By Tobias Manolo
As the economy improves and businesses are finally feeling confident enough to start thinking of the future, about innovation, growth, expansion and investment, governments and regulators issue yet more legislation that organisations have to adhere to, all of which takes up those valuable resources which would have been put towards improving the business and adopting new technology that will help with this growth. In fact, according to recent research by NTT Com Security, 86% of companies cite issues with legislation, regulation and data protection as the key reasons why many businesses aren’t adopting cloud computing.
Security is probably the highest consideration on the list; and with the adoption of BYOD, the mobile workforce adding to data protection issues, it’s not surprising that cloud is given the same cautious attention. The other side of the coin is that many companies, be they a small or medium-sized company or a large organisation, is that unless they do invest in the latest technology they might very well be left behind by their competitors! This could, in turn, lead companies to ‘try out’ a new software solution or the cloud without giving enough consideration to compliance requirements or ways in which to protect their corporate data.
Without doubt, the amount of legislation and regulation an organisation has to comply with has a significant impact on the decision to invest in new innovations, particularly the cloud which to a small or medium-sized business may be the difference to being able to compete more effectively with a larger competitor, or not. Mention the word compliance to any IT professional, or even a director, and you can see them visibly groan and buckle under the weight of the word. Then there’s another problem; much of today’s innovative technology brings with it yet more regulation which is becoming increasingly complex.
That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be regulations and data protection laws, there should; it’s there for a very good reason, not just to protect the consumer but to protect the business, too; not just to improve the business through corporate governance, but to ensure that the business remains ethically sound; not just to keep out the cyber criminals, but to ensure the right risk management protocols are in place.
As with any process of decision-making into corporate investment, all businesses need to consider the risks and compliance issues alongside the benefits to the company if they go ahead and invest in technology; it is also important to truly understand the implications should the organisation not understand the risks, or not protect their corporate data, or not comply with the required legislation and regulation.
Ok, so compliance and innovation haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but approach both aspects methodically, discuss how they can benefit the business and protect your intellectual property and critical assets without incurring non-compliance fines, and you may well have the best of both worlds!