Five Advantages of Unified Information Access (UIA)

By Sid Probstein, CIO |  IT Management, enterprise search

Of course productivity is just one advantage of UIA. Being able to analyze information of all types very rapidly unlocks a variety of new doors. For example it may be possible to create new conversion or profit-driving analytics that use unstructured data created by users during service interactions. It may help make better decisions by bringing in and analyzing the opinion (or sentiment) gathered from both internal and external sources. Or it may create new sales opportunities by supporting complex subscription/access models. Any of these can be a major driver of revenue or profits.

2. New Requirements

It has been said many times that the only constant in life is change. In the past decade the average organization has become increasingly lean and distributed. In such an environment sharing information is essential to efficiency. Will there be more distribution in the next decade, or less? If you believe organizations will be more distributed, then clearly IT is going to have to start dealing with new requirements. Old assumptions will become invalid at an increasing rate. For example, it will no longer be a foregone conclusion that solution X will be deployed on the company's hardware or in the company's network.

Cost and desire are pushing companies towards cloud computing models, but this is just the first step. As organizations become more intertwined with strategic partners and customers ,they will need to share data; moreover, they will need to share it across silos.

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Imagine the future "real-time 360 degree view" of the customer -- will it be based on the monolithic data warehouse that so many organizations have today? The answer is that it will not. The customer of the future is a 'virtual' one that spans the internal/external boundary and who isn't represented just by transaction, but also text. Legacy technologies are simply not agile enough to manage this data in a timely, distributed fashion, but UIA can. UIA was designed and conceived with these challenges in mind. Information can be of any type, any in most any format. It can be distant or local. The key is that you get a single API to code against, and a single response to each query that can be rendered. Rendering is the fun, quick part of building applications, and for an IT department awash in new requirements and new complexity, it offers a tremendous relief.

3. Licensing/Business Model

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