What Exactly IS Compliance?

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On our blog we throw the word compliance around a lot, particularly in reference to our data auditing product Observato™ and how it can help your organization to stay fully compliant.  But one thing we haven’t done so far is discuss what compliance really IS, what types of compliances organizations like yours deal with, and why it is so important to your business health, safety, and success.

According to the dictionary, compliance is defined as conformity in fulfilling official requirements.  An organization may need to be compliant with their own internal regulations, or government regulations, depending on what industry they are in.  According to an article in Reason.com, there are an ever-increasing number of laws and regulations being “heaped” upon businesses, regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for public companies, the Basel regulations for the banking industry, and HIPAA for the health care industry.  In addition to these government regulations, organizations often set their own policies such as BYOD guidelines to keep their data secure and ensure efficiency and productivity.

There isn’t just one solution to help organizations stay compliant with regulations, both governmental and those implemented by the organization itself.  This leads to another loaded term that goes hand and hand with compliance; data governance.  According to TechTarget, data governance encompasses the people, processes, and information technology required to create a consistent and proper handling of an organization’s data across the business enterprise.   Without proper data governance, an organization puts itself at risk, whether that risk is financial misstatement, inadvertent release of sensitive data, or poor data quality, among other things.

Another issue that organizations face when trying to stay compliant is whether or not they can delete data.  Organizations end up with thousands of unnecessary data files because they are not sure of the content, authorship and ownership, and whether deleting them will make their business noncompliant.  According to the article “Changing your Data-Hoarding Ways” in Compliance Week, the solution is simple; “The overall objective is to come up with a solution for migrating a company’s unstructured data into a structured database, such that all valuable data is indexed and made searchable for the purpose of complying with any data retention requirements and legal holds.”

To help manage risk, and help stay compliant, the smartest organizations are implementing data governance, or information governance strategies. Gartner predicts that by 2018, 25% of progressive organizations will manage all of their unstructured data using information governance and storage management policies, up from less than 1% today.  This increase will be largely due to the growing popularity of big data.

This is where Observato™ comes in.  Observato™ can play a key role in any data governance strategy, and should be easy decision for any IT professional, business user, and especially any managing directors.  Observato™ tracks the data from any source or system, putting your data all in one place.  Not only is your data easily accessible but also every action is recorded so you can view the minute details of every file, including origin, changes made, and information entered.   If your company is audited, you have easy access to all your files to help prove that you are following all regulations.  You have the power to easily resolve data quality issues.  And at a low price and easy set up in the cloud or on premise, why wouldn’t you want Observato™ for your growing data needs.

Image courtesy of www.lintonconsultants.com

Image courtesy of blogs.informatica.com

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