Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of TCDI’s CVLynx platform, as we know it and love it today. What originated as a thick client case management tool in the 1990s, quickly grew into a combined litigation management and eDiscovery platform that continues to stay true to its roots as a client driven technology platform.
The same spirit that has driven our development process for nearly thirty-three years was at the center of our “2020 Legal Technology and Practices Survey”. Our survey was designed to catalog the pain points and needs of our clients and industry colleagues across a variety of related Litigation Management and eDiscovery topics – collections, information governance, legal holds, case management, matter management, invoice analytics, project planning, automated workflows, and tasking. As our Development team planned the next iteration of CVLynx, our top priority was to provide valuable solutions that solved client problems and needs.
Below are highlights and key statistics from the survey results, which includes a few key surprises and my favorite part of the entire process. (Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with legal technology or practices.)
We received a close mix of law firm (39%) and corporate legal respondents (49%), with most participants having a role within their organization of attorney, paralegal, or legal operations. The survey responses were nearly split evenly among TCDI clients (55%) and non-TCDI clients, which included industry collogues that have never worked with TCDI.
The scope of the survey was a broad range of questions pertaining to various components of legal technology and processes, including: eDiscovery, litigation management, artificial intelligence, collections, legal hold, project management, invoice approval and analytics, M&A, ECA, audits, and any other relevant tool, process or workflow that the participants wished to provide feedback on. Questions were not specific to TCDI technology or processes, and the survey was designed to get a sense for the current state, successes and pain points of each respondent’s world as it relates to legal technology and process.
Top Pain Points Identified
A reoccurring theme among a good portion of our participants was the lack of a centralized, single “source of truth” to locate key information and documents. This issue was specifically mentioned as a pain point that aligned with related questions about the number of tools in use for litigation management and eDiscovery, indicating that valuable data is in multiple platforms and that it is challenging to get teams to use a single platform, even across shared matters. To quote one respondent, “There are too many systems!”
Coming in closely behind the ‘lack of a single platform’ issue are a few familiar challenges that seem to always be hanging around our industry: cost contains and increases in data volumes and types. On a related note, an interesting connection that came out of the survey data, is that those survey respondents that raised issues with having ‘too many platforms’ and the data increase challenges, also had “cost constraints” high on their list of the biggest impediments to successful eDiscovery and Litigation Management. Those participants not only wanted a better handle on their data and the platforms they reside in, but they also wanted better control and visibility into their legal spend and overall cost.
One of the most interesting data points that came out of the survey is that nearly 80% of respondents were using some form of analytics or artificial intelligence (55%), but one of the more common problems that they would like see solved by their technology partners is “more automation”. Along with the other challenges raised by the survey participants – too many systems, increasing data volumes and types – and mix that with the very reactive and rushed nature of the industry, it makes sense. You add that together with “disjointed workflows” (which can occur when multiple systems are in play), “a lack of time to organize”, increased volumes, and new data types, you can certainly end up with a lot of manual steps and challenges that you do not always get the luxury of time and money to solve with automation. And what can that lack of automation impact? You guessed it – cost constraints. Interesting how that all ties together in the survey responses, and in our everyday work.
Dave’s Favorite Thing About the Survey
It’s not as exciting of a reveal as Oprah’s favorite things, but I would argue that it is just as cool as anything she ever gave away on her show. This survey process was started, and somewhat delayed, as the world began to shut down during the start of the COVID pandemic a little more than a year ago. As we all adjusted to a “new normal” and the survey began moving forward again, we recognized that we were reaching out to colleagues across the country who faced challenges with physical distancing, working from home, a struggling economy, and social unrest.
Our founder and CEO, Bill Johnson, reminded us all of something his mother had taught him – no matter how bad our own situation may have seemed, others were often facing much worse. TCDI was in a very fortunate, strong, stable and busy position throughout the challenges of 2020. Bill wanted to give back to those facing difficult circumstances in employee communities, as well as the communities across the country where our clients and industry colleagues resided and worked. In addition to supporting employee causes, for those respondents who were kind enough to sit down with TCDI to review their survey responses, Bill committed to a $1,000 grant to a business, charity, or organization whose need was in keeping with the spirit of TCDI’s COVID-19 or Disrupting Oppression community outreach initiatives. Between TCDI employees and survey respondents we were able to help countless businesses (barber, dog groomer, summer camps, housekeepers, and restaurants), food banks, schools, non-profit organizations, and dozens of small business. We started with a survey, and we ended with so much more.
Many years from now I will always remember Bill’s generosity and all of those that took a little time out of their busy schedules to accept his challenge to help those that needed it most. And that is by far my favorite thing about TCDI’s 2020 Legal Technology and Practices Survey.
Our 2020 survey provided great insight to help us take our CV Suite of tools into the software’s 20th anniversary and beyond. We are grateful for all of those who provided feedback, along with others who have kept the spirit of our client driven technology going throughout our thirty-three year company history. There is more to come regarding the survey results, product releases, and so much more as we celebrate 20 years of CV, so stay tuned. The best is yet to come.