IT: example use cases - ClusterSeven

IT

  • Challenge

    It’s often difficult to keep track of the spreadsheets and other EUCs that sit outside the scope of IT control, and working out which should be transformed into, or replaced by core IT managed applications.

  • Solution

    Use ClusterSeven to deliver a framework which provides an up to date list of the spreadsheet supported processes in the business. The insight ClusterSeven provides into these spreadsheet supported processes enables IT to prioritize and assess their suitability to be incorporate into core enterprise systems.

  • Benefits

    – Improved lifecycle management of critical spreadsheets and EUCs
    – Easier identification of candidates for transformation into more robust applications

IT use cases

Remediation

Challenge

The flexibility of spreadsheets means they’re often used to plug gaps in enterprise applications. But if inefficiently managed and controlled, they can lead to errors and create significant risk.

Solution

Use ClusterSeven to risk-assess critical spreadsheets; highlight poor practices; and identify large, highly complex files where there is potential for error.

Benefits

  • Improved ability to remediate errors and increase governance
  • Identification of candidates for core system migration

Inventory

Challenge

Relying on manual processes makes it difficult to comply with regulatory or audit requirements for maintaining an inventory of spreadsheets and other EUCs.

Solution

ClusterSeven provides comprehensive inventory management capabilities, including identification of complexity and materiality in your EUC estate, integration of stakeholder information from Active Directory, and application of appropriate controls.

Benefits

  • Less likelihood of failed audits and non-compliance
  • Avoidance of associated financial and other losses

Excel upgrades

Challenge

Excel upgrades often modify or deprecate underlying functionality, such as add-ins or drivers. How can you avoid errors occurring in critical spreadsheets post-upgrade

Solution

Use ClusterSeven to identify and log all the functionality used in your Excel spreadsheets; and scan affected spreadsheets when upgrades take place, to enable identification and correction of changed or deprecated functionality.

Benefits

  • Elimination of unknown errors in spreadsheets
  • Avoidance of process downtime

Business continuity

Challenge

Efficient data backups are essential to business continuity. Processes that depend on spreadsheets can be vulnerable if workbooks get changed unexpectedly or become corrupted.

Solution

Use ClusterSeven to ensure every version of a key workbook is backed up, so that you can quickly roll back to a previous version if required.

Benefits

  • Ability to restore files and maintain business continuity
  • Improved management of critical spreadsheets

Business change

Challenge

When business-critical processes depend on undocumented and unmanaged spreadsheets, decommissioning those spreadsheets for migration into enterprise IT systems becomes a complex, potentially risky undertaking.

Solution

When business-critical processes depend on undocumented and unmanaged spreadsheets, decommissioning those spreadsheets for migration into enterprise IT systems becomes a complex, potentially risky undertaking.

Benefits

  • Exposure of risk levels and process complexity
  • Ability to identify the data used in processes, ready for migration

Business automation

Challenge

Manually monitoring all the critical, often complex, spreadsheets used within your business processes can be a time-consuming and error-prone task.

Solution

With ClusterSeven you can automate the tracking of structural and content-based changes to spreadsheets, and build workflows for ongoing monitoring — allowing employees to focus on higher-value activities.

Benefits

  • Adoption of best practice in line with regulations
  • Alignment with wider business transformation and automation initiatives

Access control

Challenge

When data is exported from enterprise systems into Excel, the permissions that previously secured it become redundant, potentially putting valuable or confidential data at risk.

Solution

Use ClusterSeven to review who is accessing spreadsheets; check whether passwords are applied; and monitor and control changes.

Benefits

  • Identification of changes to access rights at file level
  • Maintenance of spreadsheet and data security

Data lineage

Challenge

If you don’t know what data sources feed into your organization’s business-critical processes, you can’t be confident that the resulting reports and other outputs are accurate.

Solution

Use ClusterSeven to automate analysis of data flows, identify data lineages across the landscape, and track and monitor data usage using change management processes.

Benefits

  • Assured data quality, accuracy and integrity
  • Auditable transparency for internal and external stakeholders

Operational efficiency

Challenge

Spreadsheets plug the gaps left by enterprise business systems, but manually checking the accuracy of spreadsheet data is time consuming and open to risk.

Solution

Using ClusterSeven to manage spreadsheets increases productivity, eliminates the risk and inefficiency of manual checking, and assures the accuracy of outputs based on spreadsheet data.

Benefits

  • Increased efficiency through automation
  • A controlled yet flexible spreadsheet environment

GRC

Challenge

Used in an uncontrolled way, spreadsheets can expose the business to risk. Without visibility of these potential risks, you could fail to meet your GRC commitments.

Solution

ClusterSeven automates spreadsheet management, streamlining reporting of potential failings to ensure data accuracy and risk mitigation across the GRC landscape.

Benefits

  • Understanding of spreadsheet risk and how to manage it
  • Ability to meet GRC commitments more easily

Get in touch

Let's talk about how ClusterSeven can increase transparency and control around your spreadsheets and give you confidence in your business critical processes and the accuracy of your data empowering you to make informed business decisions.

Contact Us
  • Organizations need solutions like ClusterSeven for spreadsheet and EUC controls that are usable at all levels of the organization, in addition to supporting the needs of audit, risk, and compliance professionals.

    Michael Rasmussen, GRC Economist & Pundit, GRC 20/20 Research, LLC
  • In ClusterSeven, we have complete visibility of every single spreadsheet from creation through to remediation, with full version history and audit trail.  The solution is inherently robust, scalable and reliable.

    BlackRock

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