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Facilitate Decision-Making And Mitigate Risk
Using Enterprise Discovery

This article is part of the Best Practices White Paper Search/Information Access [May 2009]


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In today’s marketplace, with data repositories across the enterprise growing at exponential rates, internal knowledge and relevant information is becoming increasingly difficult to find and retrieve when it is needed. With enterprise discovery software, companies’ information silos are indexed in an "always current," centralized and scalable manner to provide a comprehensive view of corporate operations, intellectual property and relational capital.

By allowing for such prompt access, management is better informed to make decisions, retain and use critical knowledge, and mitigate the risk and cost of litigation.

Enterprise discovery solutions benefit organizations in various areas, including:

  • Strategic and operational planning;
  • Information security;
  • Human resources management;
  • Litigation preparedness; and
  • Compliance.

Here are some specific business functions that can be enhanced with enterprise discovery solutions:

Business knowledge. In the information age, business knowledge is accumulating at an accelerated pace. For many executives and their employees, it is impractical to manually sort and analyze all of the data in order to make the best decisions in a reasonable timeframe. Enterprise discovery solutions provide business leaders with a unique and unprecedented view of their operations. By aggregating and indexing structured and unstructured data, enterprise discovery solutions provide the ability to uncover trends, opportunities and threats, as well as enhance information security.

"Pending business deals; relationships with customers, suppliers or fellow workers; drafts of documents; and even financial results for the quarter are buried in the email avalanche," says Susan Feldman, research VP for search and discovery technologies at IDC. "To understand the state of the business, as well as curb potentially harmful actions, enterprises should consider using their information access platform to mine and monitor their email repositories."

Human resources management. HR teams must support the company’s continued success by ensuring knowledge continuity, improving efficiency and productivity and assisting in employment litigation. Enterprise discovery is a software solution that enables executives to facilitate knowledge transfer between employees and thus preserve corporate intelligence and bolster relational capital.

Enterprise discovery also plays a significant role in productivity. According to IDC studies, people spend more than nine hours a week looking for information, and are unable to find what they are looking for a third of that time.1 Project-hours are lost searching for information; leveraging collective knowledge enhances innovation and increases efficiency.

Legal and compliance. Given the current macroeconomic climate, experts suggest that enterprises should expect more litigation and regulation. An increase in litigation is anticipated as job losses, broken contracts and other economic hardships occur, while more regulation is expected to promote confidence and provide greater stability. Enterprise discovery solutions benefit a company’s legal operations in a number of ways, including litigation preparedness and documentation support. Furthermore, mechanisms can be put in place to monitor and alert when compliance is breached.

Questions To Ask Solution Providers
When speaking with a solution provider, it is important to understand their product, capabilities and how they can meet your needs. The solution must be scalable and adaptable, and capable of indexing structured and unstructured data. It should also be cost-effective, easy to deploy and offer a proof of concept to minimize risk.


Coveo is a leading provider of information access and search solutions for the enterprise that provide instant access, from anywhere, to valuable information by indexing all relevant material found in email servers and archives, intranets, customer relationship management, enterprisewide information systems, databases, Web content and multimedia. Coveo’s free white paper, "Enterprise Discovery to Facilitate Decision-Making and Mitigate Risk," is available online at www.coveo.com/KMwp

1 IDC: "The Hidden Costs of Information Work", April 2006, IDC #201334


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