There’s a new sheriff in Information Governance and she goes by Autonomy

Since 2000 the requirements for broad based archiving of unstructured content have been on the rise.  The creation of the majority of unstructured content was widely done in electronic mail; or so we have assumed.  However, file attachments have become prolific in the last ten years increasing in both size and quantity within electronic mail.  These files must be created by someone and stored somewhere.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that these file attachments are stored locally and on file servers.  The files are outside the reach of traditional enterprise content management (ECM) and record management business processes.  The files are a product of non-deliberate business processes.  Non-deliberate processes, as I described in a previous blog with, are difficult to manage because they involve certain levels of creativity that fluctuate from day to day.

Processes that fluctuate according to the needs of the business, department and staff result in unique and unstructured content.  The content and processes require a special type of handling, in the form of Intelligent Archiving.  The archiving and ECM markets need to radically change their perception of solutions to these unstructured data problems.  In an attempt to address this Autonomy is announcing Autonomy Information Governance, the first intelligent information governance platform.  Their plan, according to their press release, is to address three cost and risk oriented business processes.

Autonomy Information Governance Platform.jpg

Compliance, Enterprise Legal Hold and Disposition Management are the three business processes driving up costs and creating risks.  Compliance is aimed at automating information control to address and enforce internal risks, such as those felt by Siemens in the bribery scandals.  Enterprise Legal Hold is aimed at automating and managing the requirement to maintain information for specific legal cases.  Finally, disposition management is aimed at managing data retention according to the three-way relationship between the burden of user access, risks to the company and need for legal production.

On Friday April 11th, 2008, Autonomy held a press briefing in San Francisco to inform news agencies of these plans in the wake of sub-prime credit investment issues, federal rules for civil procedure and potential activism around executive pay at failed companies.

At the press briefing, Autonomy had several panelists sharing their thoughts on the subject of unstructured content, risks and business processes.  One of the panelists, Browning Marean, partner, DLA Piper US LLP commented on the complexity of the problem, “Millions in legal or internal costs can be incurred just trying to comply with legal hold requests, in addition to fines resulting from not delivering fast enough.  It was technology (electronic information) that got us into this mess, and technology will have to get us out.”  Marean doesn’t decry IDOL as the answer, but it is obvious without an index, like Autonomy IDOL, all you have are globs of unstructured data with little or no relationship.

To build and establish a relationship, Autonomy is setting in motion their grand plans for an Intelligent Information Governance Platform. At the center of the platform will be IDOL and the same philosophy that founded the company. Dr. Mike Lynch founded Autonomy on the basis of indexing “human friendly” information so that computers could understand its “meaning” and managing sound.  Using that philosophy and associated algorithms, Autonomy will leverage IDOL in this new offering.  As we break through the silence on Intelligent Information Governance Platform, you can expect more analysis on it here.

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