Get more value from Popia compliance - here's how - TechCentral

Get more value from Popia compliance – here’s how

Many organisations are challenged to understand what is affected by the imminent enforcement of Popia compliance, what they can do to become compliant, and how they can ensure ongoing compliance with both Popia and GDPR.

But getting real value out of Popia (the Promotion of Protection of Personal Information Act) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) projects means you have to consider the full spectrum of governance, cybersecurity, licensing models and procurement technologies that support the organisation’s digital transformation journey.

Broadly speaking, there’s a proven three-step process to successfully complying with Popia and GDPR that we’ve honed across a wide customer base, using skilled resources, with comprehensive certifications, and applying global best practice methodology.

One
You must be able intelligently and flexibly to classify data so you can identify the “crown jewels”. The system must be user friendly and provide a means to balance protection and productivity.

Two
You want to reduce the dependency and effort on the end user through native application capabilities, which also eliminates managing and deploying add-ins. You want a single pane of glass for the information protection stack.

Three
Finally, any solution must integrate with third-party applications and services to achieve comprehensive data protection.

These three elements can put a huge strain on internal IT and related business teams. As far as Popia and GDPR are concerned, internal teams are not necessarily geared to be able to consider business and IT alignment, audit licences, assess security posture, how to apply best practice and experience to optimally configure products, design architectures in detail, educate users and pilot change management, and then plan the projects with comprehensive rollout and deployment road maps.

The impacts of Popia and GDPR compliance initiatives extend into numerous business-, partner- and customer-facing systems, which is why best practice and proven methodologies are so important.

The Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) encapsulates global best practice and the lessons gained from adoption at several hundred organisations worldwide. The deliver phase of MOF streamlines the roll-out via stages from assessment to planning, building, stabilising and deploying in live business environments.

One of the major concerns is that organisations need to know their partner can support their comprehensive needs. We are a Microsoft Gold Partner and we support the MOF with numerous award-winning Microsoft Gold and Platinum certifications and competencies. In fact, we’ve recently won more than 10 awards from Microsoft for being experts across a variety of platforms and systems, from our Azure business and technical acumen, to Office 365 environments, deep cybersecurity delivery capabilities in Sentinel-based services, to Exchange and EM&S.

Stabilise

After deployment, we move to the stabilise phase, which provides a managed service, delivering 24/7 support for Popia requirements and others across the network through the collective effort of our more than 1 800 employees from offices across the country.

From SME to large enterprise, data sensitivity remains the same. Delivering a certified best practice approach to data classification, governance, and protection substantially improve any Popia and GDPR compliance initiative. The legislative requirements as well as the penalties are the same for all organisations. That’s why we use the same proven approach and tools for all size and type of organisation. There are, however, different licensing programmes to suit various size of organisation, from small business to large, government and non-profit.

Reach out to me if you want more specific information on how you can initiate Popia and GDPR compliance in your organisation: Call 021 525 7000 or e-mail ryanr@firsttechnology.co.za.

  • Ryan Ramawoothar is senior software and cloud specialist at First Technology Western Cape
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