Compliance. Everyone’s doing it. You’re doing it. You’re checking those boxes. But depending on the size of your business and the industry in which you operate, there might be a lack of understanding of what’s required; firstly in getting there, and then in staying there. More than that, there has to be an organisation-wide commitment into making it work; including direction and support from the top down.
You’re not alone. We recently commissioned research into IT compliance, its approaches and challenges, and we found that 28% of IT decision makers are unsure about which regulatory frameworks apply to their business.
And that’s not to mention a host of other challenges, like budget, lack of skilled compliance staff, and time.
It’s not all doom and gloom… but there does need to be more to compliance than just scratching the surface. The benefits of compliance are well documented: it shows customers, prospects and investors that you’re committed to industry best practice, your infrastructure is secure, and if you’re in a heavily regulated market like financial services, pharma or insurance, you’re showing that you’re actually able to operate there. Crucially, compliance needs to keep pace with the rate of change in your business, whether that is in terms of growth, acquisitions, changes in staff, or the launch of new products and services.
IT compliance is also important because it can help you win new business, especially if you’re moving into the public sector; It can also help you safeguard your reputation — can you imagine the consequences of a cloud provider or managed service provider experiencing a data breach? — as well maintain customer trust.
Our research also discovered that negative impact on customer trust was the main disadvantage of non-compliance, alongside the fear of fines, which can be as devastating as a loss of market trust. So what’s the next step then? Given the landscape, the importance of compliance and the challenges that you’re facing?
The ideal path to achieving IT compliance and beyond is a balance between technology and expertise — especially when it comes to cloud. Adding a level of automation to the process can be a cost-effective, and long-term sustainable solution to your challenges. When it comes to skills, if you don’t have the dedicated skills in-house, there are opportunities to work with a trusted consultant to ask the hard questions, help you find any gaps and suggest remediation strategies. This is especially important as your in-house IT team may not have the know-how to translate compliance requirements into the virtual world. While this may require an investment in the short term, the long term benefits are worth it. In addition, if you’re taking continuous compliance seriously, this collaboration will set you up to use your technology and compliance tools in a way that best meets your business needs.
Compliance is more than looking at the short term, more than a box checking exercise. And it has definite benefits for your business. If it’s worth doing… it’s worth doing properly.
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