Feeds

Collaboration, complexity and compliance

It can all be cured by leeches, right?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Workshop The trouble with some terms we use in IT is that they take on a life of their own and suggest an unrealistic simplicity. Take “collaboration” for example. To define it requires a decision: either to focus on a limited set of interactions between specific individuals, or more realistically, to recognise that collaboration refers to just about every aspect of how we work together to do our jobs.

Collaboration is a complex, sprawling mess of activity - from sales guys passing tidbits of leads to each other, to researchers looking to identify whether anyone has tried a similar experiment, or designers exchanging lists of options or, well, you get the idea. It’s no wonder, then, that what we call “collaboration tools” are a similarly mixed bag of capabilities - from email and messaging, to document management and portals.

It is said that our houses reflect the kind of people we are – and this must also apply to the state of our unstructured information, reflecting the complexity and chaotic nature of our interactions. Many organisations face problems when their collaborative environments develop independently and without structure, usually resulting in pockets of information that are difficult to access, system fragmentation, sprawl and duplication. We could accept the situation and move on, hoping for some über-solution in the future that might bind together those pesky records, calls, emails and document exchanges. Meanwhile many organisations are faced with an equally complex - and sometimes contradictory - set of regulatory criteria. In a previous article we cited Sarbanes-Oxley, which as a consequence requires transparency across all such pools of information. And in e-discovery cases such as this one, the defence of “Oh dear, I can’t find it” has been given short shrift.

It would be great to come up with some clear advice at this point, to recommend the technological equivalent of leeches – “Just pop a couple down your codpiece before you go to bed.” In past studies we’ve seen that “classification” can hold the key to better information governance in general, the benefits of which can be seen in the context of collaboration. In the article about identity management and compliance cited above, we also saw the importance of pre-defined provisioning by role and subsequent auditability of access, particularly for specific assets that require locked-down access. These principles are just as appropriate for collaboration technologies such as email and Sharepoint, as for other applications and services.

Whatever measures are considered however, they will need to work in the real world, for example against the background of continued data growth and the “keep-everything” attitude many organisations still have to managing information – which, of course, runs counter to almost every regulation we know. Solutions will need to work for the majority, not just for the few, taking into account the great leveller that is complexity – that is, sooner or later, whatever is put in place will start to creak at the seams.

Is there a final answer, to cut the Gordian knot of complexity and address the problems of managing collaboration, and meeting compliance requirements, without either getting in the way of the job? Should we be looking to draconian measures, such as overnight deletion of information that has not been correctly logged and classified? Or maybe you have discovered tools which really can collate, annotate and index all of our unstructured data assets? If you have, do let us know. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.