The business imperative is no longer in doubt: organizations now require a “digital transformation” strategy that recognizes that:
- A company’s supply chain necessitates cross-boundary communication. Most organizations now provide access to company information to suppliers, business partners and, potentially, customers. Without leveraging the Cloud and the Internet, supplier management is too costly and customer service too laborious.
- Cloud migration is no longer a question; in most organizations it is now well underway and it is clear that many services can be better deployed from the Cloud than from the internal data center.
- Regulatory pressures are increasing. In most jurisdictions privacy legislation is being tightened with more onerous consequences in the case of a breach. Increasingly it is necessary to ensure data is stored in the right place and that adequate protection is in place.
Getting the right balance between securing company data while at the same time making it useful is a constant battle for most companies. At one end of the spectrum there are system administrators who want to encrypt sensitive data and lock it away in secure servers behind sophisticated firewalls. At the other end are users who just want to access the documents they need to, in order to perform their jobs; they want to edit them, print them and save them in their Dropbox to share with their business partners.
There are products at both ends of the spectrum: some solutions offer a secure repository with strong encryption; anyone wanting access to protected documents must be approved and issued an appropriate encryption key. At the other end there are rights management systems that encode documents with their access permissions and rely on business processes to ensure they are appropriately managed.
Then there’s the Intralinks VIA product that leverages Information Rights Management (IRM) in a controlled environment that allows the user-base and access policies to be managed in a server-based solution. Intralinks maintain data centers in the US and the UK with new centers opening in Germany, Japan and Australia. The system leverages the capabilities of rights management to manage access to protected documents while allowing users to deploy on the client devices of their choice.
The design principle behind the Intralinks VIA product is to provide a secure document environment while at the same time minimizing the impact on end-user computing. This is achieved by providing a client interface that allows users to work with native products and allows them to save their documents to their own work space, or even shared cloud storage. This means that users can work in the way they are used to working, without having to learn new technology in order to protect their company’s intellectual property.