When introduced to the complexities of an ISO 27001 implementation project, companies find out, too often, that it can become an organizational mess. Trying to balance a horde of emails, document versions, and a strict timeline by using emails, face-to-face meetings, and conference calls can seem to be an impossible mission. The everyday reality reminds us that documents get lost, emails are hard to follow up on, and people get frustrated when they are not in the loop. Every minute spent on unnecessary meetings, or hunting down files or emails costs money.

In this article, we are exploring the best way to handle implementation project complexities and save money with ISO 27001, by using online management solutions.

Taking on ISO 27001 project implementation the traditional way

Companies that attempt to manage an ISO 27001 implementation project in the traditional way find, too often, that using emails, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings is not the best way to deal with the ISO 27001 project complexities. Practical experience has shown that the traditional way is unable to foster collaboration and address these challenges in a cost-efficient way:

  1. Lots of new documents to co-develop. Developing documents via emails is a nightmare. Versions are lost in the mix, it’s very hard to get clear feedback, and people spend a lot of time searching for files. Chasing people to review and approve documents can drag on for days, especially when new updates are made in the meantime. That causes delays, which result in pushed-back deadlines and additional resources you need to spend to wrap up your ISO implementation project.
  2. Lots of information to pass around. Constantly keeping people in the loop with meetings, phone calls, and group emails puts tremendous stress on the project manager. Mistakes happen, announcements can be overlooked, and that results in time-consuming repetitive actions, which should be reduced to a minimum. Limited access to information, knowledge, and team experience leave plenty of space for confusion, lost steps, and again – delays.
  3. Lots of tasks to be completed. Using Excel and emails to track and manage tasks with countless versions and no direct feedback regarding the outcomes or timely notices of problems that could have been prevented – these are big challenges to address with decades-old technologies.

As with every project, it is the speed of execution and excellent coordination that separate a successful project from the rest. If a project keeps having delays, that affects project delivery and costs the company money. Because of the inability of the traditional way to address these challenges, companies are turning to online solutions for ISO 27001 management.

How do online ISO tools save you money?

The key to online ISO tool cost-effectiveness is its nature: it enables companies to outsource the IT infrastructure part to a third-party vendor. There are no software licenses to buy, companies pay only for what they use, and they can terminate the service at any time. There are no installations, and no training or maintenance costs.

If you have not already used a web-based solution, here are several reasons you should start considering it:

  • Online tools are accessible anytime, anywhere. This means that your team can access the tool from outside the office, by using their favorite browser and an Internet connection. That improves the team’s performance, as they can respond quickly to new documents, tasks, and information. Quick turn-around times bring smoother execution and fewer delays.
  • Centralized information. Everything is in one place. All the team members can log in to access all relevant documents, communication, and tasks they need to do to move the ISO project forward. No time is lost searching for the right version, discussion, or instruction. No delays are caused by miscommunication.
  • Easy collaboration. With easy accessibility to information comes the specialized online collaboration features to ensure the ISO project deadline is met. When each piece of information is tied to the project, task, document, or communication, it is very easy for a group of people to follow up, finish the work, and predict issues causing delays – which result in additional costs.

With these three characteristics, you can ensure major savings, and direct those resources to other important company initiatives.

How we are saving money with Conformio

Besides the previously mentioned features, our own online ISO management tool, called Conformio, is currently packed with the management modules needed to implement and maintain ISO 27001 in your company – a perfect blend of tasks, documentation, and communication, with our support on each step. We do that every day by leveraging these powerful advantages:

  1. Guided project implementation – Conformio was designed having in mind logical steps for ISO 27001 implementation, so the tasks you need to perform are in an optimal sequence for a smooth implementation, minimizing risks of rework.
  2. Guided document creation environment – Our years of expertise were included in Conformio in the form of Documentation Wizards. Based on templates that are 80% complete, where you only need to include the specifics of your organization, the Documentation Wizards can help you speed up the development of documentation in a collaborative way, allowing you to track versions and keep up with contextual discussion and approvals in one place. We don’t waste time searching our inboxes; we spend it by effectively contributing to the overall project progress.
  3. Modules for ISO 27001 core processes – Together with Documentation Wizards, Conformio comes with specific modules to perform ongoing risk assessment and risk treatment (including Statement of Applicability and Risk Treatment Plan creation and maintenance), internal audit, corrective actions, and management review. Together, these modules and the Documentation Wizards provide a sound basis for maintenance and continual improvement of the ISMS, making Conformio much more than a simple implementation tool.
  4. Automation – Based on information provided in your developed documentation, Conformio automates tasks such as review reminders, risk levels, corrective actions status, etc. The days of missing a deadline or forgetting to update activities status on e-mail messages and spreadsheets will be over.
  5. Overview of responsibilities and compliance – Through information from your developed documents, Conformio gathers data about designated responsibilities and compliance with the standard and applicable legal requirements, all available in the form of a Responsibility Matrix and management dashboards, so you can quickly identify who is responsible for what and view the status of your ISMS compliance as a whole.
Relevant project discussion between project team members on Conformio

Figure 1. Relevant project discussion between project team members on Conformio

Here are a few additional examples of how Conformio helps to save money:

  • Telecommuting
  • Increasing speed of access to knowledge
  • Reducing communication costs
  • Decreasing travel costs
  • Reducing operational costs
  • Reducing compliance costs
  • Increasing productivity
  • Less duplication
  • Reducing time to market
View of the project with Tasks on Conformio

Figure 2. View of the project with Tasks on Conformio

It is quite clear that decades-old technology does not suffice to tackle modern ISO 27001 project management challenges. Online ISO tool advantages are clear, so it might make better sense to use modern technology to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.

So, why not try it? It’s free.