Keeping data safe isn't just about protecting corporate assets and ensuring a brand's reputation remains strong in the eyes of consumers. Businesses that lose data face strict consequences from regulatory bodies that work to ensure common data protection standards are maintained within an industry. For example, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards establish a framework for ensuring that companies that process and store consumer payment card data are equipped to handle that information safely. These regulatory groups aim is to protect consumers and businesses alike, and their primary method for enforcing rules is fining organizations that experience a regulatory breach.
Nobody wants to get fined, but the implications of a regulatory fine are even more problematic because a business is already facing the inherent damages that come with data loss. Throw in a fine and IT leaders are dealing with compounding problems. As such, working to avoid regulatory breaches is critical and effective change management plays a key role in eliminating the risk of data loss.
Change Management and Regulatory Compliance
A recent SC Magazine report explained that data protection requires multiple layers of security in a variety of industries, but becomes particularly complex for organizations that need to comply with regulatory laws like PCI DSS and Sarbanes-Oxley. Organizations trying to comply with these types of standards don't just need to protect data, they need to effectively document their processes, make sure they have effective change management processes in place and make sure they clearly and effectively track their assets at all times.
Change management is vital in regulatory compliance efforts because human error is such an issue in IT settings. The complexity of technology configurations and stress associated with IT work combine to create an environment in which mistakes are going to happen more often than anybody would like. A good change management platform can help organizations eliminate those errors.
3 Ways Change Management Supports Regulatory Compliance
Eliminating human error isn't the only issue in play here. In fact, change management supports regulatory goals in a variety of ways:
- Improving Oversight and Governance: Having a second set of eyes on a project can go a long way toward not only getting rid of human error, but also making sure proper processes are followed when handling a change operation. However, creating oversight and governance can be challenging when it comes to change because ensuring smooth process completion is so important. Advanced change management platforms integrate authorizations and regulatory reminders into day-to-day processes, ensuring proper oversight without sacrificing efficiency.
- Standardized Workflows: Change management platforms allow IT workers involved in a project to script processes, automate some of those functions and coordinate when different users complete other components of the workflow more easily. This results in a much more stable change environment because the entire initiative is standardized to whatever degree possible and clearly communicated to all parties involved. This can help eliminate human error by ensuring the proper tasks are completed in the right order, by the right people and at the right time.
- Documentation: The process mapping and scripting functions of a good change management platform depend on users recording when they've completed a process within a project and passing the effort onto the next component of the workflow. Sophisticated change management solutions automatically document these various functions and organize them into a cohesive audit trail. This makes it much easier to identify where something went wrong, fix the problem and minimize damages when a problem does arise. It also offers regulatory bodies evidence that best practices are being followed when audits are completed.
Minimizing risk and protecting data plays a key role in ensuring regulatory compliance in contemporary IT operations. Organizations that put advanced change management practices into place can simplify compliance in a variety of ways.