HGS Digital earns ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications

In February 2022, HGS Digital received the ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications, paving the way for ample future opportunities globally. ISO, also known as the International Organization for Standardization, is the world’s premier standards certifier that develops international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

Maintaining quality and consistency across industries requires a level-playing field and, as an independent and non-governmental organization, ISO publishes these standards for organizations to use as a north star to relevancy and excellence. Businesses should continually strive to align to meet ISO standards.

The importance of an ISO certification

ISO certifications, awarded only by an external certification body and not by ISO itself, are part of a rigorous approval process. An ISO seal of approval means the business ensures the quality of their products, services, and systems through standardization.

There are separate standards and criteria for each ISO certification across various industries. The certifications are classified numerically. HGS Digital embarked on the journey for two highly sought-after certifications:

  • ISO 9001 establishes the quality standards necessary for organizations to meet customer and stakeholder expectations within statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • ISO 27001 establishes requirements for an information security management system. It helps organizations manage the security of financial information, third-party data, intellectual property, and employee details, among other data.

Both ISO certifications validate HGS Digital’s ability to exceed the foundational quality expectations and ongoing requirements from its customers.

ISO certification process

Getting an ISO certification requires an extensive and collaborative effort and can sometimes be lengthy in time and commitment. However, the HGS Digital team dedicated to the ISO process, comprised of the Business Excellence teams in India and the Philippines, collaborated with process owners, provided accurate documentation, and adhered to established procedures to ensure a seamless process.

Michelle Barnett, Senior Project Manager at HGS Digital, explains, “We had a plan that spanned different areas across the organization, including HR, procurement, revenue, sales, marketing, client services, and delivery. Delivery was a big part because the team had many requirements, especially pertaining to quality.”

Assessing risks and passing the ISO audit

To obtain certification, ISO requires organizations to consult with their teams to determine and document potential risk areas and create a remediation plan. An Information Security Awareness Program (ISAP) is also necessary, and HGS Digital ensured that this was accounted for.

“We had put in place business continuity and recovery plans. We had to do a lot of testing to ensure controls were happening. We had to upgrade quite a bit on the tech side to make sure our offerings were up to date so that people couldn’t penetrate our network or desktops,” says Michelle.

The Business Excellence team in the Philippines helped with the internal audit and remediation, while the external audit was conducted by TÜV Rheinland. Over 20 participants were interviewed throughout the entire certification process.

Reflecting on the project, Michelle adds, “A lot of people talk about corporate initiatives and managerial support and everyone being behind the initiative. But this project was a true demonstration of an organization’s commitment. It was a tremendous team effort.”

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The future of HGS Digital’s ISO certification

Many verticals, including healthcare, require vendors to have an ISO certification to conduct business. Being certified allows HGS Digital to attract businesses and compete in spaces that were previously inaccessible. Additionally, ISO certifications can open opportunities to earn other certifications, such as HITRUST, SOC, and HEPA. These certifications, in turn, enable access to more verticals.

“A few clients have asked about our certification status because they wanted to share data and network access with us. But their policies only allow this with certified organizations. Information Technology departments are particular about this. Now, this hurdle is gone,” shares HGS Digital Senior Vice President of Global Delivery, Bala Longanathan.

Since an ISO certification is a preliminary requirement to respond to proposal requests from the US government, HGS Digital is now equipped to respond on a moment’s notice.

From quality check to requirements, ISO has mapped out everything that is required of an organization, providing the ultimate roadmap for success in various verticals and industries. With freshly minted 9001 and 27001 certifications in HGS Digital’s toolkit, the organization is primed for easier partnerships with clients looking to work with top-tier ISO-certified organizations.

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