Hearsay and Actiance top Forrester's social risk and compliance product list

'Near ubiquitous' social-media use drives growth in a nascent market, research firm reports

May 9, 2014 @ 10:38 am

By Joyce Hanson

As the market grows for social risk and compliance technology, platforms that track and archive online communications, Hearsay Social and Actiance top Forrester Research Inc.'s list of best product providers in an extensive study of the space.

Sprinklr and Socialware ranked just below the top two as “strong performers.” The list, released Wednesday, also names Nexgate and OpenQ Inc. as “leaders” among the 10 vendors studied.

Moving further down Forrester's list, U.K.-based CrowdControlHQ was singled out as the one “contender," according to the report, because it offers some risk functionality, but falls short in a couple of key areas including key control monitoring and enforcement features. CrowdControlHQ is the only vendor operating outside the United States on Forrester's list.

At the bottom of the list and referred to as “risky bets” were GremIn, SocialVolt Inc. and Computer Services Inc.'s WatchDog Social Compliance product.

“Growth in this market will continue, as near ubiquitous use of social media brings with it increasing risk exposure,” predicted Forrester security and risk analyst Nick Hayes in his 17-page report that evaluates the products using 22 criteria based on executive briefings, product demos, customer surveys and interviews.

Also in the report, Mr. Hayes questioned the value of social archiving tools that may support compliance in terms of supervision and e-discovery, but are “reactive” and don't cover all risk.

The social archiving tools that he named included Erado Message Control Solutions, Global Relay Communications Inc., Hewlett-Packard Development Company LP's Autonomy product, NextPlane Inc., Nextpoint Inc., Proofpoint Inc. and Smarsh Inc.

“Most of these solutions … support supervision for compliance and e-discovery for content only after it's published, and they don't help organizations meet other risk management needs, such as securing account access, automating review workflows and monitoring for external threats and rogue accounts,” Mr. Hayes wrote.

Mr. Hayes further warned that social risk and compliance product users should be wary about the platforms they adopt because the market is still nascent, and there's no complete solution yet available.

“As you consider the right SRC solution to fit your needs, keep in mind that some of the vendors you put on your shortlist may still be developing and positioning their offerings,” he wrote. “For example, in 2013, RegEd purchased a small SRC solution, Arkovi, but RegEd already appears poised to alter its strategy, likely minimizing future resources dedicated to the product.”

Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih on the four steps advisers need to take to boost their social media presence.

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