Investigate or investigated: how the credit crisis fall-out is turbo-charging the enterprise search, eDiscovery and information management market!

Posted on January 29, 2010


At this moment, only two specialized applications in the enterprise search market exist that show growth potential: those that are used to investigate the fall-out of the credit crisis and those used by organizations as part of their defense against investigations resulting from their activities in the banking and financial industry. Although most of the economy is flat on its belly and IT budgets are being slashed, enterprise-search applications are one of the few areas where organizations are allocating investment resources. Even if little budget exists for capital expenditures, most organizations involved in financial (and related) sectors realize that they must be prepared to cover the cost of managing documentation and information related to an investigation or a law suit. High-quality enterprise search tools are proving to be the best value-adding resource in terms of providing organizations a full range of capabilities to enhance operational efficiency and the proper scope procedural thoroughness.


Financial-crisis factors that drive the need for enterprise search

The following needs exist as a result of the current financial crisis and are a good framework with which to establish the appropriate criteria to view the importance of enterprise search and the benefits it can provide as part of a comprehensive records management solution:

Ability to find specific information within huge, diverse archives
One of the greatest challenges faced by organizations is being able to adequately answer questions from regulators about what has been taking place across an organization’s operations and with its employees. Frequently, information about specific types of transactions on specific dates is requested, under threat of high fines or legal actions. Determining where to search is a complex proposition; as such, many times there is no choice but to have a specialist read all available information. This process is, of course, very expensive and can take a long time. Moreover, only the most advanced and fine-tuned search tools can handle the sticky problem of searching hidden databases and repositories.

Capability to handle confidential information

Before information can be transferred to a third party, all confidential and so-called privileged data must first be removed or made anonymous (by redaction). For this, it is often not known what type of information must be searched for: social security numbers, employees’ medical files, correspondence between lawyer and client, confidential technical information from a supplier or customer, and so on.

Capacity to account for reach of investigations

Shareholders, affected large financial institutions and other involved organizations may file charges and claims. Opposing parties can legally request all potentially relevant information through a subpoena, which triggers a discovery process. This legal procedural framework is applicable to American companies as well as every organization that directly or indirectly conducts business in the United States with the affected parties.

Platform to anticipate the evolution of transparency and accountability

Major legislative changes and stricter control systems will inevitably evolve and gain strength, forcing companies to conduct even more rigorous, regular and proactive internal investigations, deeper audits, and risk analyses. Technology (particularly text mining) that helps process and analyze enormous amounts of information in a timely fashion will become a required tool of doing business.

Of course, the final answer to help solve all discovery-based problems is to have a proper records management framework in place, with a true enterprise search mechanism to drive it. Through our two decades of work with auditing firms and legal professionals, ZyLAB has ensured that the discovery solutions we offer can provide for the appropriate tools for both records management and enterprise search. Not only do ZyLAB tools provide end-to-end support for all stages of discovery, we provide complete and practical methodologies to enhance overall operational efficiencies and to provide clients with approved and understandable processes that can be explained and supported in court.