Collaboration Tools have an IG Problem

Last Updated: January 21, 2020By



Major corporations worldwide utilize collaboration tools to enhance worker productivity. In today’s workplace, employee mobility is essential. It is quite common for team members to be located in different cities, meeting and working together in virtual conferences, and sharing presentations which include multiple files in many different formats.

The collaboration tool market is dominated by a small number of software platforms which include: Salesforce, Workday, OpenText and Oracle’s NetSuite. All of these collaboration platforms utilize in-line viewing software to share the information on the presenter’s computer with other team members. This practice is in line with Information Governance (IG) best practices because it shares information visually, but does not actually transfer files from the host computer(s) to other, external computers not under the control of the organization. This maintains control of information assets.

The implementation of enterprise class collaboration platforms has allowed corporations to tell auditors that the risk of data exfiltration via file sharing has been abated for this activity and that ubiquitous sharing of intellectual property amongst virtual team members is OK, and in compliance with the appropriate regulatory guidelines. In many ways, this perception has sped up the adoption and use of the major collaboration platforms.

Unfortunately, the “Everything is OK” message is disingenuous because all of the major software vendors have some specific problems with their In-line display technology. The basic issue is that all the collaboration software vendors have problems displaying certain types of files. Although not necessarily a daily occurrence, the “No Preview Available” message is a known issue within the collaboration platform user community.

In today’s fast-paced economy, it is typical for team members to overcome this roadblock by sharing files via email, contrary to the organization’s IG policies and opening up the risk of intellectual property (IP) loss and compliance failure.



recent posts

About the Author: Baird Brueseke

Baird Brueseke has 25-plus years of experience leading companies and designing solutions to solve customer problems. He co-founded Wheb Systems which grew from a two-person start up to become Captiva Software; a public company purchased by EMC. After Captiva, Baird’s interests turned to Education and Cybersecurity. He created a cloud-based portal, CLaaS – Computer Lab as a Service - which provides academic institutions the ability to deliver a hands-on computer science laboratory experience to distance learners.