Organizational exposure to compliance risk is rising while the cost of compliance soars. Additionally, the ad hoc, reactive approach to compliance brings complexity, forcing business to be less agile. Organizations typically address compliance as singular issues and obligations; as a result they have multiple initiatives working in isolation to respond to each regulatory requirement. These isolated compliance initiatives tend to rely on manual processes burdened with costly assessments managed through spreadsheets, often proving costly and unreliable. This modus operandi is not proactive and makes it difficult to adapt to new regulatory requirements while increasing pressure and anxieties on management, employees, and business relationships.
Without a holistic and streamlined view of compliance, organizations will continue to be burdened with the data overload and complexity of compliance data for management reporting. Organizations need complete visibility into a portfolio of compliance obligations spread across distributed, complex business processes and relationships.
Compliance management is ultimately about maintaining oversight and control of business processes, transactions, relationships, and information. Organizations are beginning to provide an integrated view across specific compliance requirements that roll up into a broader compliance management program.
Success in compliance management begins with a strategy – how to effectively manage compliance across the organization. Ultimately, the organization needs to identify and prioritize major risks resulting from regulatory mandates as well as maintain oversight and control over business processes to mitigate these risks. This requires the organization to deploy an infrastructure and supporting processes that deliver real-time compliance transparency across the business and its relationships. A streamlined compliance architecture is one in which accountability and compliance are effectively managed and the business has a system of record to understand and manage the diverse complexity of compliance issues.
By integrating a common regulatory and control framework with other business applications, an organization can deliver automation in control monitoring and remediation processes. This integration results in efficiency of controls and minimizing the time between the occurrence of an issue (control failure, fraud incident, etc.) and its identification, thus reducing overall risk and minimizing future issues. It allows issues to be detected quickly and dealt with in a timely manner, and provides better visibility on compliance risks across different mandates and methods of mitigation. Failures can be treated individually as well as aggregated to track areas of weakness and to implement remediation more efficiently.
The outcome is an organization delivering streamlined compliance management through control optimization that enables and does not encumber corporate performance.
This blog post is the Executive Summary to my latest piece of research (commissioned by SAP), Foundations of GRC: Streamlining Compliance