Smarsh releases findings of 9th electronic communications survey
November 18, 2019

Smarsh’s ninth annual Electronic Communications Compliance Survey Report highlights the struggle of overworked compliance teams to meet electronic communications compliance, with 45% of respondents characterizing their organization as constantly playing catchup when it comes to electronic communication compliance. Technology and automation have become must-haves when it comes to the collection, preservation and review of electronic communications.

This survey by Smarsh covers more than 300 financial services compliance professionals. “This year’s survey findings show that firms are overwhelmed by the volume, variety and velocity of electronic communications channels, and their oversight practices are challenged to keep up,” said Smarsh’s Robert Cruz. “Prohibiting adoption of new tools doesn’t work and also puts firms at risk. A new approach is needed to enable today’s social, mobile and collaborative workforce and to meet the needs of a customer base that will only grow more tech-savvy as younger generations represent a larger portion of each firm’s revenue.”

Organizations are faced with the challenge of accommodating the latest communication technologies in the workplace, including personal mobile devices. Simply banning the use of personal devices for work communications is proving ineffective and is not a viable option for firms that want to meet compliance standards currently.

The survey finds that SMS/text messaging is a leading risk area with collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams cited as the second leading threat. Holes in archiving and supervision on Instagram and other platforms are also areas of risk, according to respondents.

Firms must accept that personal devices will be used in the workplace, and 75% of those surveyed indicated that their firms allow employees the use of such devices, while 44% of respondents were not confident in their organizations’ capabilities to capture and archive business conducted via mobile device.

Technology can help firms meet compliance, while also contributing to the bottom line, with data that can be used well beyond audit requirements. Some 47% of those surveyed indicated a belief that electronic communications compliance can contribute customer intelligence and help drive revenue. This figure has grown in recent years.

On Tuesday, Smarsh will host the webinar: “Findings from the 2019 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey” to explore the findings and provide guidance on how archived communications data can be leveraged as a revenue-building asset.