve tried to do our part for the past several years to help educate the legal profession with our blog and, this year, we are adding educational webcasts (with CLE certification in some states) to help educate lawyers.  While I think we still have a long way to go before the legal profession is generally knowledgeable about technology, I think the increased focus on technology competence along with the continued trend toward simplified discovery automation puts attorneys in a better position than ever to use technology to support their discovery needs.

What are you working on that you’d like our readers to know about?

In addition to the educational webcasts that we have started conducting this year, CloudNine recently announced our latest accomplishment in simplified discovery automation with our integration with Relativity that provides Relativity users with a client application that automates the upload, processing, and ingestion of ESI into Relativity, directly from their desktop.  Just as CloudNine users have been able to automate the upload, processing, and ingestion of ESI into CloudNine for several years now, the universe of more than 150,000 Relativity users will now be able to do the same.

We have several other new features and capabilities that provide simplified discovery automation capabilities to our clients that are also in the works and I look forward to having more information to share on those soon.

We are also very active in the data discovery space that I referred to earlier, providing solutions and assistance to help clients address their data discovery needs.  We’re finding that the needs of organizations to gain insight into their data occurs long before litigation and other events trigger the duty of those organizations and CloudNine is at the forefront in helping organizations address their data discovery needs.

As I said during last year’s interview, we feel that CloudNine is the leader in simplifying discovery automation and our unique combination of Speed, Simplicity, Security and Services enables CloudNine to simplify discovery for our clients.  That continues to be our mission as a company and has been throughout our more than 14 years as a company assisting our clients.

Thanks, Brad, for participating in the interview!

And to the readers, as always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic!

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.