The ranking takes account of a wide range of historic and projected factors – not just obvious ones like turnover and profitability, but headcount (how much work do they create for others?), geographic spread and gender split.
Autonomy’s strength lies in unstructured information and meaning-based technologies. Electronic discovery, review and production for litigation and regulatory investigation are amongst the uses for their applications, notably Aungate Investigator Early Case Assessment (ECA) and the Introspect review application. Autonomy are sponsors of the e-Disclosure Information Project.
That is not the only reason for reporting Mike Lynch’s success. There are at least three other reasons for cheering.
One is that in a market dominated by wholly US products, it requires no xenophobia to be pleased to see a company which originated in Cambridge, England at the top table (Autonomy has dual headquarters, in Cambridge and in San Francisco).
Another is that Autonomy’s profits imply that a significant number of companies are at last recognising that their accumulated data is a problem to be faced and not ignored. Lawyers and their clients often seem to imply that those who supply solutions for handling electronic documents, or who advocate their use, are somehow to blame for the cost and effort involved. They, and we, are not – the problem exists and companies who want or are required to make use of the data must get to grips with it.
Lastly, it is good to know that there are still 100 entrepreneurs in the UK who are sufficiently successful to earn a place in a ranking intended to reflect the future and not just the past.