Collaboration in the Era of Digital Transformation: Barriers to Success


21 February 2017

Cloud Security

According to Gartner’s 2016 CIO Agenda Report, digitization has evolved from an innovative technology trend to a core business competency. Gone are the days of traditional corporate boundaries; employees can now do work on a device they own from anywhere – while commuting, at home or even on vacation. With this increase in digitization, however, comes increased risk. Organizations must ensure that corporate IP and data are secure, while also allowing employees the flexibility to be as productive as possible.

Regulatory frameworks are also forcing companies to prioritize data security. For example, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect in May 2018, increasing the protection of data privacy of individuals and harmonizing data privacy laws across Europe. Meant to strengthen personal data protection for EU citizens, the GDPR impacts companies within the EU, as well as those exporting data outside the EU. Companies looking to maintain a competitive edge must address this new regulatory and digital transformation climate.

To see how IT and security pros are preparing to address these issues, we teamed up with the Cloud Security Alliance and polled 440 individuals spanning 23 countries, multiple industry verticals, job levels and company sizes. The findings highlighted three key barriers to collaboration success.

Barrier 1: Outmoded Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

From the survey, we found that many businesses have a long way to go in their digital transformation efforts, which often means different things to different organizations. When it comes to collaboration in the digital transformation era of the enterprise, the first step is to take a hard look at how data is currently managed, stored and shared. Eighty percent of respondents admitted that their company is still using traditional file folders to organize and share content. This prompts the question, how can employees, partners and stakeholders securely share digitized data when it’s still being stored and processed on systems that can’t get the job done?

Barrier 2: Data Siloes

Systems for data storage and management have traditionally been siloed, leaving companies managing data across multiple systems and locations without effective communication. Many current information-sharing systems also do not communicate effectively. This has resulted in unnecessary infrastructure management and costs – in fact, 57% of respondents confirmed this, saying that their ECMs and other content tools are siloed and difficult to connect. The rise in adoption of cloud computing has only made this problem more apparent, but at the same time it offers a potential solution.

Barrier 3: Data Privacy Challenges

Data security and compliance risks are also weighing heavily on respondents’ minds. Our survey found that security concerns are the top reason holding companies back from implementing digital transformation. Of particular concern is the GDPR and the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement, which will impact not only European companies but any company that does business in Europe. Many lack confidence that their business will meet the compliance deadline for GDPR in 2018, and two-thirds agree that the new data privacy rules will force them to change the way they share and store information.

Our full report with the CSA, Collaboration in the Era of Digital Transformation: Barriers to Success, sheds additional light on these three barriers. For a better handle on how your company can approach its digital transformation efforts, the report includes content handling questions organizations should ask during the process, such as how content will be protected, where it will be stored, who will have access to it, and how can access be controlled.

Companies should consider these questions as they work to define their information governance policy in the face of increasing digital transformation and data privacy and security regulation. I will also be talking about this issue at the upcoming Argyle CISO Leadership Forum in Chicago on May 4th.



Daren Glenister

Daren Glenister

Daren Glenister is the Field CTO for Intralinks. In his role, he acts as a customer advocate, working with enterprise organizations to evangelize data collaboration solutions and translate customer business challenges into product requirements, helping to steer Intralinks’ product road map and the evolving secure collaboration market. Daren brings over 20 years of industry experience and leadership in security, compliance, secure collaboration and enterprise software having worked with many of the Fortune 1000 companies helping to turn business challenges into real world solutions.