Thought Leadership

4 steps to ensuring compliance in a BYOD world

The definition of what is considered a “Record” has seen rapid change in the last few years with the growth of technology in the organization. If we think back 10 or 20 years ago, records were just about electronic and physical documents, and were largely sourced from “on-premise” document management systems, file shares and physical locations. A growing contributor to this has been the proliferation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) polices.

The definition of what is considered a “record” has seen rapid change in the last few years with the growth of technology in the organization. If we think back 10 or 20 years ago, records were just about electronic and physical documents and were largely sourced from “on-premise” document management systems, file shares and physical locations. What exists today as a string of 1’s and 0’s was not accounted for in the legacy systems in-place today.

A growing contributor to this has been the proliferation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. These organizations empower their employees to use devices and tools that best allow them to get their job done. Workers have been enabled with devices like iPads, Android phones, and new devices like Chromebooks.

While this brings benefits to employees and organizations, it also poses a big challenge to the records management practice. Records are no longer confined to a subset of content sources and devices – they are now everywhere!

Here are the top 4 steps to ensure BYOD compliance:

#1- Adopt a Central Policy

It is critical for organizations to have a central policy that provides clear guidelines about which type of data can be accessed in personal devices and prevent access to business critical and sensitive data.

#2- Clearly define the ownership of records stored in personal devices

Ownership and security are seen as the main areas where organizations need to clearly define their policies. This becomes extremely important in scenarios where employees leave the organization. Personal devices are in the “wild” and accessed outside corporate networks so, if ownership is not clearly defined there is a high risk of employees leaving with records that are the intellectual property of the organization and might be requested by a court in case of litigation. This ultimately leaves organizations it exposed to possible future sanctions.

#3- Adopt a federated Record Management solution

History is littered with failed records projects adopting traditional record management solutions that relied on users using single content management. In many cases, users just ignored that and that ended up on the proliferation of unmanaged records.

Records Management Landscape
Clearly, the current landscape calls for record management solutions that allow Record Managers to centrally manage records being generated from multiple sources/devices. This allows using shared policies to rule them all!

#4- Don’t rely on manual declaration and classification of records

The proliferation of devices and content sources is making manual processes more and more unsustainable and in many cases a big threat to compliance. Adopting automated processes is key to the success of the record management practice in general but even more in organizations adopting policies like the BYOD because that invites to an even bigger proliferation of records.

A very successful approach to automating these 2 processes is to make usage of rules-based automation to auto declare and classify records consistently every time. Using rules, record managers can define rules based on the information architecture of their organization as well as specific characteristics of their organization content. Once the rules are in place, content is categorized consistently and compliance is ensured.

Recent advances in technologies such as Machine Learning are actually raising the bar of what automation can achieve when applies to things like auto-classification. This looks really promising and something that we at RecordPoint are looking into very closely.

In summary, the content landscape is getting more and more complex, but the good news is that practical approaches are available to help records professionals to reduce the complexity and burden of the Records Management processes.

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