SmarshCONNECT and Disrupted Communications: Enabling Productivity

To finish off our series on Disrupted Communications in advance of our upcoming annual SmarshCONNECT conference, I’d like to turn the focus to the last of our three major themes – Enabling Productivity.

Of the three themes, productivity has the most dimensions to unpack. Mitigating Risk is clearly a part of almost every discussion we have with our customers, as improving one’s effectiveness in spotting and acting upon potential risks buried in corporate communications is central to our over-all mission as an organization. Embracing Transformation is simply a decision to be addressed by firms as they attempt come to grips with the changes in the way that their organization collaborates internally and interacts with clients and prospects externally. This decision is to either embrace change or attempt to maintain status quo with outdated systems, processes, and policies. Deciding to enable productivity, on the other hand, encompasses multiple subjects with several unique challenges. For example:

• Moving to Office 365
According to Microsoft, 91 of the Fortune 100 corporations have embarked upon a journey to adopt Office 365 – now with more than 180 million commercial users. And, many more firms are making the move too. The motivation is the opportunity for greater user productivity and internal collaboration. However, the goal of enhancing productivity also raises a series of questions around data usage and training that can cause firms to pause, including:

 – Improving data handling and hygiene – using the migration to Office 365 as an opportunity to inspect and potentially clean up PST files and shared drives, shared mailboxes, as well as to finally address the legacy email archive.

– Understanding your users – including how they use both Microsoft and non-Microsoft content sources, and how user needs vary across specific geographic areas and business units.

– Planning for new features and training – Office 365 provides a new set of features for users to interact with, some of which may not be addressed within current communications policies and IT controls. Conversely, some features that end users had been accustomed to with on-premises Exchange may not be currently available.

Understanding the impact of these questions upon end-users, as well as compliance and e-discovery processes, can ultimately delay a firms’ successful deployment of Office 365. Smarsh CTO Anthony West will lead our exploration of this topic on June 5th, at 1:00pm.

• Embracing a mobile first strategy
Every organization is coming to grips with the reality that their employees are using their mobile devices to conduct day-to-day business. The primary reason? Productivity – it’s obvious, when you consider the 90 second response rate to a text message compared to the 90 minute response typically associated with email. We expect to see a very near-term future where every mobile application will have a messaging component, which makes it clear that prohibition policies simply cannot, and have not worked.

So, how can you embrace the productivity advantages of mobile while also expanding your compliance and security circles to encompass mobility? Should you start with training, policy updates, or look to technologies to solve the problem? Our resident mobility expert Brian Panicko will lead the exploration of these important questions on June 6th, from 1:45-2:30 and again from 2:45-3:30.

• Addressing the interactive nature of collaboration tools
As we’ve frequently commented upon, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Symphony, and other collaborative tools are truly disrupting the way companies are getting work done. This is not only because of the multiple modalities that individuals can engage with (e.g. video, voice, app sharing, etc.), but also due to their dynamic and interactive nature where content can change, be modified or deleted. The end result to users is not just improved responsiveness, but, in the words of the Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, to hasten the demise of email as the preferred corporate communications backbone. Suffice it to say, adapting processes and systems to keep up with this newly expanded risk surface area provides plenty to chew on. Anthony West will lead our break-out discussion of this important topic, on June 6th, from 1:45-2:30 and again from 2:45-3:30.

• Updating supervisory processes to leverage advanced technologies
While any discussion of supervisory processes tends to primarily focus on uncovering and acting upon potential risks and policy violation – productivity implications are also an important consideration. Compliance teams and the supervisory review process are frequently underwater in dealing with today’s communications volume and variety. Teams are always looking for policy refinements and workflow enhancements to get through their queues more efficiently. One such enhancement is in the exploration of content surveillance tools to assess the behaviors and sentiments of supervised users, which leads to questions about how to best integrate these technology innovations into the current review processes. Our Supervision workshop will be led by Smarsh Regulatory Expert Marianna Shafir and subject matter expert Gregory Breeze in their June 6th session running concurrently to the Mobility and Collaboration workshop from 1:45 to 2:30.

However, the importance of Enabling Productivity is not just to make the compliance team more efficient – it is important in helping compliance teams free up cycles to help lead their organizations in improving their processes and tools to better leverage data they generate from electronic communications information in order to better serve their customers and improve their competitive positioning. This broader value of productivity will be a thread running throughout the SmarshCONNECT Annual Conference, and one that we look forward to sharing with our customers to promote best practices and help drive the industry forward.

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Robert Cruz

Robert Cruz

Senior Director of Information Governance at Smarsh
Robert Cruz is Senior Director of Information Governance for Smarsh. He has more than 20 years of experience in providing thought leadership on emerging topics including cloud computing, information governance, and discovery cost and risk reduction.
Robert Cruz

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