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Comparing Notes: Four Trends to Watch after LTNY 2015

Rene Laurens

For e-discovery software companies, LegalTech New York is an important opportunity to hear what’s top of mind for legal professionals. In reflecting on what we learned in New York a few weeks ago, we wanted to balance our observations with those of an analyst in our community, David Houlihan from Blue Hill Research—a firm focused on understanding how technology supports business success.

This year, we heard about four key demands for 2015. Check out our observations below, with commentary from David.


Rene: With recent data hacks and security breaches in the public mindset, talk was strong around data security at this year’s show. Folks in the industry want to know how to prevent these attacks, as well as how to prepare their data to minimize security risks. Do you look back at LTNY as a milestone or turning point on this topic?

David: I was really struck by how much this was a topic at the event. There’s growing awareness in the legal space that organizations are vulnerable to breaches, and that data accountability and management is a big deal. When I asked people how they talk about security, the anecdotal feedback I got was that the conversations were a bit more sophisticated than they had been in the past, if different. I think the awareness is growing and it’s nearing a boiling point. I think that’s progress.

Extensible technology

Rene: As data volumes grow, case teams need to do more than ever in a very limited amount of time. Are automated workflows and a platform approach to e-discovery technology seen as viable approaches to minimize the work involved in really complex cases?

David: I heard attention from some vendors pushing a platform play, particularly around the concept of being a one-stop shop. A lot of folks want to talk about plugins for things like collection and ECA. This is interesting, because where a best-in-breed approach means people can pick and choose the things they’re familiar with, platforms have a positive effect on cost of ownership.

Flexible deployment options

Rene: More legal teams are looking for the ability to access e-discovery solutions without requiring internal setup and maintenance of hardware and software. Many are also looking for a simple, robust solution they can use when they need it, but scale down when they don’t. Cloud-based solutions and managed services options have a big impact here.

David: People are looking for scalable options that are easy going. They want to scale up and down. From their perspective, if you’re not consistently in litigation, you don’t want to be stuck with anything—but you definitely want the flexibility to take advantage of these options when litigation does arise and you need them.

Simple, visual workflows

Rene: Case teams want to get a broad view of what their data looks like and what actions end users are making. Using interactive, real-time visualizations to monitor key data points means changes and new information can be seen at a glance, analyzed, and then handled in the appropriate manner. Teams also have increasingly high demands for easy-to-use, intuitive workflows—and vendors are really talking about all the ways they can deliver.

David: Everyone is trying to minimize clicks, making software more intuitive for the attorney audience. Especially where attorneys are involved, vendors want to make it as painless as possible. I heard this topic a lot from both technologists and end-users, so this is one area where the vendors and the market are pretty well aligned.

We’re excited to see what the year will bring for e-discovery.

Take a look at more LegalTech insights from David Houlihan on the Blue Hill blog, and if you attended LTNY this year, let us know what topics caught your attention at the show.

Rene Laurens is a member of the Relativity solutions group, assisting case teams with processing, searching, and analytics workflows. He has more than eight years of litigation support experience, specializing in e-discovery, databases, and project management.

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