European union flags
Gimmal updated its Workplace Compliance app this week to help businesses stay on the right side of GDPR regulations PHOTO: Quinn Dombrowski

With the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) scheduled to come into force next May, information management vendor Gimmal is upgrading its flagship solution, Workplace Compliance, to help businesses stay on the right side of the new regulations.

As part of the upgrade, Houston-based Gimmal’s Workplace Compliance app now includes a federated policy management for enterprises that use high volumes of content, but need to keep the content ‘in place’ while working on it.

The release tackles this issue by providing improved automation through rules-based trigger and event rule sets.

Automated Approach to Data Compliance

Instead of having to apply manual tagging to ensure effective governance, Workplace Compliance aims to simplify and improve the information governance process across all enterprise and content repositories.

“There are so many different kinds of content that will covered by this [GDPR] in the European market, like Personally Identifiable Information, it is really important that an enterprise has a view of that content no matter where it is located,” Jude O’Neill, marketing analyst at Gimmal told CMSWire. “Before we were only able to apply policies to content that was in SharePoint. These new features extends this to a variety of platforms while the SDK we have provides connectors to make it easy to extend it way beyond that.”

The upgrade offers a number of specific improvements designed to make GDPR compliance easier. Among those additions are:

  • A content rules engine that can classify content security, taking human error out of the equation
  • The ability to classify and manage across repositories without having to move it to a proprietary store
  • Destroys content when it is no longer useful
  • Management of content according to risk and value.

Information governance frameworks and retention policies only work insofar as they can be applied to the content in question. In most organizations, this information is managed in multiple systems. Tight integration or migration often isn’t cost-effective or feasible.

“The way we approach governance at Gimmal has a lot to do with the way users interact with the system, how the content enters the system and automating the metadata application of the system as much as we can,” O’ Neill added. “The content loading aspect and global policies — our governance solutions are more holistic rather that just governance by single solutions.”

U.S. companies operating in Europe faced clear mandates on customer data storage and usage before the GDPR, with regulations such as Safe Harbor and its successor, the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield agreement.

A History of Data Regulation Compliance

Gimmal has a track record of working with regulations like this in mind. For example, in 2011 Workplace Compliance was certified against the DoD 5015.2 standard for records management and has remained certified ever since.

Since its implementation, the DoD 5015.2 certification has become the global benchmark not only for federal agencies, but also for public and private organizations worldwide for record management systems.

Gimmal has until recently worked principally with Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365. Its focus has been on aligning data, content and processes into a unified digital workplace environment while providing access to other data-focused environments, including enterprise resource planning in SAP and human resource systems.

It extends security to all stages of the information lifecycle and sets criteria around data use that include data retention limitations, access, permissions and versions history — all factors now in the spotlight with the GDPR.

“This release is a revolutionary step forward in the governance of information and greatly simplifies an enterprise’s ability to implement an overarching information governance solution with little or no end-user involvement or impact to its current internal systems,” David Quackenbush, Gimmal chief executive officer said in a statement.