While most companies appreciate the convenience of SAAS applications, there is typically an exceptionally large drawback, namely that your data will be stored in the provider’s database, wherever that may exist. While this is acceptable for some, it is not for certain non-government organizations (NGO), non-profit organizations (NPO), civil societies or governments. How and where their data is stored is an extremely sensitive subject, especially if the SAAS provider is located in a different country than the customer. At DynamicPoint we have seen this concern shared regarding all three of our product offerings, namely AP Invoice Automation, Employee Expense Management, and Customer and Vendor Portals.

Concern for Data Security

The concerns for handing over your application data typically stem from the following three areas.

  1. Data Security

While security breaches are a primary concern for any organization, for government entities and NGOs managing sensitive information, a data breach could have severe consequences. Ensuring their data has robust security measures, including encryption, access controls, and regular security audits, is crucial.

  1. Data Privacy

With data typically stored off-premises, organizations have limited control over their data. There is always a risk of unauthorized access or misuse by service providers or third parties. Government data regulations, such as GDPR in the EU, PIPEDA in Canada and CCPA in California, impose strict requirements on how personal data should be managed.

  1. Data Sovereignty

Data sovereignty refers to the legal implications of storing data in different geographical locations, specifically countries. Different governments have specific laws regarding data access and ownership. For example, data stored in the US may be subject to the US Patriot Act, which allows government agencies to access data without the owner’s consent. This can be a significant concern for organizations looking at US-based software companies that will store their data.

SharePoint As An Alternative

For organizations where these concerns are applicable, using a platform like SharePoint within Office 365 offers an intriguing alternative. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Data Residency Control

With SharePoint, data is stored within your Office 365 tenant, allowing you to choose advanced data residency (ADR) as an option. This is particularly beneficial for organizations that need to comply with local data residency laws.

  1. Enhanced Security

Office 365 provides robust security features, including advanced threat protection, data encryption, and compliance certifications. These features help safeguard your data against breaches and unauthorized access.

  1. Data Ownership

By storing data in SharePoint, organizations retain complete ownership and control over their data. This ensures that the data is not accessible to external service providers and can only be accessed by employees within the organization.

DynamicPoint’s SharePoint Based Solutions

DynamicPoint’s product development approach fully leverages SharePoint to store the data for all of its applications. Our products, such as AP Invoice Automation, Employee Expense Management, and Customer and Vendor Portals, are built on the SharePoint platform. Here is how they address data security and compliance:

  • No External Data Storage: DynamicPoint’s solutions do not store customer data externally. Instead, all data is saved within the organization’s Office 365 SharePoint environment.
  • Customizable and Scalable: Built on SharePoint, these solutions are easily customizable and scalable to meet the specific needs of any organization.
  • Compliance and Auditability: With data stored within SharePoint, organizations can leverage Office 365’s compliance tools to ensure they meet regulatory requirements and can easily audit data access and usage.

In Summary

For government organizations, non-profits, NGOs, professional societies, and any entity concerned about data security, privacy, and sovereignty, understanding where and how your data is stored is critical. SaaS applications offer significant advantages, but they also come with risks that must be carefully managed. Platforms like SharePoint within Office 365 provide a secure, compliant, and controlled environment for data storage, ensuring that organizations can reap the benefits of modern SaaS solutions without compromising on their data management principles.

DynamicPoint’s commitment to leveraging SharePoint for its Accounts Payable Invoice Automation, Employee Expense Management, and Customer and Vendor Portal applications underscores the importance of data control and security to our company, providing an option to organizations that want to retain control of their data.