Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Friday, February 22, 2008

Information Rights Management .. a separate category ??

Authentica acquired by EMC, Stellnet acquired by Oracle ( and others in the pipeline I am sure .. ) ... Is it the beginning of the trend ?

Just like any new technology, Information Rights Management for enterprises has emerged as new technology offering but recent activity in the M&A space indicates that this might not continue to remain so ..

In my humble opinion the factor that determines whether a technology will stand on its own feet or be gobbled by related technologies is determined by its independence and completeness.

IRM is a fairly dependent technology since it depends on the format, devices and applications for the information being managed. For enterprises it is also largely incomplete since to deliver value an associated content management system is almost always required.

Both the above point to trends of IRM companies being acquisition targets for ECM companies as is indicated by the trend.

TREND : Enterprise IRM technology space will continue to see consolidation with companies in related businesses like content management, document management, online data rooms etc.

The above hypothesis however does not hold true for provisioning IRM technology as a service for the large mass of small and medium businesses ( law firms, accountants, wealth advisories, ... ) who cannot ( and would prefer not to !! ) invest in an IRM system. They would rather have this technology as stand along, perhaps plugged in with gmail, skype or any other online communication service. For this profile of users the technology should be independent and complete.

TREND : IRM technology will be made available to the "retail" user by integrating with other online services like email, IM, fileshare in a service model

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hiccups in consumer DRM technologies ... what does it mean for enterprise rights management ?

With billions of dollars being spent on DRM technologies frought with problems of formats and devices ... What does it mean for the enterprise information rights management ??

Simply ... Nothing !

The reasons for consumer DRM technologies taking so much time to mature are all removed from business information rights management. Consumer DRM technologies have to deal with problems of formats, device compatibility and device connectivity in case the rights management needs to be centralized.

And all this for what ? ? For some teenager to stilll stream the music through the Ipod to a recording device on the 3.5 mm jack ??

Thankfully the enterprise rights management space has a very small part of those problems .. i.e.

Formats : If an EDRM system works with office, PDF and text formats then 80% of the problem is solved. Yes there is still AutoCAD drawings, Open office and online systems like google docs to cover .. but hey .. last time we checked Microsoft was still $250B !!

Devices : PCs & Macs make up a large part of the business communication devices. Compatibility with blackberry and new age systems could be a bonus.

Device connectivity - This is the one biggest factor which will is working in favour of EDRM system. Connectivity of devices ensures that it is possible to centralize the management of rights and policies. Most EDRM vendors like Liquid M/C, Seclore, Oracle and Adobe have taken this route.

One issue that is likely to face the EDRM vendors is virtualization. Policies for rights management will be have to be clearly and uniformly defined in case of virtualization.