In this Q&A, Ryan Joyce, Senior VP of Strategy, offers perspectives on where the industry has been and where it’s going, and more about the exciting things that are happening at IPRO.
Ryan, you’ve been with IPRO for almost 20 years – and that has to have been quite a journey. What’s been the most surprising thing about the journey?
I think the resiliency of the industry is incredible. Through every kind of challenge – economic downturns, even a global pandemic, the eDiscovery and litigation industries have always been able to bounce back, and it seems like each time we prove ourselves stronger than the last. Certainly there were a lot of things that could have dragged the whole industry down during this last year, but instead we adapted to what was going on and reinvented the way we got things done so that we could continue to serve and report, investigate, and even litigate. So, I’m proud of us as a company, and of the industry as a whole.
You mentioned innovation. What are your thoughts on that as the VP of Strategy?
Innovation is really all about pushing the boundaries. Challenging the norm. Rejecting the idea that just because something has always been done in a particular way, that’s the way it has to be done, and instead, really thinking about everything that we do and asking ourselves how we can do it better.
We’ve been driven by that philosophy since our early days, and it has helped us leapfrog some of the other players that are out there time and again. Aspiring for true automation and integrating great technologies from inData, NetGovern, and ZyLAB combined with IPRO’s rock solid tools has allowed IPRO to push innovation and challenge the norm.
Obviously, the goal is end-to-end solutions, and has been for some time. Not just for IPRO, but across the industry. What does that mean for you, and what does it mean for companies and firms that are looking for support?
What it means for us is the ability to provide our clients with an appropriate solution that helps them achieve the outcomes they need, no matter where they are on that EDRM continuum. Whether it’s data auditing or breaches, document requests, or investigations, or productions and actually going to trial on the back end, we want to be in lockstep with them, helping them find and use the right technologies and the best approaches to do the work at hand. But at the end of the day, “end-to-end solution” is really just a big buzzword, and IPRO is a lot more than just that. Yes, we have a great automated end-to-end workflow and we help our clients throughout that entire journey, but we also help them with individual problems along the way.
What that means for our clients, or for anyone who is looking for service and support, is that it’s never all or nothing. That’s what’s great about our solution. You don’t have to use the entire thing. You can get what you need to solve an individual pain point or use case or for a complete IG and eDiscovery end-to-end workflow.
It sounds as though law firms could use that flexibility as a revenue generator.
They could – and that’s been a huge shift in the industry over the last five years or so. Back in the day, firms would house data on prem, and they weren’t charging their clients for storage. But as they started moving to the cloud, they needed to start recouping those costs. We’ve seen it slowly become common for firms to charge for this. So, we’ve adapted by providing direct, custom invoicing in the environment, or through our services environment, so they can make that decision as they see fit – which means there is a potential for profit. And as a matter of fact, we have a lot of services companies that leverage our cloud and the value we provide. It essentially levels the playing field for small and medium sized firms. They can compete at the largest scale, but at a fraction of the cost they would pay if they were to try and build out that infrastructure on their own. Plus, it allows them to scale very easily.
After everything you’ve seen in the industry over the last 20 years, what are you most excited about right now? What are you most looking forward to?
The thing that I’m most looking forward to, and the one thing I really hope IPRO can do, is changing the status quo. Change what everybody expects – and accepts – as the norm.
Let’s be real. Just taking huge amounts of data and stuffing it into processing and review has to stop. IPRO is trying to change the game in that respect, and even though we’re very proud of our processing, analytics, and review tools, we need to take the next step and push those boundaries toward even smarter ways. So, with the recent moves IPRO has made over the last couple years and the new workflows and technologies we have brought to your clients and the market, I’m very excited about being able to change that status quo.
What do you think the next 20 years will bring?
I think the industry will keep changing. I mean, of course it will – companies that weren’t even players in our field are having a big impact. Companies that were once just in information governance have started moving into eDiscovery, and vice versa. And I’m sure that’s only going to continue – things are going to change pretty drastically over the next five to 10 years, in terms of the way corporations manage their data and the way they work with their vendors, outside counsel, and consultants. Certainly, the tech is going to change, and as a result, the processes and services are going to change – and IPRO will be at the forefront of all of it.