November 16, 2011
Changes in the economic climate, pressure from shareholders, increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, environmental issues, political instability, and unanticipated process failures challenge the energy and utilities sector. Baby boomers continue to retire, necessitating the capture and retention of knowledge assets from a skilled workforce. It is now essential to improve internal performance and to minimize risk. Our clients share common goals – to leverage and use knowledge assets to improve decision making and processes, and to reduce risk.
The energy and utilities sector faces growing issues internally, and from uncontrollable external factors. The stumbling block is the inability to capture and identify the context within knowledge assets, to achieve business improvements. Data sovereignty is complicated, coupled with compliance and legal regulations that change as borders are crossed. Corporate memory and knowledge assets sit idle, instead of being used for research and improved decision making. Internal security, privacy laws, and cyber security are being addressed after the fact, resulting in fines, legal expenses, and restitution. A fundamental issue is the inability to easily access all relevant, timely, and accurate information, in the right context, at the right time, by the right person. Without this, failure is inevitable.
All Concept Searching product platforms perform automatic compound term metadata generation, auto-classification, and taxonomy management. Content that was siloed and inaccessible can now be classified for use. Hybrid search capabilities enable strategic and operational information to be quickly accessed, for analysis, research, and decision making. Platform agnostic, the technologies can be configured to proactively identify any security violation, preventing security and data breaches. Issues relating to data sovereignty and compliance can be controlled through automatic tagging and routing of content to the correct location or person responsible for action. Information access and security rights are automatically enforced for specific data assets, ensuring third parties collaborate securely, accessing only information they have explicitly been given access to.Technology Benefits
Concept Searching’s unique, flexible technology enables the energy and utilities sector to address the issue of organizing and managing the increasing volume of unstructured and semi-structured content. This makes it the solution of choice for enterprises that need to proactively improve business processes that impact the bottom line.Solution Use Cases Request a Demo
From an enterprise view, energy and utility companies share common challenges, although each can be unique in nature. Specific to the industry, some challenges are outside the control of the organization. Yet dealing with them successfully is key to organizational profitability. To address these challenges the organization itself must proactively envision innovative ways to increase preparedness, and solve the challenges within its control. This needs to be done at the tactical, business process level through a combination of people and technologies. At the heart of many of these challenges is the inability to manage unstructured and semi-structured content in a manner that facilitates, if not solves search challenges including eDiscovery and litigation support, protection of confidential information, records management, migration, text analytics, collaboration, and social content.
To solve the big picture challenges, it comes down to executing day-to-day tasks through a combination of people and technology. When addressing the big picture challenges, organizations must solve the basic problems that support the overall objectives of the organization.
The fundamental technology problems that can improve the performance of the organization as a whole include:
At the crux of all these challenges is metadata. In alignment with our intelligent content in context approach, intelligent solutions for the enterprise can only be achieved through the automatic generation of multi-term metadata, are specific to the various vocabularies and nomenclature of the organization, and serves as the foundation for any application that requires metadata. The enterprise metadata framework is then used to auto-classify content, and manage it through interactive, yet highly sophisticated, and industry unique taxonomy tools.
The CIO or CTO in any industry faces both strategic and tactical challenges. In the public sector the responsibilities are broad and challenging. The strategic challenges must be carefully addressed with a focus on the impact at a tactical level. Budgetary constraints can change the priorities and force a ‘pick and choose’ philosophy to improve performance. One of the key differentiators in the Concept Searching platforms is the re-usability of the core technologies to solve multiple content management and business process challenges. This provides a cost benefit in terms of the elimination of separate solutions to address key application challenges, a reduction in staff to implement and maintain the applications, and transparent usability from the end user perspective. The flexibilty of the intelligent metadata enabled solutions can address search, eDiscovery, records management, eliminate data privacy and data breaches, provide intelligent migration, social media applications, text analytics capabilities, and over all content management. The ability to leverage the existing infrastructure to improve these challenges assists the CIO or CTO in addressing multiple issues. An additional key component in the Concept Searching platforms is the ability to deploy in an on-premise environment, cloud, or hybrid environment.
Regardless of whether you are a SharePoint Administrator, or the CTO, Concept Searching technologies make your management of metadata easy. Integrated natively with the SharePoint Term Store, Concept Searching platforms remove the manual processes of metadata management, eliminates end user adoption issues, and aligns IT with business objectives. Installed quickly and easily, means you can start classifying content in a matter of hours. Without a taxonomy expert on staff, the interactive, powerful, yet easy-to-use taxonomy tools can be used by business or IT professionals. Organizations can build an enterprise metadata repository and provide the re-usable technology to improve any application that requires the use of metadata.
In records management eliminating end user tagging, automatic application of content types, and routing of the document of record to the records management application reduces organizational risk, and improves information lifecycle management. Concept Searching product platforms eliminate end user tagging and automates document workflow for storage, preservation, access, usage controls, and automatically enforces protection of the records integrity throughout the individual document lifecycle eliminating many of the fundamental obstacles faced by records professionals on a day-to-day basis.
Energy and utility companies are continually faced with eDiscovery and litigation challenges. H/R must also ensure that the organization protects the privacy of all staff and eliminates any exposure that increases the risk of potential litigation or a data breach. Concept Searching platforms can be integrated with any eDiscovery or litigation application, or as a stand-alone technology, to retrieve highly granular content pertinent to the objective. Since information is retrieved by identifying concepts the legal professional can eliminate complex queries and through vocabulary normalization, ambiguities are eliminated and related content is identified even though the specific vocabulary wasn’t specified in the query. The H/R professional can continually monitor and proactively address any violation involving PII, PHI, as well as safety compliance issues.
Energy organizations often cross global boundaries, and additional security and compliance mandates are critical to the process of managing the compliance challenges associated with unstructured information. The drain on resources and time needed to stay on top changing mandates, as well as multinational content asset protection is enormous. The value of the Concept Searching platforms is the ability to rapidly develop information governance and compliance rules that can immediately identify any compliance violations at the time of content creation or ingestion. Violations can then be flagged and automatically routed to a repository for disposition.
According to IDC, less than 50% of oil and gas companies have a documented and approved information security strategy. This makes organizations highly vulnerable to internal and external data privacy exposures and breaches, where repercussions can be costly and damage the organizational brand. In fact, organizations are now being held legally liable for personal social media postings, if they originated from within the organization. The value of the Concept Searching platforms is the ability for the organization to define what is actually confidential information and should be protected, either internally and/or externally. Standard descriptors such as social security numbers, are included in the base product. The value achieved is that content containing the vocabulary or descriptors is automatically flagged at creation or ingestion and routed to a secure repository, made unavailable during the search process by unauthorized users, and protected against portability.
Business analysts include professionals who need to analyze information proactively to reduce costs and risks or to aid in the determination of unexpected process failures. A good example is our client case study with 5,000 geophysicists whose objective was improving geological decision making. Because of the granular concept based search capabilities, access to highly relevant information from diverse repositories can be aggregated for analysis and used to improve decision making and reduce risk and costs. From a text analytics perspective, once the objectives of the project have been defined, the professionals can initially cleanse the content removing duplicates, content that could and should be deleted, and generally narrowing the content boundaries to make the data to be analyzed more contained. During the analysis process, information from diverse repositories can be aggregated and concept based search ensures the information retrieved is relevant.
With staff that spans the boardroom to the rigs, safety and operations risk failures can have a catastrophic impact on energy and utility companies. At the lowest level is the assurance that country specific mandates are being adhered to and maintained. At the most critical level is the safety of personnel and the ability to proactively identify events that could result in harm or even death. Concept Searching platforms provide the ability to develop the business rules in a taxonomy that can automatically identify the descriptors and vocabulary that apply to safety and operations risk. The content can be automatically processed as a safety record, or to highlight changes or to identify high level risks that pose safety violations that are unique to the organization.
With the impending retirement of baby boomers, their knowledge and expertise needs to be captured for re-use as well as historical memory to develop a referenceable knowledge base. The ability to share information via collaboration across global locations in real time reduces the possibility of error, reduces redundancy in emails, and locates the most current documentation. Effective collaboration and knowledge capture can also achieve benefits to an organization in applications such as project management, awareness of organizational knowledge, employee induction and training, expertise location, communities of interest, collective intelligence, and innovation management. The Concept Searching technologies provide insight into content; grouping similar users, concepts, and content together; identifying people with expertise, and knowledge or interest in a topic. The end result is consistent understanding of the value and context of information. They also provide confident cross-organizational decision support capability, shared knowledge, and the enterprise-wide availability of knowledge, to increase organizational performance.