CIO Review >> Magazine >> December  2013 Government Technology Special issue

ZL Technologies: Harnessing Unstructured Big Data For The Large Enterprise

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Joe Philip Over the past decade, unstructured data has rapidly increased in volume and variety. These human-to-human communications—including emails, files, instant messages, and social media— have imposed serious monetary and reputational risks on today's enterprises.

Compliance regulations and litigation-readiness concerns mandate effective information governance. As regulations increase in complexity and scope, businesses are subject to escalating demands for information management, and risk punitive fines and reputational harm when failing to meet those demands.

With respect to litigation, the 2006 update to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) ushered in a new era of civil discovery, granting the same evidentiary weight to "soft" copies of documents as hard copies. Though the FRCP does not explicitly require businesses to effectively govern their data, drastic penalties are levied by the courts for failure to produce electronic evidence, in the form of sanctions and even final judgments. The FRCP's "Safe Harbor" provision also provides tremendous incentive to proactively manage data, since entities are not sanctioned where electronic evidence is lost through routine data management practices; such defensible disposal of data is only possible when all enterprise data is proactively managed.

Founded in 1999, ZL Technologies' mission is to help the modern enterprise address these serious issues by enabling comprehensive information governance. "We have a platform that can comprehensively manage data for storage, global search, eDiscovery, records management, compliance, regulation, and other related needs," says Kon Leong, the CEO and President of ZL Technologies. ZL Unified Archive, the company’s flagship offering, is differentiated by its unique, unified approach to data management. Other solutions in the market use a "siloed" approach, in which each business function (e.g. eDiscovery, records management, and compliance) constitutes a separate data environment. A siloed system has four primary flaws, which together lead to loss of data control: (1) Duplicate data—duplicate copies across multiple silos make it virtually impossible to single-instance or deduplicate data; (2) Inconsistent search—each silo has its own search engine and corresponding search capabilities; the same search command on the same data set will return disparate, silo-dependent results, (3) Disjointed retention—each silo has different retention capabilities; multiple copies of a file could each have different retention schedules based on the silo in which a given copy is located; (4) Incoherent view—Each siloed application will add, delete, change, and ultimately present a different view of a given file, its contents, and its metadata.

ZL's unified approach to information governance dissolves data silos. And since the data silos in other solutions are connected together with APIs, which cannot cope with high volumes of data, ZL UA offers the only solution that can truly scale to meet enterprise-level data volumes. With its assurance of one data copy, one consistent search, and one point of policy control, Unified Archive is unparalleled in the information governance space. It is thus unsurprising that Fortune 500 organizations and governmental agencies have been heavily favoring ZL's solution.

Since information governance solutions are significant investments, they must be able to adapt to new data types and increasing data volumes. Built on a single code base with unique GRIDbased architecture, Unified Archive ensures that its customers have a product that can not only meet current needs, but adapt to future ones.