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The channel holds the key to compliance

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One of the largest data compliance challenges facing customers every day is one which many organisations are not willing to face up to, writes Simon McCullough, channel field sales manager, Citrix.
Employees are used to signing up to free online data storage services often used by consumers in their personal lives with little regard to the business implications. In an individual’s personal life this is convenient; in their work life it is a potential compliance minefield.
Should this information be sensitive or confidential it can result in difficult questions being asked of the security of the storage. Where is the data being held, for example, and in extreme circumstances, who owns the corporate data when it is stored on these sites?
The demands on companies to meet ever more stringent compliance obligations continue to increase and as a result one of the biggest challenges companies face today is that of data governance.
Over the next 12 months there will be significant opportunities for the channel to demonstrate how it can support business compliance whilst at the same time helping to implement effective data management strategies. The clearest opportunity for the channel is within the trend towards “follow me data” solutions that provide IT department’s with complete control over employee data.
There are some solutions currently being offered by vendors which are similar to those used widely by employees in their home life, but tailored specifically for the needs of the enterprise market. At the same time the channel has the necessary experience and expertise to get the ball rolling and start a conversation with the customer about the problem of personal data storage.
This isn’t an issue that will disappear anytime soon; in fact, the issue could get worse before it improves. However, the good news is this is a challenge which the channel can help to resolve.
Members of the channel ecosystem are well placed to utilise the relationships they have with customers and vendors to offer solutions that provide effective and safe enterprise data storage.
These subscription based services can help to tackle the challenge of personal data storage by aligning to the needs of both IT and end-users. “Follow me data” solutions mirror consumer storage solutions in providing access to fully traceable enterprise data wherever users are, through any device.
By helping business to deploy solutions that employees actually want to use, the channel will ease the compliance concerns of IT departments by providing total control of where and how the data is stored.
Ultimately, there is an opportunity for the channel to help organisations deal with the increasingly complex compliance and regulatory data obligations that are too often overlooked, ignored, or too far down the priority list for businesses to think about.
Data needs to follow the individual, not the company, device or location. Over the next 12 months these conversations with customers will become more frequent as businesses wake up to the significant compliance problems they could soon be faced with.