Today’s Information Governance Challenges

by in Information Management & Governance

Micro Focus convened a panel of leaders in the Information Governance space earlier this year to take stoke in, and compare notes on, the current state of the domain. This four-part blog series is excerpted from a transcript of those proceedings. Part One kicks off the discussion with a look at the biggest challenges facing companies today.

Moderator

Achmad Chadran, Product Marketing Manager, Micro Focus Archiving and Risk Management

Panelists

Tom Bachrach, Lead Principal Consultant, Micro Focus Archiving and Risk Management

Matthew Bernstein, Information Governance Strategist, MC Bernstein Data

Jonathan Frieder, Compliance Technology Lead, Accenture US Regulatory Compliance Practice

Michael Osterman, Principal Analyst, Osterman Research

Debbie Reynolds, Co-Founder and Chief Data Privacy Officer, Debbie Reynolds Associates

Today’s Biggest Challenges for Information Governance Leaders

Chadran: What do you see as the most urgent challenges facing information governance leaders today? Matthew, can we start with you?

Bernstein: Accelerating the adoption of collaboration tools. From an operational perspective, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and SharePoint environments are where enterprises are placing their communication workflows. Wanting to take advantage of all the connections, they're discovering that the flexibility of Microsoft products is causing an enormous configuration challenge. Because of this, CISOs and CTOs are struggling to balance that flexibility and the requisite functionality for compliance obligations.

Reynolds: Absolutely. I think that companies – especially due to COVID and a lot of the changes in the workplace – are grappling with the rapid digital transformation that's been forced upon them and they’re trying to find the tools that work best for them. Finding a collaboration space is difficult, especially for companies that haven't really embraced that, to begin with. They’re trying to find ways to do business, especially if they were a bit behind in that respect. I think we're seeing an acceleration of people moving to these collaboration technologies because it's imperative for them to be able to do work.

Those experienced with working in these collaborative environments face a lot of challenges and risks because of the acceleration of moving to these new tools. However, some may think of risk as an aftereffect, mostly because people must change so rapidly.

My own work went from being in an office and doing things that people have done for 50 years to a new environment almost overnight. Much of the onus was on the technology people to help them with this rapid transformation, but there's risk there, too. We have a lot of people, especially in cyber and privacy looking to see whether there are any spots we missed.

Are there other risks that we have now that we didn't have before? It's just a culmination of doing things in a new way and having new eyes on the problem.

Chadran: This is something we deal with a lot at Micro Focus, helping people with digital transformation, keeping the lights on, keeping the existing investments running, and bracing for big events like this global pandemic that nobody saw coming.

Regulatory Compliance and the Remote Workforce

Frieder: Many organizations never envisioned being in a scenario of operating 100% remote, but virtual operations present a whole new set of challenges beyond just the traditional regulatory requirements and obligations organizations must deal with.

The new environment exacerbates regulatory compliance problems. Firms not taking advantage of these newer technologies, primarily cloud-based solutions, were behind the curve when the pandemic started and caught flat-footed without the requisite capabilities.

Working remotely away from the office increases existing regulatory challenges such as handling sensitive information or establishing information barriers and controls to manage and work with new technologies. Many firms are still struggling to update their big operational policies and procedures.

Other topics, such as third-party risks and relationships you might have with providers that help support your firm, potentially present a completely new area with a series of different use cases or scenarios that firms never dreamed they would need to operate in.

Want to learn more about how collaboration technologies affect your company’s compliance risk exposure? Click here to download the latest white paper from Osterman Research, Archiving and Data Protection with Microsoft Teams.

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