Herwig Evenepoel

Data Governance: Turning the compliance challenge to your advantage

Blog Post created by Herwig Evenepoel Employee on Mar 27, 2018

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in place and ransomware attacks hitting the front pages of newspapers, data governance is currently a hot topic for enterprises.

High-level executives are asking questions about how their organization stores, manages and controls data assets – and whether their governance strategy will be sufficient to keep them on the right side of compliance, and ready for a future marketplace where data-driven decisions and initiatives will be key.

In many cases, enterprises find they lack the rigorous governance processes required to respond to growing regulatory pressure. And with the rapid emergence of new data sources, the scale of the repair job will only become greater. Once your company starts to lose control of where data is stored and whether it is protected, the problem quickly snowballs.

So how do you ensure your data strategy delivers the agility to answer every regulatory demand? And how do you go beyond that and monetize your data, transforming it into one of your key business assets? Traditional thinking and storage architectures won’t be enough to meet the challenge – so how can you build a smarter approach to data management?


The compliance headache

Data protection and compliance rules are nothing new, especially for companies operating in heavily-regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare. However, the launch of new directives such as GDPR, the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and the EU e-Privacy Regulation will bring companies face-to-face with a new set of challenges to ensure data privacy.

The penalties for non-compliance are considerable. In the case of GDPR, the EU can levy a fine of up to 20 million euros in the event of failure to protect personal user data. Beyond that, the impact on your corporate profile can be even more severe. Following a data breach, consumers may question whether their privacy will be assured when they hand over their personal details, and decide to take their business elsewhere, potentially leading to a drop in revenues.

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The new regulations mean you must be able to track and monitor customer data in greater depth than ever. If a customer places a request to be erased from your systems, do you have the capability to locate all relevant assets, and ensure every trace is deleted? When you carry out an audit, can you be sure every data asset you present is complete and in its original form?

Conventional storage architectures, where data resides across multiple siloes in the data center, can stand in the way of meeting compliance requirements. Searching through scattered storage repositories to locate every relevant dataset in response to regulatory demands can be a hugely time-consuming and unreliable process, creating a significant drain on your resources.


Turning data into a business asset

Regulatory pressure is only one driver behind implementing more a robust governance framework. But many companies regard compliance as simply a necessary evil, and are reluctant to invest heavily in new ways of working. What they forget, though, is that smarter data governance can also be the foundation for business growth and digital transformation projects.

Gartner research suggests that by 2020, 10 percent of all businesses will have established a dedicated unit for data monetization. In many cases, the role of Chief Data Officer will become as important as that of Chief Information Officer in the development of corporate strategy.

These companies have realized that any steps to monetize and generate new revenue streams will only be as successful as the quality of the available data. Innovative analytics and data science projects have the potential to transform customer relationships and enable you to identify new commercial opportunities, but without the knowledge that you are working with complete, high-quality datasets their value will always be limited.


Secure storage and data discovery: the Hitachi strategy

How can Hitachi help you build a stronger governance framework? Our Hitachi Content Portfolio provides a scalable storage repository capable of holding billions of objects with their metadata. Rather than keeping your data assets scattered across multiple file servers, Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) offers a single storage pool, enabling much simpler management.

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Once the data is stored within HCP, write once, read many (WORM) functionality ensures its integrity is assured, with full protection against tampering, corruption or alteration. If the data is changed in any way, a completely new object is created and stored, ensuring you always have a record of amendments along with the initial file in its original form. You can also set access rights and permissions to protect data against unauthorized access, and advanced encryption of data and metadata adds an additional layer of security.

Within the metadata of every object, you can set a retention period according to compliance requirements. Within that period the data cannot be deleted, and once the end-date has passed, secure shredding capabilities ensure every trace is removed from your systems, helping to guarantee the privacy of your customers.

Alongside HCP, Hitachi Content Intelligence (HCI) also enables you to search, locate and index relevant data in response to legal audits or when compiling compliance reports, simplifying and accelerating the work of your Data Protection Officer.

What’s more, with a well-governed data foundation, you can go beyond compliance and empower the business to unlock greater value from information. For instance, you can draw together data assets as a starting point for analytics jobs aimed at identifying patterns and trends, as well as opportunities for commercial expansion – sharpening business performance and your competitive edge.


Hear more on this by watching our webinar series “Lead with Data”:


To learn more about how Hitachi Content Portfolio can help to transform your business, visit: https://www.hitachivantara.com/en-us/products/cloud-object-platform/content-platform.html