Two years ago, CEO Mike Lynch of Autonomy tried to persuade me that Autonomy was and would remain dominant in the e-discovery search market because:
- The essence of the buying decision was that enterprises wanted to fulfill obligations to make their information available in a way that would would satisfy the courts.
- Autonomy had some high-profile traction (e.g., the Enron case) that made it the default decision, and hence in particular a choice that met the requirement.
Recently, I ran that theory by David Ferris, whose firm Ferris Research has long been a/the leading small analyst firm covering e-mail and related technologies. He wasn’t buying. David believes courts are getting more sophisticated in their understanding of search technology. Even more to the point, David cited several other buying motivations that would lead enterprises to want best-available rather than just-good-enough e-discovery search technology, such as:
- Enterprises want to know what information is available to be discovered against them.
- Enterprises want to discover the information that will best aid their legal defense.
- If they’re archiving the material for one purpose (e-discovery) anyway, enterprises want to get the most possible value out of it for other purposes while they’re at it.