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Enterprise Collaboration Risks & Regulations.

Enterprise Collaboration Risks & Regulations.

Welcoming enterprise collaboration can be a tricky task in today’s technology evolving business world. Emails are no longer the primary communication channel of choice and popularity of channels such as public instant messaging, and external social media applications are growing at a rapid rate.

A lot of organizations will choose to avoid embracing the change based on the risks that come with it. However, instead of avoiding these enterprise collaboration tools altogether, businesses should embrace and leverage them as opportunities to create a more collaborative environment for employees, business partners, and customers. In turn, business will be able to foster an environment that strengthens relationships and increases revenues.

As with any type of change, there is a certain amount of risk to consider before moving forward. Therefore in order to prepare, businesses should create corporate policies that include securing the corporate network. This article will discuss how to welcome enterprise collaboration into your business.

Ensure Data Security and Privacy

The company’s IT department should secure corporate networks before deploying any new software applications. This ensures that sensitive information doesn’t circulate outside or across the organization. In addition, IT must also provide protection from any enterprise wide security threats. Cyber-criminals can get a hold of data from social channels to identify employees and gain access to corporate systems with phishing emails. Employees can click on links that appear to be from their friends and colleagues and end up downloading malware in the corporate network. Hence, it is really important that IT take the initiative to safeguard the enterprise.

Maintain Regulatory Compliance

The risk of not maintaining compliance is also something to be aware of. Compliance departments are responsible for protecting the company from regulatory legal risk. It is important that businesses ensure all compliance regulations are met since there are a lot of rules and regulations on electronic communications.

In regulated industries a single mistake can cause fines and sanctions. Irrespective of the industry or location, regulators have made one thing very clear: business records need to be controlled, captured, reviewed, supervised, archived, and made e-discoverable across all communication channels. Compliance departments are responsible for sharing proof of compliance when regulators conduct their onsite exams.

If social media is any indication of how quick the world is changing its communication tactics, regulators will soon view this as another form of electronic communication. The content will be the determining factor. Therefore it becomes important to implement strict guidelines with where employees can share business documents and what can be shared via social media tools. In my experience, company intranet and instant messaging tool is usually enough to communicate and share company documents.

Train Everyone 

Messages are sent instantly often without proper consideration of the effect they will have. Once sent, there is no way of taking it back. Therefore, as a general rule, if an associate or supervisor cannot see themselves defending a communication in front of their coworkers, their spouse, or a judge, they shouldn’t send it!

Organizations should make sure to train managers, supervisors and employees periodically on the appropriate use of electronic communications, including communications which pertain to their associates on social network sites or on personal devices, inside or outside of the company. Employees should be asked to acknowledge understanding of company policies related to electronic communications and everyone should be reminded that electronic communications leave a permanent digital footprint.

Work with the 30-day rule. In the beginning only 30 percent of your organization will implement a new technology. Some employees will log on and get started right away. Others will be more reticent, and need assistance. Record your training so it’s easily accessible for employees who want to join at a later date. Create a plan around this and reflect on users’ experience right from the beginning.

During the training, do not be too hung up on all the things that employees shouldn’t do on the platforms. Instead encourage all the benefits of the platform and what the goals are for the company and how these tools will ultimately help reach them. Ensure the training programs meet the needs of every employee. It is not wise to assume that the new technology will come easily to everyone.

3. Respond to Complaints Promptly 

Smart phone communication has blurred the lines between work and personal lives. Associates often tend to use their personal devices for work. Messages that are sent after work hours may be received at work and this can negatively affect the workplace. Texting sexually suggestive and/or explicit pictures or messages; also known as ‘sexting’, can contribute to a hostile work environment no matter when or how the messages were sent. To avoid such scenarios, make it a priority to report any and all reports of e-harassment or sexting. Such matter should always be taken seriously, investigated promptly with appropriate actions taken in response!


As with any type of change, there is a certain amount of risk to consider before moving forward. To prepare, businesses should weigh in the benefits with the consequences and progress with a strategy to mitigate risks instead of avoiding it altogether. Remember, with change comes progress. All the best!

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