January 19, 2008

Download Gartner's E-Discovery Vendor Market Analysis

Thanks to Guidance Software, who received Gartner's highest rating as a "Strong Positive", you can download Gartner's research note, "MarketScope for E-Discovery and Litigation Support Vendors, 2007", dated Dec. 14, 2007.

Gartner included 29 e-discovery vendors in its analysis. Its weighted evaluation criteria was based on each vendor's Market Understanding, Innovation, Market Responsiveness and Track Record, Offering (Product) Strategy, Business Model, Customer Experience, and Marketing Strategy. Gartner then rated each vendor on a 5-scale range between "Strong Negative" and "Strong Positive".

Keep in mind that analysts' projections and predictions should be taken as just that — sometimes they're right on and sometimes they miss the mark. With that said, this makes for an interesting current summary of the vendors' relative strengths and weaknesses, as well as providing further insight into the ever-changing e-discovery market.

Perhaps the most telling predictions are found in the executive summary:

By the end of 2008, there will be four viable categories of vendors in the e-discovery market: platform players, review and analysis platforms, collection, preservation and processing and full service outsourcers. By the end of 2008, there will be 25% fewer vendors claiming to have e-discovery functionality." (emphasis added) Time will tell whether this will be from continued market consolidation and shakeout, and/or from other factors.

The research helps confirm that enterprise transformations will not happen overnight: "Through at least YEO8, enterprises should acquire tools in this market tactically. Achieving full proactive control over unstructured data — which is the ultimate answer to e-discovery challenges — will take between five and 10 years for most enterprises." "Few software vendors offer credibly complete solutions for e-discovery. Enterprises can, however, select products tactically to begin their long-term e-discovery strategy."

I agree it will take years, and may not even occur completely for some. When you consider large global Fortune 500 companies having numerous different systems deployed throughout different geographical and functional groups, there is no immediate silver bullet. It will take time for companies to define and analyze their needs, gaps, and problem areas, and then select and implement these solutions, not to mention effectuating the necessary change management throughout their organizations.

Congratulations to Guidance Software, and I'm sure many will appreciate having access to this market research.

Topic(s):   Electronic Discovery
Posted by Jeff Beard