Three digital workplace challenges CIOs face

CIOs face numerous digital workplace challenges.

Meeting organisational — and customer — demands without compromising on performance, compliance or security can be a difficult balancing act. For each new application that is added to the digital workplace, CIOs need to work with legal and security teams to ensure data security and regulatory compliance and manage general concerns about application misuse.

Here are three main challenges of operating a digital workplace that keep CIOs on their toes:

• Data privacy compliance for employees

• Cyber and information security across the digital workplace, and

• User behaviour across the digital workplace.

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Challenge 1: Data privacy compliance for employees

Monitoring customer and employee data privacy has always been important, especially for industry sectors that need to ensure HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) compliance. However, in the last two years, the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has brought sharper focus on data privacy and how customer and employee data is gathered, processed and used. Although GDPR is an EU directive, it has a significant impact on any company that deals with customers or employees within the EU, which is why many US-based companies are choosing to be fully GDPR compliant.

Challenge 2: Cyber and information security across the digital workplace

Cybersecurity and information security are still making headlines, with everything from phishing scams to huge data breaches of customer or employee data. CIOs are under intense pressure to ensure they take every action to keep their organisation protected from these attacks.

Many organisations, particularly in sectors where employees handle customer or personal data, are likely to have robust information security policies in place. For example, restricting data that contractors can access or giving permissions only to a group of designated people. However, enforcing this across the digital workplace is more challenging than it seems.

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Challenge 3: Managing how users use tools in the digital workplace

As every CIO knows, most of the risks and issues associated with the digital workplace come down to user behaviour, either intentional or accidental. Many organisations adopt a policy of prevention and limit employee ability to misuse systems. For instance, implementing the need to regularly change passwords or locking down the use of unsupported applications.

A significant proportion of user behaviour comes through the use of unauthorised applications and devices for work purposes. Many organisations have a problem with shadow IT, although the extent of the problem and the degree of risk are always hard to measure.

Shadow IT exposes companies to data breaches and falling out of GDPR rules. Often employees may use an app which only has a consumer-grade security or is not GDPR compliant. It also means that sensitive data can get left in cloud-based systems without the knowledge of an organisation, even after an employee has moved to a new job.

While no digital experience solution can solve problems associated with the user behaviour alone, it can play a significant role in providing a compelling digital workplace experience that, in turn, can reduce the risks associated with poor user behaviour and shadow IT.

I’ll share some actionable advice for CIOs on how to deal with these challenges in my next article, “How CIOs can address digital workplace challenges

Written by David Maffei, president and CRO at Akumina

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