IBM Focuses on Information Governance with New Software, Services
February 9, 2010 Alex Woodie
IBM last week announced two new products aimed at helping organizations ensure that rules and policies regarding access to information are enforced. Both products, Optim Data Redaction and IBM InfoSphere Business Information Monitor, will become available in March. InfoSphere only will become available to a select group of customers. IBM also announced new services and a new Center of Excellence dedicated to information governance.
New regulations, such as the recently bolstered HIPAA and the Hi-Tech Act, are putting stronger restraints on how organizations–particularly companies in the healthcare business–manage sensitive data. IBM has moved aggressively to satisfy these new requirements through the development of new products, like the new Optim and InfoSphere tools, and acquisitions, such as last week’s announced acquisition of Initiate, a developer of data integrity software for organizations in the healthcare and government industries.
Optim Data Redaction is the latest product to join the Optim family of tools, which IBM obtained through its 2007 acquisition of Princeton Softech. The software is designed to automatically recognize and remove sensitive content from documents and forms. The software could be used by a bank, for example, to hide a customer’s credit scores in a loan document from an office clerk, while allowing it to be viewed by a loan officer, according to IBM.
It’s not clear whether Optim Data Redaction will work directly with DB2/400; IBM did not say and details of the product are not yet available. If it’s like other Optim products, such as the archiving and test management software for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne that work with DB2/400 and i/OS only through “toleration support”, then it’s doubtful a System i shop would want to jump through the hoops to use it, unless they have lots of other data to protect on Unix, Windows, Linux, and mainframe systems.
IBM said that the upcoming InfoSphere Business Monitor product would work with all DB2 data, including, presumably, DB2/400 (which IBM officially calls DB2 for i), in addition to other major DBMSes, business intelligence systems, and ERP systems. The software is designed to alert administrators when unexpected breaks in the flow of data raise the likelihood of errors developing in the data.
IBM gives the example of a health insurance company that is analyzing profit margins across different product lines and geographies. If the data feed from one part of the world did not make it into the aggregated database used for analysis, InfoSphere Business Monitor would alert the administrator to the problem, and steps could be taken to fix it.
IBM says InfoSphere Business Monitor is based in part on technology developed by Guardium, a database security software company that IBM acquired last fall. Guardium’s products gained DB2/400 support last spring.
Big Blue’s worldwide services unit also announced the foundation of a new organization dedicated to helping clients with their information governance needs. Called the IBM Global Business Services’ Information Governance Center of Excellence (COE), the organization will be able to tap more than 250 IBM pros with expertise in the design, development, and deployment of information governance projects.