How to Meet Changing Compliance Standards with Mobile Data Collection

Technology has changed the game in numerous ways, for the public and private sectors alike. Whereas in a previous generation, businesses and private companies both had extensive record-keeping practices that involved zillions of sheets of paper being stashed in filing cabinets, we now live in a new era. Clipboards are giving way to data collection practices - the traditional pen and paper are being replaced by web interfaces, mobile applications and cloud computing platforms.

This is an exciting innovation, but it brings with it a whole host of logistical challenges. It raises questions like: How will data be captured efficiently in the new area? How will it be shared seamlessly with others, accessed and reported? How can we increase velocity without sacrificing data security?

All of these questions are complex and multi-faceted. There are no easy factors. But these issues all share one common thread, and that is the potential for mobile form software to have a serious impact. Mobile apps make it easier to collect information, share it and process it for numerous uses.

"As data has become more omnipresent in both public and private operations, another concern has concurrently risen to prominence: compliance."

Luckily, mobile software can play a role. The mobile revolution offers the potential for increased efficiency and better collaboration.We live in an era of legislation struggles, compliance issues and many, many regulations to follow. The interaction between the public and private sectors is crucial - the government feeds off of industry's hard work, and industry looks to the government for guidance and standardization. The collaboration between the two is an area where improvement is always welcome.

Overcoming logistical hurdles

In recent years, the federal government has served as a driving force behind a forceful mobile revolution. Washington has been the impetus for a major change in the way information is captured, connected and reported.

To better explain this movement, the Federal CIO Council recently published an extensive report on how public offices have begun working with mobile data , entitled "Government Use of Mobile Technology: Barriers, Opportunities, and Gap Analysis." In this paper, the organization delineated the recent actions of its newly created Mobile Technology Tiger Team (MTTT), which has worked to bring mobile data rapidly to the forefront.

"The MTTT identified a number of challenges and enablers that impact agencies' ability to deploy mobile technologies to meet mission requirements," the report stated. "Barriers are operational and technical challenges that inhibit the ability to provide Government information "anytime, anywhere, on any device". Opportunities represent technology enablers for the secure delivery of information and services in a manner that complies with Federal requirements and mandates."

"Data security is an area of prime importance in this new era."

There were several drivers behind this initiative - namely, the government sought to enhance mobility and provide people with quicker access to information, supporting both management initiatives and individuals' actions in the field. The government has three main goals at play here - capability, cost and security. Washington is optimistic that it can do more, pay less and still not have to worry about the safety of its data. The hope is that all these benefits will trickle down to the business world as well.

Increased security is key

Data security is an area of prime importance in this new era. As the government has ramped up its emphasis on sharing and accessing information, it's become more vital that data stay safe from potential outside intrusions. Mobile data only adds to the complexity of this challenge - how do you protect your information if it has no physical location, it's merely floating in cyberspace?

"Washington is optimistic that it can do more, pay less and still not have to worry about the safety of its data."

According to The Hill, data security is going to be a matter of constant collaboration between the public and private sectors. John Sims, president of global enterprise services at BlackBerry, says that the lines of communication must stay consistently open.

"It's no secret that requirements and security standards will constantly evolve, so governments and enterprises must look to one another to determine how to best keep data safe and secure," Sims noted. "Considering the range and growing prevalence of cyber-attacks, governments and enterprises should work to create mobile security guidelines that can be utilized across public and private sectors."

Moving forward, industry needs to stay ahead of the curve - as new data is collected and filtered into the ether, it needs to be protected in a proactive manner. This will help enterprises save time and money and keep consumers' data safe from any eventuality.

A new era of compliance

As data has become more omnipresent in both public and private operations, another concern has concurrently risen to prominence: compliance. As long as data is being shared and accessed, there is going to be constant government meddling to dictate precisely how. The rise of electronic health records, for example, is an area that's been primed for federal intervention.

According to Forbes, compliance has become such a huge issue in health care that it's superseded the original goal - taking care of patients. The medical industry has morphed into the compliance industry, as Louis Goodman and Tim Norbeck of The Physicians Foundation explained it.

"Indeed, regulation and over-regulation by the Federal government has spawned a whole new industry on compliance," the experts wrote. "To the extent that increased red tape and intensive record keeping contributes to improving healthcare and saving lives, our medical-industrial complex will continue to grow and prosper."

Companies are spending big, big money right now to meet regulatory compliance standards. This has become the most important order of business for numerous enterprises in health and other sectors. This being the case, it's looking like an increasingly viable strategy to invest more in mobile solutions that can automate the process of ensuring compliance. In this new high-tech era, there's really no other option.

Cal Brown