Margalida Martínez Bertran, Gladtolink: “due to the change in work behavior, data is becoming hard to control”

Knowing that global events, such as a war and a pandemic, stir up threat actors, companies are in need of advanced data protection measures.

Data has become a valuable currency for cyber felons. Yet, for businesses, data breaches can cause detrimental consequences – from major financial losses to reputational damage.

Although traditional solutions, such as password management tools, are a great starting point for security, they’re not always enough. Advanced measures, such as a document management platform, can be an efficient way to handle data company-wide.

To learn more about data handling and document management, we invited Margalida Martínez Bertran, a Business Developer at Gladtolink – a company that offers digital no-code solutions for the digitalization of companies.

Tell us how it all began. How did the idea of Gladtolink originate?

Gladtolink started as a document manager. By listening to the market, we noticed the existing need to create documents with data collected from mobile devices and generate workflows with them.

From that idea, it started to evolve and become a no-code platform, which was the right way to go, since it is a tendency in technology that is growing faster and faster.

Once the platform was developed, we started working with clients and selling the platform until we realized that it was impossible to scale up so fast with the business model of that time. That is why we changed it, and now we rely on partners to distribute the platform.

Right now, we have partners in Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Portugal, and Argentina. And we are trying to expand our network even more to try and penetrate other markets, such as the United States or the North of Europe.

Can you tell us a little bit about your platform? What are its key features?

Gladtolink is the only no-code, multipurpose platform in the market, focused on the automatization of the company processes, making them more efficient, and transforming them into paperless ones.

Gladtolink is a document manager, a BPM, a database, and a creator of forms, minisites, and smartphone apps. It also contains a safe space in the cloud to store data and documents.

But what does it really mean for the company?

With the use of our platform, companies can empower users to create the best solution for all core and non-core processes for the company.

Since it is no-code, it is thought to be used by non-IT profiles who can learn how to use the platform in 8 to 10 hours.

We solve an issue that happens in most companies where the user needs a solution and tries to communicate the problem to the IT department. But when they finally have a solution, it is too late, it is not what the users needed, or it is too hard to use.

Gladtolink provides a tool to make solutions that will be made by and for the users.

In your opinion, what issues do companies run into most often during the digital transformation process?

When companies start to plan for digitization, they start to look for the technology that they need. Once they find it, they plan a strategy to implement it. And finally, they communicate the changes that will be happening to the employees. Then, they implement some training to teach them how to use the technology and expect the people to adapt to these new changes.

From my point of view, this is wrong.

The right way to introduce a change in the structure of a company is to think of the people first. See what they need, how they need it, and how the solution should work. Once the problem is analyzed, it is way easier to plan a strategy and implement the solution. And finally, come up with a technology that is able to adapt to all the needs and characteristics needed.

Did the recent global events alter your field of work in any way? Were there any new challenges you had to adapt to?

As the pandemic started, the companies had to adapt to a completely new way of working. Most of them were not prepared to work from home.

And now that we enter the new normality, we see that everyone used the tools that they had on hand, even if it made the job more difficult or inefficient.

Instead of evolving and transforming the workload, companies managed to do the exact same things in a digital environment without fixing the mistakes that have always been in an office.

Thanks to (and because of) technological advancements, the management of documents has become easier to deal with. However, at the same time, since it is so easy, it can sometimes be abused. A few days ago, in an interview for the paper “La Vanguardia”, Antonio Torralba, the director of the AI center at MIT, was asked “what is the worst part of your job?” and he answered “Paperwork.”

To see that one of the most advanced organizations in technology deals with such kinds of problems makes you realize that there is a need for a radical transformation to deal with paperwork.

As remote work becomes the new reality, what are some of the worst habits when it comes to handling sensitive documents?

Due to the pandemic, the companies are in need of accessing all documents that were stored in the office, but now, they are relying on software tools that are not safe at all – storing and sending sensitive data and documents through email or platforms that don’t ensure the safety of those documents.

The new ways to communicate are making it so easy to share information that new problems are arising. From human error of forwarding the email to someone by mistake, to the possibility of hacking the software or even having so many versions of the document that it is impossible to know which one is the official and updated and who has the last update.

What cyber threats do you find the most concerning at the moment?

When companies talk about cybersecurity and plan the actions to take when the occasion happens, it looks like they are only concerned about attacks from the outside – such activities as hacking, cyber phishing, malware distribution, and others.

But it is a fact that a lot of information leaking is happening from the inside of the company.

In 2016, a study in Accenture said that in TIC companies, up to 77% of the companies have been victims of a stealing attempt. And I can only expect this number to go up since the data is so easy to access.

Also, due to the change in work behavior, people now use the data at home. It makes it very hard to control what happens with the information. This includes not only attacks happening on purpose but also the loss of documents.

What security tools and practices organizations and average individuals should have in place to combat these new threats?

There are two ways to avoid data from being stolen – restriction or persuasion.

By restricting data, the company can know who is able to see, modify, add, or take information from the database. This ensures that confidential data can only be revealed to authorized people.

But in terms of data that needs to be shared due to its core purpose, it is necessary to persuade any mismanagement.

By implementing a traceability system, there is a way to keep records on when and who is working with the data and to know what changes were made… It is a measure to persuade the attacker. It is similar to cameras at a shopping center – criminals don’t avoid stealing, but if there is a camera at the establishment, they think twice before doing it.

Even though it is not possible to have a 100% security level, it is important to look for tools to deal with data and documents that ensure the best possible level of data safety. As well as increasing the control of the more sensitive information.

What other aspects of business operations do you hope to see automatized or enhanced by technology in the next few years?

Right now, companies are focusing on the transformation of the core processes of the business.

If we analyze time management of people working in an office, we will realize that the activity where people spend most of the time is in non-core processes.

From our point of view, investing in improving those processes is the key to keep going in the market.

If we manage to reduce the time wasted on non-core processes, everyone will be more efficient and have more time to focus on what is really important. Improving the capacity of the business as well as the motivation of the employees – since doing paperwork is one of the tasks that most people dislike.

What does the future hold for Gladtolink?

The future of the no-code platforms is just starting. Gartner, one of the biggest tech consulting companies, said that the no-code concept is the most disruptive technology in 2021, and the market for these platforms is increasing.

While the no-code platforms are mono-purpose, specialized in one area, such as website, project management… At Gladtolink, we have the advantage of being a multipurpose platform – it can be used in all sectors and departments, and this puts us in the pole position for when the demand for no-code tools begins to be an important sector in the market.