Working in the IT field requires the ability to quickly and efficiently assimilate with many different types of change. Some of the changes are minor and barely cause a ripple when implemented. An example can be seen in a familiar software tool that introduces a new interface in its most recent upgrade. Everything is functionally the same, but the specific keystrokes and procedures have been modified. You don’t have a choice in the matter, you just have to get used to the new way of doing things. No big deal.
Other changes are more impactful and can have a major effect on how your company conducts business. Consider moving your computing environment to the cloud. This type of all-encompassing change implies substantial transformation in many aspects of IT management and may be more difficult to come to terms with than an application’s cosmetic GUI change. Computing professionals need to be flexible enough to deal with a rapid pace of change while maintaining the appropriate levels of performance and availability.
The Impact of Regulatory Change
The types of changes described above are something that everyone who works in information technology expects to encounter. It might even be a reason they opted for a computing career in the first place. In almost all cases, these changes are voluntary to a degree. Your company doesn’t have to use the cloud. Maybe you can limp along with the old GUI and still get your work done. But there is a class of change that demands the attention of all organizations keeping sensitive personal information on their customers and employees.
Regulatory changes are not adopted voluntarily. They are dictated by governments or other agencies responsible for the oversight of designated processes or aspects of business operations. Two examples that have had a major effect on businesses throughout history are the safety regulations and engine emission standards which required massive changes in the way automobiles are manufactured. Opting out is not a valid strategy, as failure to comply results in substantial fines or the forced closure of a given company.
As concern over the privacy of personal data stored in computer systems has grown, so has the regulatory environment that is attempting to protect it. The European Union led the way with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which allows EU citizens to control how their personal data is collected and used. There are currently no equitable standards enforced in the United States. There are, however, a large number of state regulations that are winding their way through the approval process and promise to go live in the near future. Keeping compliant with these new standards threatens to become increasingly complex as more regulations accrue.
Regulatory Change Management
Failure to meet regulatory compliance standards can result in serious financial implications. Regulatory change management is a strategy that can be instrumental in keeping an organization compliant with the evolving demands of privacy legislation.
Viable regulatory change management is comprised of four key phases that work in conjunction to maintain the integrity of enterprise data as it relates to privacy standards.
Identification – The first step is to identify new regulatory events that impact your business. This requires maintaining a connection to the entities developing new regulations to avoid being surprised when they are announced.
Review – As regulations that may impact a business are identified, they need to be reviewed so the specific effects can be brought to light. Systems or processes that need to be modified to address the new standards are determined in this phase of change management.
Implementation – The implementation phase involves detailed assessment and planning that addresses the steps that are required to integrate the new regulations with your systems.
Validation – The final step is to perform validation through assurance testing which will codify policies to maintain compliance with the implemented regulations going forward.
Using this framework, an organization can stay abreast of evolving regulations and ensure that their systems comply with any new standards that may impact the business.
Tools to Help Manage Change
IDERA’s DB Change Manager can help your organization maintain regulatory compliance as it relates to the information stored in your Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, and IBM Db2 databases. It helps you protect the privacy of the database environments and streamlines the creation of reports that auditors demand to demonstrate compliance. Data masking lets you protect sensitive information in your production systems while migrating it to test and development platforms.
DB Change Manager includes features that address the regulatory concerns of modern databases. It enables the creation of customized configurations that can be used to identify security vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. Historical records of changes are available for compliance auditing and reporting. Schema comparison reports let you quickly find objects that have changed and may need to be looked at from a compliance standpoint. DB Change Manager is a valuable tool that should be a part of your company’s regulatory change management procedures.