What is Electronic Discovery

What is Electronic Discovery

What is Electronic Discovery

Modern enterprise companies produce an unfathomable amount of information every single day. Storing this data, either on-premise or in the cloud is one of the largest expenses most companies face. While retaining this data is costly, when companies are involved in a lawsuit, they must be able to produce evidence when requested.

APR. 20, 2017 | 5 MIN. READ

AUTHOR: Robin Auer, Design Research, IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software

Consider the most common form of electronic data created by organizations: email. An average employee at a large company like IBM sends and receives around 50 emails on a normal workday. After just one year of service, this employee would have racked up 13,000 emails. This means that every year a company like IBM sends and receives about 5 billion emails!

Where do enterprises
have their data?

Analog Data Sources
Data Sources
Non-Indexed Volumes
Data Sources
Employee Devices

Discovery as a legal process is the pre-trial procedure in which each party gains information held by the adverse party concerning a case. Discovery is the disclosure of facts, documents, and any electronically stored information or tangible objects. Electronic discovery (eDiscovery) refers to a specific process of identifying, preserving, collecting, processing, searching, reviewing, and producing electronically stored information that may be relevant to a civil, criminal, or regulatory case

Steps of eDiscovery

Once litigation begins, the attorney and court agree to a certain set of documents which must be submitted as evidence.


After relevant information has been identified, the company needs to make sure nothing goes missing. A common method of ensuring preservation is to send a legal hold notification to employees who own data that may be used as evidence.


Collection Planning /  Early Data Assessment
With everything preserved, the company can now make a plan to collect the evidence they need. Remember, these files are in different places and many people can have access to them. The company also does not want to produce duplicates of anything, as collecting and storing the evidence is expensive!

Collection Planning

Once the plan is made, the company begins the collection process. All files need to be collected. This is hard work because it is spread across many different channels, and there will inevitably be holes in the plan.


After all of the evidence has been collected, the company exports the evidence for review. All digital data will be later processed with a review tool.


eDiscovery Reference Model EDRM

The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a detailed reference model that is used as a standard for the discovery and recovery of digital data. EDRM's data collection scheme ensures that electronic data is handled in a cost-effective and efficient manner. StoredIQ for Legal affects the first part of the EDRM Model while other competing products handle the second half. The focus of StoredIQ for Legal is to discover, preserve and collect relevant data when they are facing impending litigation or an internal investigation.

“The Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is a framework that outlines standards for the recovery and discovery and of digital data.”

Margaret Rouse

EDRM model

Market Research

But why is this market so relevant for software companies like IBM, let’s talk about one concrete examples. Deutsche Bank is a traditional IBM Atlas Customer. Atlas is the of StoredIQ for Legal. In 2016 Deutsch Bank had 7600 concurrent lawsuits. The earnings release shows that charges totaled 5.8 billion euros last year, including 2.9 billion euros in the fourth quarter alone. It said these were related to impairments of goodwill, the sale of its Abbey life insurance business, restructuring and de-risking, and litigation costs which totaled 1.6 billion euros in the last quarter of 2016. As part of an IT modernization, Deutsche Bank is transitioning to StoredIQ for Legal.

“The eDiscovery market size is expected to grow from USD 10.76 billion in 2018 to USD 17.32 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.0% during the forecast period.”


In one of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants, they evaluated vendors of electronic discovery (e-discovery) software for the identification, preservation, collection, processing, review, analysis, and production of electronically stored information (ESI). HP is the only vendor to have been consecutively placed in the leader’s quadrant since its inception in 2011. In total, Gartner lists 20 players including IBM in 2015. All the competitors cover different areas of the EDRM Model, but there is not a solution which brings a complete product portfolio. Since May 2018 GDPR puts pressure on companies to be able to inform, erase or export personal information at any time. They need help with that, and they still struggle to manage data consistently.

Rouse, Margaret
EDRM (electronic discovery reference model), Newton 2014
See: techtarget.com

Waldron, Jim
EDRM Model, Durham 2019
See: edrm.net

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee cuts litigation costs saving up to $1 million USD per case, YouTube 2013
See: youtube.com

Amaro, Silvia
Deutsche Bank posts $2 billion loss in fourth quarter as litigation costs weigh, CNBC Online 2017
See: cnbc.com

eDiscovery Market by Component (Software (Processing, Review and Analysis, Identification, Preservation and Collection, and Production and Presentation) and Services), Deployment Type, Organization Size, Vertical and Region - Global Forecast to 2023, researchandmarkets.com 2018
See: researchandmarkets.com

Zhang, Jie & Landers, Garth
Magic Quadrant for E-Discovery Software, Stamford 2015
See: gartner.com