The modern business environment is one of competing priorities. The business needs to make information accessible to help productivity. IT teams and security admins need to lock down information to prevent it being lost or hacked.
Both are viable priorities.
Information is essential for a business to run. We have to share information to be able to function and that will typically involve sharing, making copies and sending outside the business to clients.
Security still needs to be maintained though as information is currency. In the right hands, it’s your currency that helps build relationships and gets business done. In the wrong hands, it can be held against you, shared without your permission or given to competitors.
How do you manage the two?
The cloud can help.
Cloud services and productivity
Not that long ago, information was locked down. Businesses were divided into silos and information and responsibility was kept within those silos.
It wasn’t a particularly efficient way to work, which is why it failed.
We are now working in a more open environment but there’s still a battle between keeping information accessible so it can help productivity and locking it down to keep it safe.
Overzealous managers or security admins can often get in the way of productivity and collaboration.
We have all seen it and we have all rolled our eyes at it when trying to share information with others.
We can avoid all that by switching to the cloud.
Let’s look at a real life example.
If your business is anything like ours, you would identify a piece of data, a file, a document or information relevant to the task at hand.
You will make a copy of that information and share it via email, Slack or company channels.
There will now be several copies of that information that need to be secured and controlled.
Once you share copies of data, you lose control over it. That’s not a great way to manage data security. While you may trust everyone in the distribution list, accidents happen. We all know they do.
Auditing is impossible and it’s difficult to notify all interested parties when an update has been made to any of that information.
It gets business done, but not in a particularly efficient way.
Now let’s look at a cloud example.
This is how we and thousands of other firms now work and we encourage you to work this way too.
You identify a piece of data, a file, a document or information relevant to the task at hand.
Rather than make a copy and share it, you share access to the actual piece of data within the cloud.
You add the relevant people to the access list for the document, provide read-only, edit or administrative permissions as required and share the link to that document.
Only the people with that link or with permission can access it, so your security admin is happy.
Relevant parties have access to the information and can act upon it, which makes managers happy.
Every change to that data is tracked, with a full audit trail for every change by every user, which makes your data controller very happy.
The core copy of the information can be secured and updated as required and everyone can see the changes.
Access can be changed or revoked at any time to help maintain data security.
All without having to make multiple copies of information, lose control of that information or risk colleagues or clients working on outdated documents or obsolete data.
That’s just one example of one particular instance that happens millions of times around the world.
There are likely many other ways controlling access to data can benefit your business without impacting productivity, but you get the idea.
Balancing productivity and security with the cloud
Switching to cloud services like Office 365 means you regain control of your data, increase security, maintain access and can effectively audit any changes.
All without impacting productivity and actually improving the way you work by making data available anywhere at any time. But only for authorised users.
It’s no wonder more businesses than ever before are switching to the cloud!
Not only is it cheaper and easier to manage, it helps you maintain full control over business intelligence while providing access to those who legitimately need it.
When data is currency, control is everything!