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Goldman Sachs email trawl highlights data deluge

Date: 29 Mar 2012

Citywealth

Goldman Sachs today announced an investigation into its corporate email following accusations from a former employee that there is a “toxic and destructive” culture, for example, employees referring to clients as “muppets”. The inquiry will see its 30,000 staff have their email examined – a massive undertaking that will test both the speed and scope of the firm’s IT systems capabilities.

Spencer Allingham, technical director at IT optimisation specialist, Condusiv, offers the following comment on the strain investigations such as these may impose on IT infrastructures, given the current climate of ever-increasing data:

“While investigating emails to tap into corporate culture will undoubtedly be revealing for the organisation, the sheer amount of work to recover past or deleted emails will be a vast drain on time and money if appropriate technology is not in place. In addition to this, the tightening budgets that have become increasingly common, mean that little investment has been made in improving the performance of data access in IT systems. For many IT departments it is a constant struggle to find the budget to update systems and improve efficiency, and it is at times like these that poor infrastructures are exposed, and can cause reputational damage, even putting companies head to head with legislation, if the investigation is a legal requirement.”

“The recent climate of Big Data and virtualisation has only extrapolated the issue of controlling the data deluge common to most corporate environments. Data now varies in content, sensitivity, form and also in how it’s stored, but as investigations such as the Goldman Sachs case proves, speed is key and access to data needs to occur irrelevant of changes in the IT infrastructure. It is therefore critical that IT departments see the trend of email investigations on the horizon and prepare their IT systems accordingly. Firms need to have the right technology in place to be able to steer clear of unnecessary complexity in such investigations, which threaten to compromise the core of their business. Essentially, inadequate technology could waste valuable time, and that is time taken away from customers which could ultimately cost an enterprise on the bottom line.”

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