Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Why 2016 US election issues mean so much – and so little – to Silicon Valley

In an industry that’s been careful not to play political favourites, it’s not hard to guess who Silicon Valley will be voting for in 2016. With the exception of Peter Thiel, “The Donald” is scaring Silicon Valley leaders. A lot.

It should be a good match. After all, Donald Trump is the poster-boy for capitalism and less government. And the new philanthropists from Silicon Valley (while reportedly much more generous with their wealth) aren’t averse to the wages of capitalism. And frankly, they just want to be left alone to go about their business. But that’s where the similarity ends.

Republican Party nominee Donald Trump (left) and Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton (right) 

Silicon Valley unites against Trump

Trump’s vocal anti-immigration stance is the prime reason he has the tech industry worried. In particular, his claim that the H1-B visas have to go has alarm bells ringing up and down the valley. It’s estimated that each H1-B salary offers a savings of $30,000 a year and that these hires are 100x more impactful than their counterparts.

Trump’s policies spell trouble for thought leadership and bottom lines in Silicon Valley, where 37.4% of the population is foreign-born (albeit not all on H1-B visas).

His staunch support of law enforcement in the FBI/Apple issue didn’t win him a lot of fans in the area, either.

Clinton’s love-letter to Silicon Valley

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton’s tech policy and wooing of the industry stand her in good stead with the tech giants. (You can check in on their courtship via Hillary’s love-letter to the industry).

And, Clinton comes with philanthropy creds. Hillary Clinton’s commitment to helping women could be a turning point for women in the U.S. and worldwide if this level of focus is shared by Silicon Valley philanthropists.

Hillary campaign CTO Stephanie Hannon, red scarf right of center, poses with supporters. Photo Credit: Hillary for America.

Why the outcome matters to philanthropy

The most important reason the 2016 election matters to philanthropy? Government has less and less to spend. The Clinton entourage has experience and proven success in brokering deals and bringing government, corporate and non-profit sectors together.

The potential impact of Silicon Valley philanthropy is staggering, given this opportunity. David Callahan provides an inspiring look at the possibilities in Inside Philanthropy.

Philanthropists participate in a Plan Bay Area Public Meeting in Mountain View, CA. Photos Credit: Noah Berger.

Why then, does 2016 matter so little?

In a nutshell, Silicon Valley philanthropists simply march to their own tune. Engineered solutions to the world’s problems. Disruption and risk-taking. A hands-on approach to giving. Corporate structures for philanthropy. These are all hallmarks of the new philanthropy that Silicon Valley has invented and embraced.

And whether you’re for it or not, this style of giving, born and bred in Silicon Valley by young, determined industry leaders, won’t stand or fall based on the next occupant of the White House.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

SmartSimple is now SOC 2 Compliant

SmartSimple is proud to announce that we are now a Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 compliant organization. 

SOC 2 is the most recognized and relevant standard for cloud security in the world, and it’s a reflection of our dedication to maintaining the highest level of security standards for our clients.

“SOC 2 is the standard many organizations hold their vendors to. It shows we’re on the leading edge of governance practices,” says Cameron McLean, President of SmartSimple. “We’re also currently the only Software as a Service (SaaS) provider in the grants and research management space that has achieved this level of certification.”

SOC 2 builds on top of our compliance frameworks and concentrates on non-financial reporting controls as they relate to the security, availability, and processing integrity of the SmartSimple system. These reporting controls are commonly known in the industry as the Trust Service Principles, and outlines the standards needed to qualify for SOC 2 certification.

Trust Service Principles

  1. Security: The system is protected, both logically and physically, against unauthorized access.
  2. Availability: The system is available for operation and use as committed or agreed to.
  3. Processing Integrity: System processing is complete, accurate, timely, and authorized.
  4. Confidentiality: Information that is designated “confidential” is protected as committed or agreed.
  5. Privacy: Personal information is collected, used, retained, and disclosed in conformity with the commitments in the entity’s privacy principles put forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accounts (CICA).
SmartSimple’s impartial third-party audit was conducted by Deloitte, a global leader in Enterprise Risk Management.

“A SOC 2 audit is a rigorous, independent review that provides assurance on security, availability, and processing integrity,” says Mark Varma, Senior Manager, Enterprise Risk at Deloitte. “SmartSimple’s SOC 2 certification will help build trust and confidence in their service delivery processes and controls.”

Visit the Security & Privacy page of the SmartSimple website to find more information about the roles and responsibilities we and our clients’ adhere to. Plus, you’ll gain an improved understanding about the shared responsibility of SaaS vendors and clients in the cloud.