The Value of Technology Compliance

Today’s businesses are more reliant on technology than ever before. Software is used in every facet of business, from the collection and analysis of customer data to payroll processing, billing, email, project management, inventory, and virtually every other day to day task within a company.

But despite the constant flow of often sensitive information, most companies are still using outdated methods like spreadsheets, document files, and email as their primary technology. Cataloging, searching, and monitoring information to ensure compliance is rendered virtually impossible if the information is handled with outdated methods.

What is IT Compliance

IT compliance is the practice of controlling and protecting information. This encompasses how information is obtained, stored, and secured, how it’s distributed both internally and externally, and how it’s protected. Compliance affects every level of your company, from internal policies and organizational structure to customer satisfaction and service.

Why You Need IT Compliance

Some organizations are subject to specific legal guidelines for IT compliance, including the handling of customer information, the management of consumer protections, regular privacy policy updates, information security, identity protection, and more. A majority of data protection laws are directed at businesses in the financial and healthcare industries, but it’s important to be aware of legal standards around your IT compliance policies.

For most businesses, there are few legal requirements pertaining to information management, which is why so many have gotten away with sharing information via spreadsheets and emails. But a lack of legislation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have more robust practices in place. Failure to comply with IT compliance best practices can have serious consequences:

  • Corporate image: much of the malfeasance at Enron — the use of accounting loopholes, special purpose entities, and poor financial reporting — wasn’t illegal at the time, but it was enough to bring the company crashing down. Companies that don’t protect their customers’ information or accurately report their finances suffer in the public eye.
  • Consumer trust: consumers are already hesitant to give companies access to their data. When they find out that that data is being sold to third parties, stored insecurely, or otherwise mismanaged, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
  • Lost revenue: mishandled information results in mistakes and inefficiencies. If your organization is spending time on manual data entry or working from incomplete or outdated databases, you’re leaving money on the table.
  • Remediation expenses: even if your IT practices are legal, customers might still file grievances if they feel that their information isn’t protected or is gathered unethically. The costs of implementing a modern compliance policy are much more manageable than the costs of remediation.

Ultimately, poor IT compliance is a risk not worth taking. Other challenges might include educating employees on new practices, unauthorized third-party applications, mobile devices, and new regulations, but an organization with robust policies will find it easier to keep up with whatever changes come along.

Benefits of IT Compliance

Most executives know they’re not using technology to its full potential, but they perceive compliance efforts as a cost center, cutting into the budget and slowing down operations with rules and regulations. If you’re not legally required to maintain certain data standards, what are the benefits? In reality, IT compliance isn’t only about mitigating risk. A better information policy can have significant benefits to your company:

Increased efficiency: with improved technology comes an improved ability to assess, evaluate, and improve your internal processes and procedures. Every company has inefficiencies — technology makes it easier to find and fix them.

  • Risk reduction: with better insight into the way your company operates, you’ll be able to recognize and mitigate risks before they become serious problems.
  • Access to real-time data enables you to spot issues quickly, and better technology will allow you to make sweeping policy changes and inform your workforce more quickly.
  • Enhanced flexibility: as your company grows, your audience will change, new regulations will arise, and you’ll need to keep up. The more you embrace modern, scalable solutions now, the easier you’ll find it to adapt to new challenges.

Move Forward Confidently

The days of tracking customer data or employee timesheets in spreadsheets are over. The most successful companies of the next five years will be breaking ground in the technology space, not scrambling to keep up. If you want to bring your company’s IT security compliance into the modern age, but you’re not sure where to start, reach out to Madison Taylor Technology. We’ll examine every aspect of your business and tech stack to create a comprehensive solution that can drive your organization forward.

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