Compliance is a top priority for organizations of all sizes in industries like healthcare and finance, which involve work that requires secure handling of protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII). However, ensuring compliance with industry regulations like HIPAA and HITRUST can prove particularly challenging for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), which commonly lack the resources leveraged by larger enterprises.
As a result, SMBs often stand to benefit considerably from Compliance as a Service (CaaS) solutions, which can save them time and money as well as give them access to experts who can lighten their workload and make the process of achieving compliance less stressful.
IT solution providers that understand the difficulties small businesses commonly face in adhering to industry regulations and know how to use the right tools to overcome those obstacles can establish strong and mutually beneficial client relationships. Here’s everything you should know about successfully offering CaaS to SMBs.
SMB Compliance Challenges
To effectively help small and medium-sized businesses achieve compliance, you must first understand the difficulties they face in doing so. SMBs bound by regulations like HIPAA must devote time and effort to fulfilling their compliance-related duties on a regular basis. Unlike larger companies, they often can’t afford to employ in-house compliance officers, so the responsibility of ensuring the business obeys regulations ends up on the plate of an already busy CFO, director of IT, business manager, or office administrator.
Maintaining compliance is far from easy. There’s auditing, daily enforcement of proper processes, and keeping up with current events to make sure the business continues to meet regulatory requirements. Due to the high importance of adhering to regulations and the amount of labor needed to properly do so, many small businesses turn to a third party to take over compliance, since outsourcing is more affordable than hiring an in-house staff member to oversee the process.
Subsequently, CaaS solutions present a significant area of opportunity for both IT solution providers and SMBs seeking assistance.
How to Leverage Compliance as a Service for Small Businesses
The foundation of CaaS is a Software as a Service (SaaS) tool to help clients better manage the process of adhering to regulations and ensure end users are aware of and stay up-to-date on policies. For instance, at Stratosphere Networks, we use HIPAA compliance software that offers a cost-effective way to train end users and conduct all necessary risk assessments. The software also provides incident management, business associate management and breach support services.
On top of the SaaS solution, you can provide overlay services that fill in any gaps and ensure the client has all their compliance needs met. Here are some examples of supplemental services you might want to offer.
- Virtual CISO, Chief Compliance Officer and/or Risk Officer services: A vCISO, vCCO or vRO service gives clients on-demand access to high-level compliance and security expertise for a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house executive.
- Vendor risk management: A third-party risk management platform reduces the risk of a vendor-related data breach and ensures that a client’s business partners also meet compliance requirements.
- General employee security awareness training: Comprehensive cybersecurity goes hand-in-hand with regulatory compliance, and awareness training concerning policies and best practices is vital for optimal IT security.
Ultimately, however, the right combination of services and solutions will vary depending on each individual client’s unique situation. Pay close attention to their pain points, concerns and goals and customize your CaaS offering to meet their needs. The result will be a simpler, less stressful compliance process for them and a loyal, happy client for you.
About The ASCII Group, Inc.
The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, VARs and solution providers. The group has over 1,300 members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs and VARs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit www.ascii.com.