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OneTrust is a unique cloud solutions provider that specializes in privacy, compliance, sustainability and data governance. With over 12,000 customers from businesses of all sizes — including Oracle, Allianz and Akami — the OneTrust technology platform connects data and processes so companies can put trust at the center of their operations and culture.

In this report, we dive into OneTrust’s offerings to understand the pros and cons of their solutions and how they can impact your business. TechRepublic also spoke with Blake Brannon, Chief Product and Strategy Officer of OneTrust, to get the inside expert view on their data governance solutions.

SEE: Top data governance tools of 2022 (TechRepublic)

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What does OneTrust do?

OneTrust logo.
Image: OneTrust

Organizations choose OneTrust to better manage supply chains, cyber threats, global disruptions and natural disasters while simultaneously navigating compliance, regulations and ethical issues. OneTrust supports these efforts with automation and intelligent systems.

SEE: Hiring Kit: Database engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

“Regulatory, societal and technological pressures place[d] trust at the forefront of organizational priorities,” Brannon told TechRepublic. “In our digital world, trust drives what companies we decide to share our data with, which businesses we purchase from and what organizations we work for and invest in.”

The OneTrust data governance portfolio

OneTrust’s Intelligence Platform is an AI-powered, cloud-based technology that supports centralized workflow automation as well as issue, process and policy management. Additionally, the system enables analytics and reporting with requirements and risk mitigation. The platform works across four main trust clouds:

  • Privacy and Data Governance
  • GRC and Security Assurance
  • Ethics and Compliance
  • ESG and Sustainability

OneTrust Privacy and Data Governance Cloud

The OneTrust Privacy and Data Governance Cloud helps companies understand their data and what they do with it. Operational throughout the input, storage, management and disposal phases, the system is designed for the full data lifecycle.

Companies turn to OneTrust Privacy and Data Governance Cloud to adopt best-in-class privacy practices and build trust among customers and partners while delivering more valuable experiences and creating business value through trust.

With new international, national and state regulations evolving at a rapid pace, privacy professionals have watched their day-to-day operations reach new levels of complexity. Maintaining an efficient global privacy program has proven critical to avoid reputation damages, fines and lawsuits while also opening up new business opportunities.

“The OneTrust Privacy and Data Governance Cloud allow[s] companies to drive all aspects of their privacy program — privacy management, data governance, consent and preferences, and responsible AI — from one place while leveraging automation to streamline key program requirements,” Brannon explained.

Key features

With OneTrust Privacy and Data Governance Cloud, companies can:

  • Automate PIAs, DPIAs and PbD with dynamic templates and flexible workflows
  • Integrate existing business tools and processes
  • Maintain evergreen data inventories of assets, processes and vendors to understand data processing and generate necessary records
  • Automate the fulfillment of privacy rights requests (DSRs) from intake, identity verification, data discovery, data redaction and secure response
  • Streamline response to incidents and data breaches from intake through assessment and resolution
  • Simplify ongoing analysis of third-party privacy practices
  • Provide awareness and training to workers through content designed by privacy and data governance experts
  • Keep up with the latest privacy and security developments through a central portal that delivers same-day updates from experts

OneTrust GRC and Security Assurance Cloud

The OneTrust GRC and Security Assurance Cloud helps companies effectively manage the risk brought on by third parties. At the same time, they are able to gain the visibility they need to make better risk-informed decisions.

This cloud solution aligns with a variety of business operations: governance and policy management, IT risk and security assurance, third-party risk management and audit and compliance management. This particular solution supports companies and supply chains in efforts to stay resilient through continuous cyber threats, global crises and natural disasters.

Key features

Companies using the GRC and Security Assurance Cloud can:

  • Manage, monitor, edit and update policies and notices to centralize policy development
  • Run attestation campaigns and conduct automated periodic review cycles
  • Make risk-informed decisions based on regulatory intelligence and third-party risk-based analysis
  • Centralize policy development and planning with embedded business intelligence and collaboration
  • Manage GRC tasks and automate evidence collection for compliance with various security certifications

SEE: GRC Buyer’s Guide — 5 Steps to Success (TechRepublic)

OneTrust Ethics and Compliance Cloud

Companies face a variety of connected challenges like siloed compliance management, low-risk visibility, low case volumes and disengaged employees. Responding to this particular set of problems, OneTrust developed the OneTrust Ethics and Compliance Cloud.

“It helps [companies] foster safe and ethical cultures where employees feel empowered to speak up, share their perspectives and raise concerns without fear of retaliation,” Brannon said.

The OneTrust Ethics and Compliance Cloud bring together ethics program management, speak-up culture assurance and third-party due diligence to unify people, processes and technology across ethics, compliance, HR and legal teams.

Key features

OneTrust Ethics and Compliance allows users to:

  • Run ethics management programs with third-party due diligence
  • Engage workers and create a speak-up culture with protections such as whistleblower retaliation protection
  • Proactively tackle emerging risks
  • Protect and strengthen brands with cross-application reporting and analytics that focus on company culture health, program efficacy and current company risks

OneTrust ESG and Sustainability Cloud

The ESG and Sustainability Cloud enables businesses to build and execute an ESG and sustainability strategy with a flexible cloud-based platform. Sustainability and climate commitments are now top priorities for business leaders, but they still struggle to drive transparency and measure progress against these goals.

“The OneTrust ESG and Sustainability Cloud offers carbon accounting, ESG program management and supplier sustainability and responsibility to help organizations measure and lower their carbon footprints and build a more responsible supply chain,” Brannon said.

Key features

With the ESG and Sustainability Cloud, you can:

  • Set ESG targets, track KPIs and incoming regulations and drive carbon accounting with this knowledge
  • Discover your organization’s carbon footprint numbers and determine ways to reduce and offset emissions
  • Automate ESG reporting and disclosures for regular stakeholder updates
  • Ensure supplier sustainability and responsibility

SEE: Top 5 benefits of applying ESG standards to your business (TechRepublic)

Data Discovery and Data Catalog

Data Discovery and Data Catalog are two more specialized OneTrust Data Governance Cloud components. Customers cannot buy one without the other; both are key for the efficient operations of the intelligent system.

The components work seamlessly to strengthen data-driven insights for positive business outcomes.

“Together, these solutions provide a deep understanding of what data exists within the business, the business purpose, relevant obligations [and] technical measures all within a central view,” Brannon explained.

OneTrust Data Discovery and Data Catalog give users the ability to:

  • Create a comprehensive map of organizational data
  • Apply relevant context through metadata mapping and management
  • Automate and validate governance processes and policies to ensure compliance
  • Drive regulatory intelligence with DataGuidance and other AI features
  • Provide policy automation for both external regulatory and internal policy requirements
  • Allow for discovery and classification across cloud, on-premises and legacy systems
  • Enable customers to discover sensitive, personal and other data held within structured and unstructured formats
  • Improve accuracy over time with built-in machine learning models
  • Allow secure discovery and classification processes to occur within an organization’s security controls

Pros and cons of OneTrust data governance tools

Companies looking for intelligent data governance platforms to simplify automation and provide critical business management support frequently choose OneTrust. The company offers different modules to manage data protection problems that can be integrated and used by multiple participants, making it a helpful solution for larger and more complex teams.

The solution can improve business process outcomes, compliance, risk management and revenue. Customer reviews highlight OneTrust’s cost management, innovation, decision-making and support capacities while assuring the platform drives internal and external operational efficiencies and securely improves business agility.

The main drawback of OneTrust solutions is their complexity, which can be overwhelming for users who do not have the appropriate technical skills. Customers also complain about an overabundance of features and the high data literacy level required to operate the interface. However, those using OneTrust assure that user guides and the OneTrust team provide the necessary support to overcome these challenges.

Selecting OneTrust for your data governance needs

The pricing options for OneTrust are flexible and scalable. Customers and reviews report features starting as low as $30 per month. Additionally, the company offers free trials.

Regardless of their perceived budget or customer reviews, prospective buyers must consider for themselves whether or not the OneTrust portfolio of solutions meets their business’ particular needs. Especially for companies that more heavily rely on ethical data governance and availability for their stakeholders, a trust platform of some kind is one of the most valuable tools for meeting stakeholder expectations.

“Most companies can’t answer the trust question because they’re currently relying on technology and manual processes that offer little visibility across the business,” Brannon said. “To help companies answer the question: ‘Did we do something today to make my business more or less trusted?’ OneTrust created the Trust Intelligence Platform.”