With the start of the implementation of ISO 27001 projects comes the realization that it is extremely difficult to manage all the complexities that come with them. There is an enormous number of documents, versions, reviews, and approvals that need to be digested and handled throughout the lifetime of an ISO 27001 implementation project, and to address these challenges properly, companies are turning to online solutions.

In this article, we will list the top five online ISO 27001 document management system challenges tied to the implementation of an ISO 27001 project, and show you how to leverage online technology to overcome them.

Five ISO 27001 document management system challenges your software should address

Having an online ISO 27001 tool to help you drive your implementation project forward is definitely a plus. However, before choosing a software solution that might not meet all of your needs, take a good look under the hood and see if your top choice has what it takes to address these ISO 27001 document management challenges:

  1. Difficult access to documents – If you need to spend a lot of time getting to the right file, it is time to look for other software solutions. Ease of access to documents should be the flagship of every decent online document management system, and you deserve the best.
  2. Lack of document workflow – When no one knows what should be done next with the document—or even better, who should do it—the result is confusion, missed steps, and lost time.
  3. Lack of document privacy – Having a system that doesn’t support controlled access to documents is in absolute conflict with the reality faced by project managers during an ISO 27001 project implementation. The nature of many documents developed during the project requires confidentiality, so make sure your solution supports this.
  4. No document version control – Faced with 20+ versions of one document co-developed by a team of colleagues and dispersed over a dozen locations, when you need to find a particular version, you are in trouble. When you don’t have tracked changes, you cannot understand the evolution of the document completely.
  5. Poor communication – Digging through email conversations for a piece of information you need can be very frustrating, so make sure your DMS supports a decent contextual discussion.

Addressing five ISO 27001 document management challenges using Conformio

Having all of this in mind, we set out to construct a single online platform to address these challenges and help project managers to effectively manage all their ISO 27001 project documentation. We accomplished this goal by enabling:

  1. Quick access to documents. On Conformio, each document is easily uploaded to the project or folder it belongs to. Getting to it requires 3 mouse clicks. The ”Documents assigned to me” section is used as a centralized hub for all the documents we have access to, so there is no time lost wondering where the exact document is, reducing lost time and increasing performance.
Quick access to documents on Conformio in Documents section

Figure 1. Quick access to documents on Conformio in Documents section

Quick access to documents on Conformio in My Work section

Figure 2. Quick access to documents on Conformio in My Work section

  1. Intuitive document workflow. On Conformio, we have the following statuses to handle documents and help us understand their progress:
    • Draft – Document is a work in progress, not ready for any kind of review.
    • In review – Document is under review by the relevant roles (defined during document creation).
    • In approval – Document has been reviewed and sent for approval by the relevant roles (defined during document creation).
    • Approved – Document is completed and approved.
Setting up document workflow on Conformio

Figure 3. Setting up document workflow on Conformio

  1. Complete control over document privacy. We can develop confidential documents accessible to a small team, or just for our own eyes, by controlling people’s access to particular folders. This way, we can design and completely control the access permissions of users to the organization’s confidential documentation, while still allowing those documents to evolve. You can learn more about document privacy here: How the private folder enables confidentiality in a DMS .
Creating private folders and controlling access to documents on Conformio

Figure 4. Creating private folders and controlling access to documents on Conformio

  1. Complete control over document versioning. With the ability to record as many versions as we need on Conformio, we can revert back to previous versions with a single click, or preview changes to understand the evolution of the document. This capability is an essential element of a successful online document management system.
Document version control in Conformio

Figure 5. Document version control in Conformio

  1. Contextual communication. Discussions can be started and followed on each document, making everyone’s lives a lot easier. Each discussion is recorded with the document for future reference.
Starting a document discussion on Conformio

Figure 6. Starting a document discussion on Conformio

Apart from these features that resolve the difficulties faced by project managers during an ISO 27001 project implementation, we should mention that documents on Conformio can be:

  • synced with Dropbox
  • easily distributed to all team members
  • stored, changed, and approved with ease

Before choosing your own ISO 27001 document management system solution, consider these challenges, because they can truly make a difference when that project due date finally comes knocking at the door.

Technology gives us a much-needed edge to do more, faster and better. So, why not try it? It’s free.