Despite belonging to the same organization, business units and legal/compliance departments often find themselves locked in conflict. Our webinar will leave you with a ton of food for thought as you go on your holiday vacation - join us on December 7th in exploring the relationships between Melanie from legal, Josh from project management and Kevin from IT. We will not forget the end users - all will receive the best solution to manage email compliance and leave all the disagreements behind, in 2023.
Business units are driven by productivity and efficiency. They want to complete tasks as efficiently as possible to keep up with their endless to-do lists. Meanwhile, legal and compliance departments focus on the various requirements the organization must meet to comply with regulations and protect themselves in the event of any legal actions. For them, proper documentation, audit trails, and meticulous data handling are non-negotiable stipulations that must be strictly adhered to, no matter the inconvenience.
This simmering tension rises to a boil when new legal or compliance procedures are imposed on business users. And, because IT gets charged with rolling these changes out to business users, it puts IT in a sticky situation.
Stuck in the middle between end users complaining about onerous new workflows slowing them down and legal/compliance stakeholders bemoaning weak adoption and conformity, IT begins feeling like the “bad guy.” They’re perceived as only making things harder for business users while disappointing the legal/compliance contingent because the business users won’t play along.
There’s perhaps no area where business users and compliance departments butt heads than email retention. The unalignment is fundamental in this case and the scope is massive given the voluminous amounts of email every employee sends and receives.
Business units want to keep everything forever because it might prove useful at some point. Email exchanges containing contract negotiations, pricing discussions, implementation details, and customer concerns are invaluable historical records. Account teams, engineers, project managers, customer support, and executives all see value in keeping those communications around for reference and any just-in-case knowledge gaps in the organization.
For legal departments, every one of those emails that capture the details business users value represents a risk, not an asset. Whether it’s fear of data leaks and theft, hypervigilance toward meeting regulatory compliance standards from GDPR to HIPAA, or worrying about discovery in a future legal proceeding, they want things deleted as much as possible as soon as possible.
IT can get put in an awkward position trying to satisfy both of these constituents with a solution. Too rigid or intrusive and business users complain, too lax and flexible draws the ire of legal. Move too much in one direction vs. the other and IT risks poor adoption of a comprehensive yet disruptive approach or quick uptake of a new process that doesn’t fully match legal’s needs.
Knowing that most email-related Information Management best practices often see compliance rates in the 10% range, any viable solution must factor in this reality. Therefore, the best way to entice end-user adoption is to introduce new tools and workflows that not only help out on the legal and compliance front but also make business users’ lives easier.
For example, nearly half of business users find it difficult and time-consuming to locate the files and information they need, which impacts both their job satisfaction and productivity. With a solution that meets legal Information Management requirements and also enhances the end user’s experience by making that file search and discovery process easier, there’s now motivation on both sides of the equation to adopt these new tools and processes.
With this in mind, IT leaders must thread the needle and continually identify and implement Information Management solutions that possess these sorts of mutual benefits. But just as important as the capabilities these solutions offer is their convenience. If it’s inconvenient, confusing, or onerous to comply, end users will simply opt out.
Creating an environment where legal and compliance needs get met while end users experience increased productivity isn’t just a dream, it’s a reality for thousands of companies and half a million end users thanks to harmon.ie. Our customers can share email messages and attachments to any location on SharePoint, Teams, or OneDrive all from within Outlook using drag-and-drop workflows.
In our upcoming webinar on 7 December, 11:00 GMT + 11am ET, we will share lessons learned from real-world experiences and show you that frictionless compliance is possible with the right tools in place. As part of the conversation, we’ll also share a demonstration of how Allianz Technology transformed their Information Management processes for their 180,000 employee workforce using harmon.ie.