Everlaw Survey Finds Cloud-based Ediscovery Doubled in a Year
USA/Canada News

Everlaw logoEverlaw, the cloud-native investigation and litigation platform, published today “2022 Ediscovery Innovation Report: Leaders and Laggards,” revealing that cloud-based ediscovery is increasingly becoming standard practice.

In partnership with the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), Everlaw surveyed nearly 200 legal professionals in the U.S. across law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and legal service providers to surface key trends in ediscovery and build on Everlaw’s 2021 research. 

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Here are the key findings on adoption: 

  • Cloud-based ediscovery managed in-house doubled in a year (24% in 2022 v. 10% in 2021)
  • 55% of respondents are managing an in-house solution, whether cloud-based or on-premises
  • 96% of respondents view the shift to the cloud as inevitable by 2024
  • The number of respondents that believe cloud-based ediscovery is already the norm increased by 66% in 2022 as compared to 2021.

The research uncovered a stark divide between cloud leaders* and laggards**, where first movers faced fewer challenges while reaping key advantages in ediscovery capabilities as well as lower costs, compared with those using on-premises ediscovery software.  

Here are the top findings on leaders and laggards:

1. The cloud removes ediscovery headaches and adds headstarts compared to on-premises 

    • In nine of 10 categories, leaders experience fewer ediscovery challenges than laggards, such as:
      • Managing new or complex file types (26% v. 41% laggards – their #1 challenge); 
      • Manual workflows (20% v. 38% laggards); 
      • Being understaffed (17% v. 34% laggards); and 
      • Speed (11% v. 28% laggards)
    • Leaders reap advantages in ediscovery, such as their ability to use:
      • Advanced discovery features, such as AV transcription (74% v. 28% laggards);
      • Early case assessment tools (72% v. 52% laggards) 
      • Technology assisted review and advanced analytics (67% v. 54% laggards); and 
      • Larger case sizes, as measured by discovery data (57% of leaders have cases in the 50+ gigabyte range v. 39% laggards ) 
    • Overall, laggards reported 37% more challenges than cloud leaders.


2. The cloud delivers cost advantages 

  • More than half of leaders (52%) said cost was the main advantage of moving to the cloud
  • Laggards said they pay extra for:
    • Translation services (84% v. 29% of leaders);
    • Security features (40% vs. 21% of leaders);
    • Advanced analytics (40% vs. 19% of leaders); and 
    • Data ingestion and processing capabilities (22% vs. 6% of leaders).
  • 3 in 4 leaders have a cost recovery model in place, compared to only 43% of laggards
  • Unpredictable costs was the only ediscovery concern that was greater for cloud leaders than for laggards (15% v. 7% of laggards) and was among the lowest ranked concerns.

3.A cloud perception gap exists: Laggards say the cloud is hard to learn and expensive, but leaders who are already in the cloud disagree:

  • 45% of on-premises users cite that “learning a new system” was a downside, yet only 30% of cloud users echo that sentiment
  • 59% of on premises users said that cost was a downside yet only 26% of cloud users did.


Everlaw conducted this study with the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) to learn more about key trends in ediscovery innovation. We emailed legal professionals in May of 2022 and received 195 completed responses to our survey. Respondents were not provided an incentive for participation, however, Everlaw made a $5,000 donation to Save the Children, Ukraine and The Innocence Project on behalf of the survey participants. 



*Leaders: Legal professionals deploying cloud-based, SaaS ediscovery solutions, managed in-house. These leaders represent the early majority in cloud-discovery adoption and 24% of total survey respondents.

**Laggards: Legal professionals using on-premises ediscovery software, managed in-house. Those who have yet to embrace the cloud, these individuals represent 32% of total survey respondents.


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