The Importance of Private, Reliable, Secure Business Communications
In our last installment of this blog series we discussed "How Collaborative Communications Enable a Democracy of Information." This week, in part five of the series, we elaborate.
Part 5: How Collaborative Communications Make Business Profitable, Productive and Progressive
“As more organizations seek to decentralize decision-making and increase responsiveness, they are seeking to empower more workers by putting meaningful data at their fingertips—essentially democratize the data.”
- Brent Dykes Director, Data Strategy at Domo, and Forbes Contributor from “The Age of Data Democratization”
We agree with Dykes. Information, which once was locked in centralized repositories like mainframe computers, flows from the core of a company to its front lines more freely than ever before. And that’s only the beginning of the journey. On the backbone of mobile and cloud technologies, data now can zip from one end of the world to the other virtually in an instant.
Today, the question for businesses isn’t whether to harness the democratizing data for digital transformation. It’s who will lead the initiative and how. And from our perspective, the answers are CEOs and CIOs by providing secure, reliable, private collaborative communications.
Why Corporate Leaders Rely on Collaborative Communications for Democratizing Data
Gartner analyst Mark Raskino feels CEOs must drive their organizations to democratize information for competitive advantage. He also feels CIOs must share this mission because their traditional roles have grown beyond just managing technical assets on the IT and telecommunications teams. Now, chief executives expect their technology leaders to align and synchronize functional departments, such as sales, legal and human resources – on a local, regional and global scale – with suitable processes and practices.
Collaborative communications bolster these efforts by providing three core pillars for a democracy of information:
The 3 Pillars for Democracy of Information Supported by Collaborative Communications
Collaborative communications are reliable when everyone in a company reach any audience inside or outside the organization at any moment through any mode – voice, visual and virtual. A geographically dispersed network of load-balanced servers operating per the highest international standards of business continuity and disaster recovery on a managed, all-IP infrastructure is required. A provider should guarantee service through advanced facilities, with protective structures, such as an uninterrupted power supply, a temperature-controlled environment and sensors for detecting fires, floods and other catastrophes. Back-up systems are just as vital, such as constant monitoring, consistent maintenance and persistent storage routines – on- and off-site. In sum, reliability means a highly available, highly accessible system for any worker at any level in the business.
Secure collaborative communications have three aspects:
- Secure Infrastructure resists intruders, malware and cybercriminals. IT professionals call these kinds of networks and apps “hardened,” which indicates these elements are involved at more than level: firewalls, anti-virus measures, plus detection and filtering software. Secure infrastructure necessitates secure coding practices, from design and deployment through maintenance.
- Secure Access allows only approved individuals and selected guests – employees or otherwise – to use the communications network and its applications. Securing access involves a mix of authentication techniques monitoring tools and session controls. Robust systems have several authentication layers – i.e., logins, PINs and passwords – and authorized moderators – appointed members of the organization or trained professionals.
- Secure Content, in audio, visual or text form, should flow across a secure infrastructure wrapped in a warranty of secure access. Anyone using the system should feel in control of sharing content of any type inside and outside of the network. Users should have confidence any content – streaming or saved – that travels the network is free from theft and/or misuse, with the same assurance for archives and back-up procedures.
The best collaborative communications platforms are secure along all three dimensions – infrastructure, access and content – as discussed in the last section. This three-part security enables CIOs to supply a company’s users with truly private communications. We define privacy in communications as a digital setting where employees and their guests can collaborate sharing public, proprietary or confidential business data. A private system gives its owners the authority to set policy along with the duty to sanction users and supervise conduct. For their part, users are obliged to follow policy and behave responsibly during sessions. In this model, a democracy of information is like democratic governance.
Why We Are Optimistic about a Democracy of Information
On the near horizon, we see a future when businesses of all shapes and sizes are connected, everyone working in those organizations is mobile, and this entire digital culture is integrated, including, someday, a time when our devices integrate with our bodies . The prospect is a paradox – both breathtaking and more than a bit scary. But as Unified Communications providers, we remain optimistic about this world view. Because a true democracy of information means people will connect, communicate and collaborate more easily. And that promises a profitable, productive and progressive future for businesses large and small.
Next, why people, not technology tools, are the heart of collaborative communications.