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Balancing Innovation with IT Compliance


Author: Ritika Puri, a self-described entrepreneur and people-lover immersed in tech


Now more than ever before, visionary IT departments are an important part of the disruption equation.


According to a recent survey of senior IT and line of business decision makers, 73 percent of leading firms reported a sense of confidence in being able to disrupt their own business models through existing technology. Even among the most innovative organizations, however, there's one barrier standing in the way: IT compliance.


Innovation meets compliance

Federal regulations like HIPAA, PCI, and Sarbanes-Oxley create hurdles for IT leaders looking to reach customers faster, carve out new business opportunities, and create scalable infrastructure. Still, there's room to push past these challenges to disrupt business models and create new customer experiences. Here are three ways organizations can balance innovation with IT compliance.


1. Focus on the goals before the game plan

An infrastructure-first mindset can deter the innovation process before it ever begins. With the new tools, technologies, and resources available, organizations have a range of customization options available, which is why it makes sense to start with a goal before jumping into a solution.


Joachim Frank, VP of Technology Services at HP, shares the experience of a medical service provider in the Netherlands that is using a solution that "allows them to really step out of any infrastructure-related planning exercise [or] procurement exercise. They can first take their resources to focus on their solution, which will generate value for the hospital. [They're] not thinking about the infrastructure all the time."


Focus on the value that you're looking to generate. With the right mindset and willpower, IT constraints may foster creativity.


2. Involve legal counsel early

One of the biggest fears IT teams face is the possibility of being shut down by legal. Rather than waiting for the last possible moment for approval, it's essential that business and IT teams engage with legal departments early.


By understanding privacy, data, security, and IT compliance requirements ahead of time, line of business owners can ensure that their bases are covered. The opportunity to identify challenges ahead of time may help you alleviate them.


Teams that involve legal at the latest stages take on a big risk: The last thing a project needs is a new product development direction with launch time around the corner. The ability to identify potential problems early, from a legal perspective, will help teams avoid wasted resources.


3. Give teams the resources to experiment

It's hard for any team member to feel entrepreneurial or innovative when facing IT compliance barriers. Organizations need to make sure employees feel optimistic, energized and passionate.


One solution is for teams to create an experiment-driven culture. Give people the resources and budget to test their ideas on a smaller scale, and encourage them to share their results.


Establish early on that while IT compliance challenges are complex and will take time to resolve, they can also serve as catalysts for innovation. Keep your cool, encourage teams to turn compliance to their advantage and celebrate the small wins. Every step forward counts.


IT leaders need to be much more connected to the external demands being placed business. They need to be in tune with new ways of working, new technologies and new approaches to provide a continuous competitive advantage. Read the Insights: 2015 Infrastructure Imperatives eBook to see how you can use digital technologies to increase agility and boost innovation. Getting to the art of the possible by moving to the new style of business.


Insights: 2015 Infrastructure imperatives




About the author

Ritika PuriRitika Puri


Ritika is a corporate intrapreneur turned startup founder and writer. She enjoys helping companies build stronger customer relationships and bring products to market faster through her company, Storyhackers.

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