Getting Started Connecting Your Digital Ecosystem for Top-Down Insights
How can businesses build a scalable data infrastructure or enterprise risk management framework that dynamically adjusts to grow with the organization?
Consolidate and Contextualize Data
Address Data Sprawl in Your Enterprise Risk Management Framework
Mapping data across company operations can be a tedious task, but it is the essential first step in understanding the extent of your digital ecosystem. Rather than having a simple repository of stored data points, it is important to understand how data flows through your organization (what type of data as well as the location), the IT systems utilized, as well as how users interact with that data. To contextualize data in this manner, businesses need to balance both a broad perspective and a detailed perspective.
Getting to that level of understanding can be a challenge. The fluid way businesses operate today across various tools and third parties make indexing and maintaining information difficult and time-consuming. The nature of this problem further complicates and fuels your exposure to cyber risk events.
To solve this, businesses should outline their organizational structure. What roles are in place and who is responsible for the current initiatives to achieve business objectives? Classifying these roles will establish a high-level process flow chart and guide you to define the activities that are in place across those teams. These activities showcase broad initiatives, such as executing marketing events or supporting internal communications. This sets the foundation for role-based permissions and establishes categories to organize related data across your enterprise risk management framework.
Measuring Assets in Line with Business Function
How your organization’s business functions divided? Outline department structures from Accounting, HR, Sales and Marketing, as well as Production and Distribution. From there, you can classify how your company operationalizes tasks by reviewing the structure of teams at the next level down, and the following, etc. Building this level of detail will allow you to index your assets in the form of an organization matrix, noting the business function in line with your asset documentation. Documenting your organizational spread is a healthy exercise in reviewing your operations as a whole and will give you insights to help you best achieve your business goals. Is the resource distribution across your company adequate to achieve your business objectives?
Once you have reviewed your objectives and structure, you can then map and categorize your IT systems and digital assets across the various data flows. By coordinating the digital elements of your corporate ecosystem and aligning them by function and organization structure, you can build a dynamic platform that can change and evolve as your business grows. As new initiatives are put in place to support the strategic direction of your company, you can easily reorganize your digital structure to reflect the change and evaluate risk and across your enterprise risk management program.
If you were to extend the use of a productivity tool across teams to consolidate systems, how does that impact processes, the number of assets involved and the value you assign to them? Does this expand the type or categories of information now housed in this application, does the shift change the nature of how data is being used?
Alternatively, if you were to split teams into focused concentrations rather than generalist department disciplines, how does this impact your enterprise risk management framework?
Dynamic Data Infrastructure to Scale and Support Growth
Mapping your data flows in relation to your business processes can provide the granularity needed to measure what level of various risk perspectives (operational, vendor, IT, regulatory, etc.) are associated to each flow. By categorizing data by source, category, and function, you can view your risk in the scope of individual business units or operations to appropriately identify and weigh threats in context to the risk and the potential business impact.
Shifts in how leadership chooses to optimize structure and processes to achieve business goals and a variety of factors such as materiality, scope and volume, can dynamically impact the amount of risk your business is exposed to. Having a detailed, yet flexible record of your digital infrastructure can help you maintain your risk management program without traditional maintenance of laborious data setup.
Executing on this vision is a two-part initiative for your enterprise risk management framework. First as outlined above is instituting a dynamic and scalable hierarchy that can support incrementation changes as your organization evolves. Second, is efficiently connecting data sources and systems.
Contact our team of experts to learn more about what criteria you should consider to simplify system configuration. Read our blog on integrating processes to align to your risk management framework. Your team can then track risk based on near real-time activity.