6 min read
Nov 20, 2019
Insights

How Software Simplifies Data Policy Management

Data policies safeguard sensitive information, help to achieve compliance goals, and articulate employee security standards.

Z.C.
Zach CapersSenior Analyst

Every company has data policies and procedures. Data policies safeguard sensitive information, help to achieve compliance goals, and articulate the security standards to which all employees are held. But managing them can be complicated and tedious. That's why you need software to simplify the data policy management process.

In this article, we'll consider how software simplifies data policy management and explore how it can help your business achieve its goals more efficiently.

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What is data policy management?

Data policy management is the creation, organization, review, and application of policies and procedures that govern data. It enables collaboration among various stakeholders and makes it easier for companies to meet governance standards, manage organizational risk, and maintain regulatory compliance.

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Policy creation and workflow features

Policy management software enables policy creation with customizable workflows that enable collaboration among various stakeholders. These tools also commonly include templates to streamline development so that policies can be drafted, reviewed, and approved without missing a step.

Many solutions include several options for policy creation including templates and content libraries. Some also allow integration with common document creation applications (such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs) or include an HTML editor to create rich content.

Policies can also be flagged for review on a recurring basis or as required by law. For example, under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) your privacy policy must be reviewed every 12 months. Policy management software can be set to remind you when a policy is due for review while maintaining an audit trail of revisions data and associated changes.

Need to create a specific data management policy?

Explore our data policy development resources:

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Policy distribution and attestation features

With policy assignment and attestation features, you no longer need to track down paper documents to prove that employees have received company policies and agreed to abide by them.

Policy distribution

The process owner disseminates the policy to their target audience. Next, users are notified through the preferred contact method that a document is awaiting their review. Administrators then receive a notification when the document has been digitally signed. This automates routine compliance needs and streamlines a process that is otherwise complicated and tedious.

Policy attestation

Attestation options are one of the primary benefits of policy management software. Rather than physical handwritten signatures, employees can verify the receipt of policies in various ways including a digital signature or passcode.

However, attestation isn't sufficient if employees aren't clear about what they're signing. Many policy software solutions include training tools that can help to illuminate policies and increase comprehension. Many tools include modern training methods and quizzes that make policies more compelling than a traditional document. Quizzes also help to inform future policy revisions by considering which questions employees missed and how associated content might be clarified for better understanding.

Question creation in PolicyTech (Source)

Reports and dashboards

Process owners view which policies have been assigned, their status, and due dates in one central location. Dashboards allow users to navigate policy related responsibilities and complete assignments. Furthermore, policy management software simplifies the production of reporting needed for regulators and auditors.

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Policy storage and version control features

Policy management software provides a repository of current and retired policies and procedures that can be searched by title, tag, or internal content. This allows you to easily identify and maintain policies that require expansion or revision as conditions change and technology evolves. Moreover, employees can quickly locate operating procedures and explore related documents or articles, typically from any type of device.

An added benefit is that you can be sure that all employees are receiving the most current policies and procedures and that they're all receiving the same information. Furthermore, comparison features allow staff to see at a glance what has been changed, added, or removed during the most recent revision.

Policy revisions in PowerDMS (source)

If a policy is violated, an audit trail is available to determine exactly which policy version was in place at the time the activity occurred and prove that an employee agreed to the policy prior to the offense, thus reducing the company's liability.

Industry specific policy management solutions

For those in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, policy management software may be available that is designed for your organization's specific challenges. These tools often include continually updated content libraries and notifications when existing regulations change or new ones take effect.

The benefits of data policy management tools vary from product to product. Delve into our catalog to compare dozens of solutions and find the right software for your business.

Note

The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations; they've been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

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