Seemingly overnight, the world changed in an unimaginable and drastic way as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations across the globe were and continue to be massively impacted and were thrust into quickly analyzing their business models from an entirely new perspective. With organizations rapidly transitioning into a fully virtual workforce, it has become arguably more important than ever to adapt governance initiatives to account for suddenly decentralized assets.
Through a recently launched ADAPT (Analyze, Decide, Act, Protect, and Triumph) program, 3Cloud has been eliciting cross-industrial feedback from our networks to gather insights into how the new economic environment has affected their organizations, and there was an overwhelming response of “issues with data governance.” In this blog, we will review and discuss some governance concerns and obstacles that can arise as a result of a virtual workforce. Specifically, we will look at Knowledge Retainment and Data Privacy.
Loss of Institutional Knowledge
Do you have proper documentation in place to prevent tribal knowledge loss and to enable knowledge transfer? If you consider the current unemployment rate alone, you can imagine how much institutional knowledge has been lost due to illness, furloughs, and layoffs. It’s a real problem. Subject matter experts may no longer be available to answer basic questions. If documentation didn’t exist before, it certainly doesn’t exist now!
Proper documentation of reports, data catalogs, data dictionaries, and your metadata ensures a more efficient transition to employees inheriting former subject matter experts’ responsibilities. As businesses eventually begin to recover, there will still be a concern around employees being able to return to work. So, it’s important to begin thinking about how a lack of governance around your data could quickly become a problem. Have you considered how you will re-establish continuity if one of your key resources cannot return? And most importantly, are you prepared to do so?
Data privacy is a hot topic right now. With the need to move to a virtual workforce practically overnight, many organizations are now considering that their data is being accessed outside of the physical controls that they typically have. Whether its due to staff switching to personal equipment, a lack of education on data usage policies for employees, or an inability to track adherence, many companies are becoming vulnerable to potential litigation problems in the future.
Organizations should be taking into account that exposure to data privacy issues has been magnified due to employees accessing data from home, combined with the fact that many new laws and regulations have been and continue to be introduced around Data Privacy. It’s no longer just a Financial Services or Healthcare industry concern; it’s something EVERY organization needs to evaluate.
Below are a few considerations that your organization should evaluate:
- CCPA/ GDPR compliance
- Privacy related to sharing of health data (ex: my health vs. your health and the pandemic).
- The proposed FL Consumer Data Privacy Act
The safety of your company’s data is essential. By implementing proper data governance, you can avoid ungoverned access to systems, protect employee data, and ensure documentation is recorded and leveraged properly.
As Tyler Cowen stated, “there are decades where nothing happens and weeks where decades happen.” At 3Cloud, we understand that times have changed drastically, causing a need for re-evaluation of your business models. As you adjust your strategy and plans, our experts are available, eager to hear from you, and able to help when you’re ready.