It is difficult to remain compliant in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape. To keep up with evolving platforms and requirements without compromising sensitive information, companies can turn to adaptive integration, which allows them to stay competitive and use data as a currency.
In a conversation with CIO Dive, Hmong Vang, chief trust officer of Liaison Technologies, discussed the challenges of remaining compliant in today’s technology environment as well as the benefits and caveats of adaptive integration. This conversation has been condensed.
What is the biggest challenge to CIOs when it comes to data compliance?
Vang: Compliance has so many different facets to it, and then when you add data, particularly Big Data, it becomes even more challenging. Most CIOs recognize the fact that they are losing control of things they've traditionally owned in the past, particularly data centers and systems and infrastructure. It's all moving to the cloud or moving to a service provider, so from their perspective, they're thinking about technology more as, 'how do I pick the right solutions and the right service providers and provide those capabilities to the business' rather than trying to identify the technology infrastructure itself and how to manage that and deploy it and implement it.
What steps can a CIO take to help ensure they are on top of data compliance?
Vang: The first step is figuring out which data sources are most relevant to the business. In this day and age there's a need to collect everything from a data perspective. Unfortunately, the value of collecting every single bit of data doesn't really make sense and the data can grow exponentially to the point where it becomes more detrimental to the business because there's just so much of it. Understanding which components are valuable, which ones are less valuable now but might be valuable in the future and putting a strategy together on how they are going to bring that data together is the most important piece.
That’s not an area where most CIOs have had strong success. In a lot of cases, they've been more reactive to what the business wants rather than proactively saying, 'Hey, we understand the assets that you have, and we want to help you extract value out of those assets.' There are a lot of CIOs that are trying to move in that direction, but they tend to forget that not all data is created equally and that the restrictions around some of the data and how they manage that going forward is very important.
The next step is focusing on the integration component because most likely those data assets are in very distributed or siloed areas of the business. When you're trying to bring all this data together, what is your strategy? Are you going to do it internally? Are you going to use a cloud service? Are you going to have a partner help you with those integrations? What ultimately is going to be the standard process for bringing this data in and the strategy around that?
What's a successful strategy in your view?
Vang: It depends on the company. Obviously there's very different levels of maturity when it comes to certain industries and even certain company sizes. A Fortune 500 company would typically prefer to do this in-house because they already have some level of expertise and have tied investments to integration. Smaller companies or companies that have not been able to do this particularly well are going to be looking for cloud service providers or integration partners that can provide this type of service rather than just providing them technology.
What about privacy concerns? How does that play into all of this?
Vang: The privacy landscape is changing rapidly. If you look at Europe and their revision of their privacy laws, that is creating new challenges for countries and companies operating in Europe but also operating or hosting data within countries outside of Europe. The challenge there is finding a strategy and a solution that will put you ahead of some of the evolving regulations and regulatory frameworks.
Are there other things CIOs should keep in mind when it comes to data compliance efforts?
Vang: Bringing data into one centralized repository or Big Data platform is one thing. The second piece is making sure the management and cultivation of that data is ongoing. The hygiene of that data is key. You see failures occur when IT takes a project-based approach rather than a long-term approach. You really have to look at it as a life cycle and having a plan and a strategy to address all of the different phases of that life cycle.