We have all had the moment where we are downhill of an avalanche of a problem that is rolling our way and gaining steam. This is otherwise knowns as the snowball effect. There are more examples than days in a year, but let’s consider one that is greatly influenced by the times we now live in and the impact on business.
The “Are We in Big Trouble”
The downhill roll starts at the top. The CXO receives a letter from their major Client (Partner, Business Associate or Vendor) requesting audit of their controls and policies surrounding a compliance issue such as: Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Personal Health Information (PHI), Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) or others. The reaction at the CXO level is: “What did we commit to?” and then “I hope we don’t hold or process THAT information”.
Around this time the CXO has realized that “Hope” is not a strategy and the snowball begins its decent. The CXO calls the Sales executive on the carpet asking, ”What did YOU agree to?” Sales, swiftly pivots and points to IT and states “These are IT issues and THEY should have addressed them”. As the snowball gains steam, IT points to Security & Compliance. and so the momentum of the avalanche is perpetuated.
This scenario has played out within clients and prospects more times that we care to admit. If we look deeper into this landscape, the “Sh*t” is the compliance and audit demands. .The “downhill roll” can be to another organizational level, the Client, Partner, Supply Chain, Vendor, Business Associate, but ultimately it lands in the lap of the person or department who must figure out how to Fix The Problem.
For the Fixers that have taken the proper steps to address compliance and security this Hill may be just a small undulation in the road. To others who have continued to turn a blind eye and only performed a few IT related patches, the Hill is equivalent to Mt. Washington, a full compliance program and management platform will be required to get the business into good graces once again.
And then there are the Mt. Everests’.This world is a different place and the compliance avalanche that rages on Mt Everest takes no prisoners! These are the companies that go extinct because they said; it was too expensive to be compliant, or the audits and demands will go away, or we have gotten away with being non-compliant for years and we will continue to do so.
Remember….Sh*t Rolls Down Hill and the size of that Hill determines if you will suffocate or will dig out.
BostonCOMPLY is here to help get over the Hill, but don’t wait for Mt. Everest to come into view.