The Internet drives data transit across national boundaries, but privacy issues are leading many national governments to develop specific laws to protect citizen data. According to a recent Data Center Knowledge report, these guidelines have the potential to severely disrupt how organizations manage and maintain information. In particular, these reactive laws could lead to major changes in how companies deal with the open nature of the Web.
Looking at new data laws
The news source provided a variety of examples of reactionary laws and legal developments that could affect how organizations handle data moving forward. A few legal decisions stand out as examples of the changing operational climate facing organizations. One is in Russia, where laws that will go active soon will mandate that any companies storing Russian citizen data will need to be stored within the nation. A second example is in the United States, where U.S. officials have served Microsoft with a warrant for data that is located in a data center in Ireland.
The report explained that these legal issues create many new challenges as organizations try to manage global data access from an international audience while also complying with new regulations that attempt to maintain some recognition of national borders to improve citizen privacy.
How Does This Impact IT Service Management Plans?
Organizations trying to serve a global audience, work with partners in different nations, or otherwise enact globalization strategies need to make sure they carefully control where data is stored and how different user information is handled. The result is a situation in which companies need to have extremely precise processes governing how data workflows are managed, and this has a huge influence on service management plans. With this in mind, let's look at three steps you can follow to improve ITSM capabilities in an effort to comply with changing international data management laws.
Step 1: Put Change Management in Place
Changes are among the most complex tasks IT teams handle, and a small mistake can cause data to be inadvertently moved to the wrong location. This problem has already reared its ugly head in the form of data accidentally being published in public locations, but the issue is further complicated if you also have to make sure information only ends up in specific physical locations in compliance with international laws. A good change management platform can give you the control you need to reduce human error and create a more stable, predictable environment.
Step 2: Invest in a CMDB
A configuration management database is a relational database system that shows every item within the IT system and how it relates to other solutions and data workflows. This transparency can be invaluable in helping you understand where your workers are accessing data - i.e. do you have an employee on an international business trip using a smartphone to enter customer information into databases. You'll need to make sure that the data workflows put that information in the correct physical location. Similarly, a CMDB provides insights into how applications access information, where they move it and what solutions are used to access data. All told, this visibility is vital in controlling how data moves within jurisdictional boundaries.
Step 3: Make sure your ITSM platform includes audits
With any information-related law, you need to be prepared to show that your organization is following best practices. Many advanced ITSM platforms include automated documentation platforms that make it much easier to compile audit reports and ensure your various processes are in compliance with regulatory and international laws.
New and emerging data laws can create challenges for organizations that operate at a global scale, but effective ITSM investments can go a long way toward easing day-to-day management concerns.