I should have replaced my current car about a year ago, but life has a habit of getting in the way of such things so it didn’t happen. As a result I’ve only just started thinking about the checklist of features for the replacement car – most important being my “can’t live without” items like reverse parking sensors (the significance of which I recently realised to my cost when driving a hire car that had none – ouch!). My current car has a built-in sat nav but it was so limited and difficult to use that I quickly resorted to my trusty TomTom (which I might add, other devices are also available). For me a sat nav is definitely a “can’t live without” item but more than that it’s become too important to simply opt for whatever the car manufacturer considers is good enough – I need a “best-of-breed” tool to give me all the features I need.
There are clear parallels in the world of software procurement. An RFP that fails to ask searching questions can open the door for vendors with weak products to simply tick a box and set you up for serious, and potentially expensive, disappointment.
“It came as standard”
Looking at the software choices to support you in the process of data classification there are an increasing number of products that “do a bit of classification” – some are features thrown in as part of a product aimed at a related area, such as loss prevention or data governance. Whilst these might tick a small box on a procurement checklist, you need to consider if such a feature really has the legs to keep up with the needs of your business. I’d outgrown that factory fitted sat nav in a matter of hours but at least I could easily swap to using my best-of-breed choice – with data classification a false start with the wrong tool can be a costly mistake to rectify.
“My requirements are simple”
I have a family friend who is resistant to the virtues of a sat nav – always claiming that he mostly drives on the same routes and for anything else he has a trusty road atlas (2004 edition!). However he recently changed jobs and will soon be routinely shuttling between different offices so I’m confident that the road atlas will soon be consigned to the bin and a sat nav will make an appearance!
At the outset of a data classification project the requirements can look seductively simple. However I can confidently predict that those initial needs will evolve over time as more specific requirements are uncovered, new compliance obligations are introduced and technology shifts. So even if you elect to use a separate or add-on solution for data classification, there’s no guarantee that it will be able to keep pace with the changing needs of your business – you have to look beyond your immediate needs and consider what the future is likely to hold.
“One stop shopping is convenient”
With data classification options creeping into other products it can be tempting to consider that having such features built-in or pre-integrated will lead to a better overall solution. My car’s clever built-in “Infotainment” system certainly has a good music system interface but it makes for a very poor sat nav – and that’s not a compromise that I can accept.
With data classification you should consider all the different touchpoints the solution will have with your business processes, productivity tools, as well as security and data management solutions – if each of these products has its own built-in classification solution then you will have a serious muddle to resolve. The only viable way to address all these touchpoints is by using a separate data classification solution that offers high levels of integration with all your key technologies and processes – a “plug and play” methodology. This independent approach will offer you greater flexibility and choice, for example avoiding you becoming locked into one particular protective technology.
No need to compromise
Data classification is growing in importance as a fundamental building block in protecting and managing your data – so why trust such a key function to vendors who offer only tick box solutions? The Boldon James approach is different – we are a specialist provider of data classification tools, one with a depth of experience in the subject who is dedicated to the best-of-breed approach and committed to technology partnerships that allow you to plug and play to form the solutions that are right for your business – you really don’t need to compromise.