Sunday, January 25, 2009

E-Discovery Cloud Computing Marketplace Outlook

Cloud computing is coming to E-Discovery. If you are not familiar with it yet, you soon will be. In simple terms, cloud computing enables users to access services without expertise with, nor control over the technology that supports the service. It is, almost literally, like operating the service in a cloud. Depending on who you ask, many see it as a good thing, because many law firms and companies lack the ability or desire to work with infrastructure required for large scale e-discovery.

I have been reading more and more articles on the topic, including this recent one regarding the e-mail archiving company Proofpoint that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Proofpoint recently acquired Fortiva, an email archiving software company.

Cloud Computing is defined by Wiki as Internet ("cloud") based development and use of computer technology ("computing"). It is a general concept that incorporates software as a service (SaaS), Web 2.0 and other recent, well-known technology trends, in which the common theme is reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users. An often-quoted example is Google Apps, which provides common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on Google servers.

Cloud Computing is similar to Saas (software-as-a-service) but there are differences as reported by Gartner in a recent report. The main difference is that “cloud computing” is more of the general concept about using the Internet to allow people to access scalable technology and services. Saas on the other hand is a model of software deployment where an application is hosted as a service provided to customers across the Internet and offered on a pay-per-use or via subscription. Many Saas solutions fall under the cloud computing definition, but to do so they must be "massively scalable", as defined by Gartner.

The underlying technology infrastructure to cloud computing is sometimes refered to as utility computing, which provides on-demand infrastructure with the ability to control, scale, and configure that infrastructure.

My prediction (and I am not alone) is that e-discovery cloud computing will make a significant impact on the EDD marketplace and how data is processed. I expect that software companies moving to a Web 2.0 platform and offering on-demand web-based solutions will gain significant market share over the next few years.

1 comment:

  1. Cloud computing, if implemented effectively has the potential to be a turn around revolution in Electronic discovery, because with its ease and multifunctional usage the entire discovery cycle can be more effective.

    Sundeep Malhotra