How to Keep Your Business Compliant Using IT
No matter what industry you work in, you will have a set of compliance requirements. These will vary hugely, from the heavily regulated (like finance or law) to the less so (like marketing or social media), along with general business practices (like GDPR) — but there will still be some formal guidelines you need to follow.
As a responsible business owner, you will not only need to know what these compliance requirements are, but how you can best meet them. Ideally, they should form a core part of your business strategy; informing decisions and keeping you and your customers safe. In the field of IT, this is ever-important.
Your IT department — the data hub of business — should have a comprehensive IT compliance strategy to maintain, protect and diminish the risk to your business and your customers.
What Is IT Compliance Strategy?
IT compliance is all about taking appropriate control of and protecting information – including how its obtained, stored, secured, distributed and destroyed within the business. In other words, absolutely every stage of data life within your business, and the controls around it.
Typically IT compliance will revolve around the policies, goals and organisational structure of the business, ensuring everything is kept safe and following the appropriate regulations at every step.
Since the introduction of GDPR, this has become a hot topic, and something businesses are still struggling to implement over a year on. By that logic, IT compliance strategy is simply the business strategy you employ to ensure you are fully compliant.
IT is a big part of ensuring compliance within your business; it’s not surprising that you need a strategy for it. Your IT strategy should look at every area of compliance your business needs to uphold, and then create a set of systems and policies to support that.
Your strategy should then become the framework for how your business is managed, controlled and administered, and can help you understand where you need extra support. If your business doesn’t already have an IT strategy in place, then there is a chance you aren’t compliant either.
Compliance is a critical component of any security programme, especially when it comes to IT. To many, information security looks like its governed by an ever-changing plethora of laws, policies and regulations; and in some ways, it is. But compliance regulations often address security and privacy together, laying down directives to safeguard a company’s IT systems and its data from cyber attacks.
Ensuring your system and people are compliant with security protocols is a fundamental part of IT’s role within your business — putting systems and software in place to attain compliance.
Document management is often an area businesses forget about. Even avidly paper-free businesses handle documents, and the way they are handled and stored needs to be carefully controlled and protected.
GDPR states you need to have a clear record of where each document came from, who accessed it and when, and when it was destroyed (otherwise known as having a clear records management policy).
Your IT solutions can help here. By implementing a document management solution, which will digitally manage all of your documents in accordance with your own, tailored workflows, you provide a central repository for documents and clear tracking and tracing for everything.
We talked about document management and how important it is for your business in an earlier blog, which you can read here.
AIT systems is dedicated to helping businesses of all shapes and sizes achieve full IT compliance in all areas of their business — and maintain it afterwards. With over 20 years of IT experience, I love helping business owners use technology more effectively, rather than just buying more and more new solutions and add-ons.
I work with you from the very start, helping you work out what your goals are, researching all the options and creating a bespoke IT solution that will improve your existing IT systems and help keep you on top of your technology strategies. If you would like to find out more, get in touch today.