Despite the prominence of larger companies, the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs also is critical to a society’s development. Entrepreneurship can drive the growth of new businesses, provide solutions for various market niches, foster innovation and generate job creation. The entrepreneurial activities of today can impact the Fortune 500 of tomorrow.
Small businesses or start-ups serve as the beginning point for many who are seeking to navigate the complexities of modern enterprise. One of the things that may be overlooked at the beginning are the implications of IT governance and security on an enterprise’s future health. Regardless of the sector, both factors have important roles to play in continued success. Below are some standard considerations for both areas.
General security perspectives needing consideration:
- What industry/market sector is being entered? It helps to understand the product/service to be developed.
- What are the sector’s regulations? It is critical to understand compliance and mandatory obligations.
- What are the risks? Understanding existing constraints and future possibilities provides essential context.
- What is the overall strategy and security strategy? Understand and build the risk appetite at the start.
General IT perspectives needing consideration:
- What existing technologies can we leverage at this time? Cloud; small, in-house data centers; and outsourcing options—all are considerations.
- What type of information is needed from customers? Basic information required to create mailing lists, personally identifiable information (PII) and or payment information may be required.
- How can IT work with and support the business plan/strategy? Ensure the correct investment is made based on business requirements.
- How does IT grow with the business? Explore digital avenues that can enhance the customer experience and increase the customer base.
There is a certain excitement for an entrepreneur entering into the market–the joys of prospects unknown and the hope of building a satisfied, stable customer base. However, cash flow can be a major challenge, so many things can be overlooked in order to get the business off the ground. This can be problematic and result in problems down the road, such as regulatory fines, data breaches and compliance issues, just to name a few.
The alignment of the entrepreneurial vision, security and IT can provide a strong foundation to build out the enterprise. GEIT principles can be helpful in the smallest of enterprises since they can be tailored as business expands and provide the necessary checks and balances to mitigate risk. A little time at the start can be helpful in the long run to face the digital disruption roller coaster of the future.
Ammett Williams CCIE, CGEIT, Telecommunication Team Leader – First Citizens, TT
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