Get Ahead, Stay Ahead: What’s Next for Compliance Tech?

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By Greg Vesper, Chief Product Officer, Smarsh

Get ahead, stay ahead. That is the mantra that any good business leader repeats to themself every day. In theory, this means taking the time to understand what the future holds for your business, your industry and your competitors.

When I speak to C-Suite executives, it is clear that many are struggling to come to terms with the role that data will play in the future of their businesses. At its core, it is a difficult problem to grasp. Data has not grown in a linear way for businesses. When we consult with our customers on how to take full advantage of innovations in electronic communications, this is the point we try to get across. With each innovation, we see an exponential rise in the volume of data that companies generate.

Greg Vesper
Greg Vesper

Moreover, regulators across the world are rightly moving to give people more rights over their data. This means that each piece of customer data a company creates must be handled with thought and care, making archiving this content in a compliant way increasingly complex.

But many firms are sticking to their fire-fighting mentality. They are simply trying to ensure that their data archiving systems can keep pace with this change. So, with this in mind: what are the future data archiving trends that business leaders should be aware of today?

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  1. Multi-cloud platforms are the only future-proofed option. 

For any multi-national company, archiving systems have to be able to handle a vast amount of customer, employee and logistics data in a way that satisfies regulatory, data-privacy and data-residency requirements. Increases in data generation and a shifting regulatory landscape will drive more companies to multi-cloud solutions.

This means leveraging private and/or public cloud platforms so that your firm is not entirely dependent on a single data center.Deploying archiving, supervision and e-discovery services across multiple cloud infrastructures– the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform – means that companies won’t be caught short as regulatory and data demands continue to develop in the future.

The three key benefits here are; using a system that can scale up as you generate more data; your data is stored across multiple data centers across availability zones, ensuring reliable data access and recovery, a stark contrast with a today’s traditional disaster-recovery model; data will automatically comply with regional regulatory requirements; and it allows you to…

  1. Make the most of your APIs. 

The true value of data comes from the wealth of insight you can gain from cutting-edge analytics tools. Application program interfaces (APIs) for everything from content ingestion and administration to data enrichment and predictive analytics are now key for driving growth, but many businesses miss out on using these tools to their full potential because their data is inaccessible by third party applications.

Often used as the industry standard, public cloud infrastructure systems make incorporating these APIs completely seamless, further helping businesses to develop and execute their future growth strategies.

  1. Machine learning will be used to augment supervision and surveillance.

 Currently, supervision platforms detect fraudulent activity by spotting words and phrases in communications data that would imply that something illicit is being discussed. This is known as the lexicon approach, and this is primarily successful at surfacing conversations that trigger a known set of criteria. Many have claimed that the future of supervision and e-discovery lies in AI and machine learning. But, to date, these technologies have not been entirely successful in detecting corporate fraud.

I believe that the lexicon approach will always be important and is here to stay. But as technology improves, this approach will be augmented by machine learning, rather than be replaced by machine learning. This ensures that the tried and tested methods of spotting fraud are maintained, while systems can also improve on their targeting, refinement and accuracy in real-time. They can also help us uncover the risk that we don’t know exists, by analyzing hidden themes and relationships between messages, terms and participants.

  1. There are even more communications channels on the way.

The past ten years have seen an explosion in the number of communications channels used by employees: tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams, instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and conferencing platforms like WebEx and Zoom.

I believe we will continue to see innovation in this space, with a range of start-ups pushing the boundary on how we see collaboration in the workplace.

For companies, this means more data, more formats of conversation and more complexity in storing everything in a compliant way. Fortunately, it also means more productive employees, a more globally connected workforce, and more business opportunities – if they can get ahead of the compliance challenges now.

For more information about how Smarsh is helping businesses to turn their future challenges into opportunities, visit

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