03 Jan Securing the modern workplace in an age of digital transformation
With the rise of mobile devices in the office and increasing numbers of employees working at home, IT departments are finding it challenging to manage and secure business documents.
According to Ricoh Ireland’s 2017 Workstyle Innovation Survey, in association with TechPro magazine and involving 175 IT decision-makers from private and public sector organisations across Ireland, 85% of companies are finding it more difficult to manage and secure business documents.
That’s not the only concerning statistic with 67% of IT departments admitting that they do not have visibility of all business documents and 55% saying that they are not aware of all personal devices being used to create work documents.
Digital transformation: a double-edged sword
With so many disparate systems and drives being used, as well as the growth of ‘bring your own device’ policies, the large majority of organisations are struggling to effectively manage and secure all business documents across various channels and devices. Moreover, this figure is likely to rise further as the reliance on mobile equipment and online storage platforms increases.
This raises all sorts of security issues, which is why it is essential that organisations are proactive and implement measures that allow documents to be safely stored, properly managed and easily accessed. Based on the fact that non-corporate platforms are being used and will continue to be used to share and create information, it is necessary that systems and policies are introduced in order to monitor and secure same.
On the other hand, it is vital that the modern employee is given the freedom, opportunity and relevant tools to allow them to be as productive as possible. This is crucial in terms of encouraging and enabling employees to work how they want, when they want and where they want. Digital transformation is a reality of the modern workplace, therefore companies need to embrace it, unless they want to be left behind.
The new approach to critical information
Despite the fact that IT departments are having difficulties managing, securing and monitoring documents, the majority of organisations do have a strategy in place whereby they digitise documents containing critical information. Such a policy adds value to an organisation and contributes to both the security and accessibility of critical information.
However, the fact that almost three quarters (74%) of those surveyed said they handle the digitisation of information themselves is surprising, in terms of the reluctance of organisations to avail of expertise in this vital area. Furthermore, the policy of organisations to look after this element in-house is likely to impact upon productivity levels and arguably result in a waste of resources.
The digitisation of information must be completed in an effective manner and in accordance with regulations. The transition from traditional paper-based workflows to streamlined digital operations makes sense as it can lead to significant cost savings and improved operational efficiencies. Moreover, it is beneficial in terms of sustainability and security.
How companies are dealing with GDPR
Speaking of the management of confidential information, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to come into force in May 2018 and will have a huge impact on issues of data privacy and security. This legislation will affect every business that is responsible for handling and storing personal data, with strict penalties for failing to display compliance.
What is very interesting is that most companies believe they are compliant and/or will be compliant by the time it comes into effect, when there remains an ambiguity concerning what this actually entails. For those who have not yet taken steps towards compliance or have not made preparations for GDPR, the old saying “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” could prove to be prophetic.
Preparation is key
As clichéd as it might sound, preparation is key. Businesses need to adopt processes and procedures which enable them to secure the mobile and digital workspace, and reap the benefits of same. From extending security policies to encrypting business data, there are a number of simple steps which companies can take to ensure they are monitoring and managing documents effectively.
This has never been more important when you consider the ever-increasing amount of mobile workers and the fast-approaching implementation of GDPR. Considering the risk of reputational and financial damage associated with this legislation, businesses should seek professional advice and support in this area.