Why invest in compliance tooling at all?
For most, it’s a question of managing compliance and regulatory change. For instance, a new version of ISO 27001, or the rollout of SOX in the UK which is something businesses are now preparing for, prompting many of them to re-evaluate their GRC capabilities.
For other businesses, it’s a question of operational efficiency. With the regulatory landscape in a near-constant state of change, organizations with fragmented processes and solutions tend to expand the compliance program in a piecemeal fashion just to keep up. This results in a fragmented and disparate system that easily gives way to errors and inefficiencies. It’s particularly true of mergers, acquisitions, and businesses that are evolving faster than their compliance tools and processes can keep up. Such organizations often end up with a “Frankenstein” approach to compliance, bolting additional regulations and contractual requirements in an effort to stay on top of the ever increasing complexity.
Investment in modern compliance solutions avoids this Frankenstein-like approach to compliance, and puts businesses on the front foot instead of constantly playing catch-up. Instead of simply bolting-on another compliance process or framework, organizations can take the opportunity to reflect on their holistic compliance approach, building better foundations for data handling, communication and reporting.
The motive for updating your compliance tooling will help determine the level and nature of your investment. For instance, you might just need a reporting tool that can bring data together from disparate silos. This might suffice for a simple or decentralized business that has come to rely on multiple compliance solutions, making horizontal integration across departments more difficult.
On the other hand, you might need a more holistic and robust solution that brings processes, control frameworks and automation to the fore. Traditionally, there are three lines of defense – operational management, risk and compliance management, and internal audits. One of the biggest issues we see organizations experiencing is bridging the gap between the first and second lines. In other words, you can have operational compliance or good compliance management, but marrying the two together is critical for a consistent, robust and sustainable approach to GRC.
GRC solutions are a long-term tool with long-term benefits, allowing businesses to take a proactive approach to compliance. For CTOs on the ground, however, it’s more about day-to-day operations and play-by-play decision-making. That’s why bridging the gap between operations and compliance management is crucial.