Policy management tools of any enterprise need constant evaluation to ensure the policies support the generation of precise, unprejudiced, evidence-based information that will ensure that those in charge can make informed decisions regarding changes to the policies to have certain desired end results. Evaluations of policy management tools aid in archiving the results and also help those in charge manage for results.
Evaluating Policy Management Tools: Evaluation helps track and determine the actual performance, giving decision makers a chance to make objective and informed decisions. Evaluating helps managers design, improve the design of policies or change the design of existing policies. It helps to study the effectiveness and the overall impact of the policies and to analyze if there are other ways for achieving the end results and how management tools can be improved. Thus enterprises have to entrench evaluation process into the lifecycle management of policies. This helps better management to get the desired results as well as help improve accountability when new policies are introduced or when existing policies are changed. Evaluation of policy management tools will help monitor ongoing process better as performance measurement tools and the people will also aid in evaluating results and the cost effectiveness of the policies.
Strategies for evaluating policy management tools will vary from one enterprise to another as policies vary too. A strategic plan has to be developed to determine the risks faced by the enterprise taking into consideration the priorities of the enterprise and to make sure that the policies are formed in compliance with regulations such as GLBA, SOX or HIPAA etc.
Some enterprises are yet to realize the convenience of using automated policy management tools. They fear about the cost that implementing automation may incur to the enterprise and use manual methods, which are not that effective. When manual methods are used to install security policies, it is hard to monitor user activity, be alert to outside attacks as well as comply with the various regulations and rules. This is not the case when automated policy management tools are used. User activity is recorded to help record accountability and compliance with rules and regulations are no longer a problem.
As the needs of each enterprise are different as are its policies, no common strategy as such can be formulated to evaluate policy management tools. Each enterprise has to determine its own strategy to evaluate policy management tools and make sure the evaluation is done periodically and results analyzed to ensure the right end results are achieved. It is better to use automated security technologies and strategies to manage policy implementation better and to have better overall control on compliance issues. Automation helps track user policy expectations and improves management of policies.
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Alexander Gordon is a writer for http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com - The Small Business Consulting Community. Sign-up for the free success steps newsletter and get our booklet valued at $24.95 for free as a special bonus. The newsletter provides daily strategies on starting and significantly growing a business.
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