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The Advantages of Better Search Capabilities
An organization that has deployed a robust search
capability can experience a number of important benefits.

– More Efficient Management of Data
For most organizations, data is the most important asset that
they possess. If an organization can index and search
through its data with a minimum of effort by using robust
search systems, its data management efforts will be much
more efficient. This will result in greater user productivity,
more rapid and better decision-making, lower costs and
greater organizational efficiency.

– Re-use of Existing Enterprise Knowledge
Users of email, instant messaging and the myriad other
systems in a typical enterprise create very large amounts of
data, including a large amount of unstructured data about
clients, business practices, policies, management decisions,
product plans and other information. This data represents
the corporate ‘memory’ of an organization and is typically
the most valuable information that an organization
possesses. If an organization can re-use this corporate
memory, users will spend less time recreating data and can
generate synergies that would not be possible in the
absence of this capability.

– Improved Security of Enterprise Data
If an organization cannot properly manage its data through
the use of structured data management and search tools, it
is very likely that it does not know what data it has and
where it is located. The result is that the security of this data
is very likely to be compromised, since data leakage and
loss will often not be detected. Conversely, if an
organization has organized its data properly, data leakage
can be detected more easily, resulting in the ability of an
organization to secure its data assets properly.

– Improved Corporate Governance
There are a number of corporate governance issues that
require the ability to conduct rapid and thorough searches
of corporate data. For example:

  • Rule 26(a)(1) of the new amendments to the FRCP
    require that even before a discovery order is issued, an
    organization must undertake an exhaustive search
    through all of its electronic data assets that it owns or
    controls. Rule 16(b) requires that this search must occur
    within a limited period of time after a legal action begins.

  • Organizations must respond in a timely manner to
    requests for information from government regulators. For
    example, the US Securities and Exchange Commission
    fined Merrill Lynch $2.5 million in 2006 for its inability to
    produce requested emails in a timely manner. The
    company took seven months to produce the emails in
    response to one request and five months in response to
    another request.

  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act substantially increases the
    penalties for destroying documents that are subject to
    retention requirements under existing laws and
    regulations, particularly any records that might be
    requested by government authorities in a criminal
    investigation or bankruptcy proceeding. For example,
    Section 103 of the Act requires registered public
    accounting firms to “prepare, and maintain for a period
    of not less than seven years, audit work papers, and
    other information related to any audit report, in sufficient
    detail to support the conclusions reached in such report.”
    Section 105 requires “the production of audit work
    papers and any other document or information in the
    possession of a registered public accounting firm or any
    associated person thereof…”. Section 802 requires that
    “any accountant who conducts an audit of an issuer of
    securities to which section 10A(a) of the Securities
    Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78j–1(a)) applies, shall
    maintain all audit or review workpapers for a period of
    five years from the end of the fiscal period in which the
    audit or review was concluded.”

    It is critical, therefore, than an organization can index
    and search across its data assets to determine which
    documents must be retained and that it is able to
    recover these documents quickly. Without an
    appropriate search capability, organizations will have a
    very difficult time meeting these requirements.

To view the full text, please download the PDF version here.

A data
tool should have
the ability to
index large
quantities of
documents and
should be able to
handle peak
demand loads.
The system
should have the
ability to index
all necessary
including the
content of all
emails, word
PDF files and
other files that
the organization
determines to be