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This post is from the XebiaLabs blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Mar 02, 2020 — DevOps Expert

Get Auditors off Your Back: Three Ways to Make Compliance Easy


Organizational leaders in every industry have to manage a variety of business risks. There’s the strategic risk that bad business decisions or poorly executed business initiatives result in missed deadlines, disappointed customers, or low sales. There’s the financial risk that planning and projections are off, leading to lost income or even a negative cash flow. There are even physical risks related to the health and safety of employees.

However, you might be neglecting one area of risk without realizing it: operational IT risk. Today, every company is a software company, which means that you can no longer separate IT risk from business risk. Your level of IT risk impacts your revenue, your freedom to operate, and even your corporate image—especially if hackers, malware, or data breaches compromise the integrity of your software assets.

The Two Sides to IT Risk

There are two sides to IT risk: risks associated with the software development and delivery process, and risks associated with running software in a production environment. Many organizations build a control framework around their development and delivery processes by adopting strategies such as the Four Eyes Principle, automated testing, security testing, and performance testing. The more you standardize these strategies—for example, by using pipeline automation—the easier it is to release software to production.

Automating Evidence Collection

Controlling IT risk is one piece of the puzzle; the other piece is collecting data that shows what happened during the software delivery process. You need a Software Chain of Custody that automatically captures evidence showing who did what, when and where they did it, and how they did it, for every single software delivery process across your organization. An automated Software Chain of Custody makes audit and compliance reporting a breeze by eliminating manual work that would otherwise fall to DevOps teams.

Three Ways to Make Compliance Easy

There are three ways you can make compliance easier for DevOps teams.

  1. Simplify your IT risk control framework. Reassess the processes and procedures that you use to control IT risk and satisfy IT compliance requirements. There may be better ways to automate those tasks, or even to eliminate outdated requirements.
  2. Design a process that is compliant by default. Build a fast, robust process that software delivery teams want to use it because it helps them release their applications to production faster.
  3. Automate as much of the delivery process as you can. After you’ve simplified your control framework and designed a compliant process, you can automate the process in a way that will accelerate software delivery.

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