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The future of work, or work today, requires access control

As the world shifts to being remote there is an importance placed on collaboration. This shift requires access control to make the experience frictionless.

More people are working in borderless environments as enterprises have shifted to remote or hybrid workplaces. According to Upwork, an estimated 32.6 million Americans will work remotely by 2025, which is about 22% of the workforce. Plus, more organizations are hiring employees from all over the world.

Both of these shifts in how the world works means there is a higher importance placed on collaboration as the world becomes borderless.

The pandemic accelerated enterprises into the future of work

The future of work has always been headed in the direction of being borderless. However, what was going to be a three to five-year rollout for many enterprises quickly shifted to a five-day rollout once the COVID-19 pandemic started. It changed the way people lived and worked forcing everyone into a modern collaboration experience, which challenged organizations to rethink their processes and technologies.

However, collaboration is more than sending a message in Teams or Slack. Enterprises have spent billions of dollars on platforms to solve the problem around collaboration as teams need to work asynchronously, not only internally but externally as well.

When looking at what the return on investment (ROI) is on these platforms, it is the ability to collaborate better and faster.

But this is not possible when one of the first things enterprises do with these platforms is to restrict what employees can share. This puts a great strain on employees as it forces them to download the information and share it separately from the system for them to get the job done. This approach is less secure and causes headaches as there are now multiple versions of the same document floating around.

One of the issues with organizations taking this approach is that they are only using a small percentage of the platform that they have made a large investment in. For enterprises to get the full benefit of the investments they have made in this shift to collaboration they require a more fine-grained approach to access control.

Enter fine-grained access control

With a fine-grained approach to access control, enterprises can see the full impact of the platforms they have invested in as it helps create a frictionless work environment for users.

The key to doing this is to take the access control burden from the users and place it onto the system.

In the traditional office setting, the burden was placed on the physical office building – a user would have to use a key card to get into the building. Where work is borderless, if you place the burden on the user, they will be frustrated as they have to sign on each time they get up from their desk. It would be like asking an employee to go in and out of the office building each time they get up from their office chair. This not only causes work to slow down and frustration on the users’ side, but there is also a loss of value in the collaboration platform that was invested in.

Authorization, or fine-grained access control, can take away that burden from the authentication experience making the user’s first impression of the work environment frictionless. A better user experience is possible as enterprises implement policies as fine-grained as required to enable users to access specific information under certain circumstances.

The wall around access control needs to be removed

Traditionally, there has been a barrier around fine-grained access control solutions as they have the reputation of being difficult to use. However, it is our job as vendors to make the experience easier and recently, there have been massive strides towards this.

A way we have worked towards ease of usability through generative AI is our Policy Companion tool. Policy Companion will help take authorization from a conceptual requirement to actual policy. It helps to break down the traditional barriers to learning that many have found challenging, which helps to accelerate the development of policies as well as secure collaboration within an organization.

Not only does this address a critical pain point commonly encountered during the policy lifecycle, but it greatly reduces the traditional policy authoring timeline of days or weeks to minutes with the generative AI tool.

If you’re curious about how you might be able to take advantage of generative AI in your access control strategy, I encourage you to reach out to our team and request a demo.

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About the author

As the chief product officer for Axiomatics, Mark is responsible for shaping the company’s innovation and product strategies. Mark has more than ten years of experience across product management, product marketing and business development, with companies including e-Share, Titus and Accenture.