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Today, it’s borderline impossible to run a business without relying on a SaaS solution of some sort. 

The average business relies on 130 different SaaS vendors. Year over year, those businesses increase their spend on those SaaS vendors by 58%. 

How should a business’s data privacy compliance solutions fit into this mix? 

On the one hand, you want to keep costs down; maybe building or buying a point solution for, say, consent management is the way to go. If another compliance challenge rears its head, you could do the same thing. Eventually, you’ll have a package of point solutions addressing the full spectrum of data privacy needs at your organization. 

But on the other hand, you don’t want to unnecessarily complicate your vendor ecosystem. In that case, is it better to pay the higher upfront cost of a holistic data privacy platform? Or perhaps it’s best to shoot for an approach that falls somewhere in between, with a handful of best-of-breed tools for critical functions and a best-of-suite platform for the majority of your privacy work? 

In this blog, we’ll offer some insights that might help you peg where your organization sits along that spectrum. 

The Big Picture: Proactivity Versus Reactivity 

Ultimately, the question of platform versus point solution is the same as proactivity versus reactivity. 

Although reactivity gets a bad rap, sometimes it’s necessary. Businesses with an extremely limited budget, small risk and regulatory exposure, and a simple environment can—and perhaps should—take the more reactive approach of securing a targeted solution to their greatest regulatory pain point.  

For pretty much everybody else, however, the proactive approach of securing a holistic data privacy platform will yield better results in the long term. Here are three reasons why.

1. Data Privacy Platforms Make It Easier to Take the Next Step

Points solutions can accomplish their associated compliance task, and if you have a full suite of individual point solutions, there’s no reason why you can’t complete the full spectrum of compliance tasks. You could do everything from managing consent to mapping your data to fulfilling DSARs. But it won’t be very easy. 

Holistic data privacy platforms have the benefit of integrating disparate point solutions such that taking the next step—whatever that next step is for your organization—gets easier and easier.  

In the Osano Platform, for instance, many users start with Osano Cookie Consent to manage website cookie consent. Osano Cookie Consent scans, discovers, and automatically recommends classifications for various cookies and scripts running on a website. In turn, this enables you to discover which vendors have scripts running on your website that collect personal information. If you switch over to Osano Vendor Management, the platform automatically populates with the vendors you discovered through Osano Cookie Consent, making it easier to identify potentially high-risk vendors. 

All of these tasks are possible with individual solutions. There are plenty of individual consent and vendor management tools out there. But if you use separate tools, you will have to manually copy over information in each tool’s interface. Not only does this take up more time, but it also increases your odds of missing something or copying information erroneously. In the worst case, you might not even get to complete this or that compliance task because of the time and effort involved.  

This is often the deciding factor in a company’s overall compliance factor: Nobody wants to be out of compliance; yet many businesses are, simply because it is difficult and time-consuming to get compliant.

2. Data Privacy Platforms Provide a Single Point of Maintenance and Management

This may very well be the biggest factor one should consider when considering whether to procure a holistic data privacy platform versus one or more point solutions. Centralizing your various compliance tools in one platform with one vendor translates into a host of outcomes. 

For example, you’ll only need to go through the vendor evaluation process once, rather than evaluate a new vendor every time you need to react to a compliance challenge. And when it comes to compliance, vendor evaluation is not a step you want to skimp out on. Your compliance vendor needs to meet a plethora of criteria, like: 

  • Having experts in data privacy on staff to consult with the product team. If the product isn’t designed with a privacy SME’s input, then it won’t likely keep your organization in compliance. 
  • Providing rapid and responsive support. If something goes wrong with your compliance solution, you’re at risk, and your vendor needs to be there to mitigate that risk as soon as possible. 
  • Consistently developing and updating the product. Data privacy compliance is an evolving field, and associated solutions need regular and frequent updates to stay current. 

Doing a deep dive on multiple vendors can be seriously time-consuming—and meanwhile, you’re still out of compliance while you wait to see whether a given vendor can be trusted to support your business. 

Even after the vendor evaluation process, you’ll want to simplify configuration and ongoing management. Every business is unique, both in terms of its operations and regulatory footprint. As a result, every business will need to configure their data privacy solution to fit their unique circumstances. It should come as no surprise that it’s easier to engage in the configuration and maintenance process once for a holistic data privacy platform than it is for a host of point solutions. 

And lastly, if you’ve picked the right vendor, then you’ve essentially become future-proofed as data privacy compliance requirements change over time. A good vendor will be managing their full suite of solutions to enable compliance for their customers. The more vendors you have providing point solutions, the more likely it is that one or more of them will skimp out on updates and maintenance.

3. Data Privacy Platforms Make for Easier, Unified Collaboration

The work of data privacy compliance is cross-departmental. Even with a robust privacy program in place and talented privacy professionals, it’s simply not effective to manage privacy operations without frequent collaboration across teams. A holistic data privacy platform connects these different teams, gets them on the same page, and provides them with tools that work with one another. 

In contrast, if each individual team uses separate data privacy tools for the distinct challenges related to their domains, gaps and miscommunication are certain to happen. Consider the example we provided earlier, where the use of a consent management solution fed into vendor management. If marketing is in charge of managing website consent but IT or operations oversees a vendor onboarding, it’s quite possible that the website will be collecting more user personal information than a given vendor ought to be collecting. The only way to know whether that’s true or not is to conduct regular cross-functional audits—or to use a holistic solution that can get these two teams on the same page. 

If You Care About Data Privacy, You Need a Privacy Platform 

Data privacy is increasingly a factor for consumers. As a result, it’s increasingly a factor for businesses. Many organizations make the ethical treatment of consumer data part of their values. For these organizations, the platform approach to data privacy operations is essential. 

Data privacy platforms enable you to define the actual policies and processes that make up a robust privacy program. Without one, you’ll run into many of the challenges described above. Between the friction caused by switching from tool to tool, the lack of integration and automation, the burden of maintenance, and the barriers to collaboration, point solutions to compliance challenges become drags on your ability to comply. Privacy programs that rely on many tools in this way ultimately end up perceived as a blocker to business outcomes, rather than an enabler of lower risk, consumer service, and ethical operations. 

That doesn’t mean any data privacy platform will serve as the key to frictionless compliance operations, however. The evaluation process remains an important step that cannot be glossed over.  

The Osano Data Privacy Platform provides a truly integrated, seamless data privacy program management experience that sets organizations up for compliance in the long term. Historically, compliance platform providers haven’t recognized the value of providing a platform experience; rather, they focused on bundling a collection of disparate point solutions under one brand.  

Osano took a different approach—it offers compliance professionals a single, holistic platform through which they can manage the bulk of their privacy program operations. Osano provides five core modules, each of which works in step with one another: 

Schedule a demo of the Osano platform today and find out how a privacy platform can transform your compliance posture. 

Schedule a demo of Osano today

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