IBM announced this morning that it will acquire StoredIQ, a privately-held information management company based in Austin, Texas, for an undisclosed sum.
StoredIQ specializes in the analysis and management of unstructured enterprise data. IBM seeks to incorporate its software into its overall big data strategy, with a special focus on governance (litigation and regulatory compliance), secure data disposal and storage cost reductions. StoredIQ will become a part of IBM's Information Lifecycle Governance suite.
In plain terms, IBM wants to help businesses figure out which data is important in the short- and long-term so that it's easier to find valuable data (and easier to eliminate unneeded data). Aside from being a good business practice -- you don't really want to keep every bit and byte, do you? -- it also helps cut down on all the hardware necessary to store that information.
Why is StoredIQ, in particular, of interest to Big Blue?
In the company's own words:
[Its] software provides scalable analysis and governance of disparate and distributed e-mail as well as file shares and collaboration sites. This includes the ability to discover, analyze, monitor, retain, collect, de-duplicate and dispose of data. In addition, StoredIQ can rapidly analyze high volumes of unstructured data and automatically dispose of files and emails in compliance with regulatory requirements.
Translation: Data may be the new oil, but there's too much of it and some of it is useless. Companies (and their CIOs in particular) are becoming overwhelmed by it. There's a business opportunity in helping them out.
StoredIQ has about 120 customers to date, spanning the financial services, healthcare, government and manufacturing industries. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.