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effective compliance journey

A good roadmap is the key to an effective compliance journey – here’s why

Compliance is a vast and constantly shifting landscape. There are countless regulations, known and emerging risks and rapidly evolving compliance features within Microsoft 365 to comply with them and protect against them. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find your compliance journey grinding to a halt, not because there is nowhere to go, but because there is so much to do, it’s hard to know where to start.

The obvious first step to break this paralysis is to figure out where you are and where you need to be. In other words, stepping back to look at the big picture, pinpointing your highest priority compliance gaps/risks and identifying the capabilities you need to deploy in order to close them effectively.

Believe it or not, this is actually a fairly straightforward process, and can be done relatively quickly during a compliance assessment. But knowing where you need to go is only half the battle. The real trick lies in aligning these capabilities with your business objectives to plot an optimal path from A to B.

That’s where a tailored compliance roadmap comes in.

What is a compliance roadmap?

The main purpose of a compliance roadmap is to give meaning and direction to your compliance strategy and show you how to get where you need to be as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

A good roadmap is much more than just a prioritised list of which features to deploy in what order, however. It also details the why and how of things to make bang-for-buck and alignment with business strategy obvious.

This, in turn, makes it much easier for stakeholders from across the business to fully grasp the value of each recommended action. That generally results in much faster budgetary approval, allowing for more rapid implementation and tangible progress along your security journey.

Sound interesting? Find out more about our Microsoft 365 Compliance Assessment

When is a compliance roadmap most useful?

There a very few situations in which an up-to-date compliance roadmap will not bring value. However, we’re currently finding our clients approaching us with a few very specific goals in mind.

These include

  • Identifying and addressing security shortfalls introduced during the rapid deployment of remote-work capabilities in 2020.
  • Maximising ROI from Microsoft licencing by optimising adoption and offloading redundant third-party applications.
  • Understanding the potential business benefits of upgrading to E5.
  • Improving and automating compliance activities using Microsoft Purview capability.

You’ve got your roadmap – what’s next?

A roadmap can’t make your business compliant on its own. It’s a powerful springboard to accelerate (and direct) your deployment of new risk-reducing compliance features, but there’s more to a successful compliance journey than that.

Your next challenge will be getting to grips with the comprehensive design of configuration changes and their implications, and addressing the “people” and “process” aspects of the features you deploy.

That doesn’t mean your roadmap has outlived its value, however. It remains a potent tool during your change-management process, explaining the journey you’re on to stakeholders and encouraging users to work with – instead of around – your security features.

The Cloud Essentials difference

As gold-certified Microsoft content experts with decades of migration experience behind us, we live and breathe Microsoft products and cloud technology. Our particular approach to compliance comes from more than just intimate knowledge of the technology, however. We have risk and compliance experts in our team who can help you bring the right stakeholders together, facilitate high quality discussion and drive the decision-making that will kickstart your compliance journey.

Complex or unusual requirements? Highly regulated industry? That’s our kind of challenge.