IBM Acquires StoredIQ for Data Governance

Wrangling data (both digitized and on paper) is a growing issue for many organizations.

IBM has acquired StoredIQ, a privately held firm that specializes in governance tools for massive datasets, with an eye toward integrating its technology assets with the IBM Information Lifecycle Governance suite. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013; as usual for this sort of agreement, financial terms went officially undisclosed.

StoredIQ positions its information-governance technology as capable of controlling “content chaos,” helping do everything from cleaning up and arranging outdated records to conducting in-place analysis and classification of data. It targets that technology at a number of industries, including healthcare and software development—which certainly makes sense, considering how wrangling massive amounts of data is an issue facing pretty much every industry at the moment.

It also offers e-discovery tools for the legal profession, which offer the ability to analyze data in real-time, and data-intelligence solutions that let organizations properly scope out the age and location of their in-house data.

Based on IBM’s own press release on the acquisition, it seems that Big Blue is primarily interested in pointing those StoredIQ assets at the legal and regulatory industries. Granted, both those sectors have issues with disposing of outdated information, as well as automating processes such as e-discovery. “CIOs and general counsels are overwhelmed by volumes of information that exceed their budgets and their capacity to meet legal requirements,” Deidre Paknad, vice president of Information Lifecycle Governance at IBM, wrote in a statement.

Earlier this year, IBM acquired Vivisimo, another data-wrangling firm. Vivisimo software automates data discovery, pulling information from a number of organizational sources regardless of format or location. At the time, IBM described those assets as an ideal way to “automate the flow of data into business analytics applications, helping clients better understand consumer behavior, manage customer churn and network performance.” Practical applications include fraud detection and marketing campaigns.

Between Vivisimo, StoredIQ and other acquisitions over the past few years, IBM is clearly interested in giving its clients the ability to set up an efficient information-governance system in relatively short order. (One of StoredIQ’s touted benefits is its supposed ease of installation.) Given the continuing interest in data analytics and storage, of course, the company faces significant competition in that arena from other IT giants—which could very well respond to the StoredIQ buy with some acquisitions of their own.


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