The old-school approach to risk management you need to dump right now
Forevermore, there will be life before COVID-19, and life after. Risk management and compliance have historically been viewed as mundane, time-consuming facets of business operations, particularly in large organisations.
But they are critical; in the increasingly digitally integrated and connected world of business, yes, but even more so now that entire organisations have been forced to quickly adapt to online operations and cater for a (in many instances) brand new, extensive remote workforce.
Bend and stretch – you still use what??
Excel, PowerPoint, and other traditional document management systems have long been the standard when managing risk reviews, compliance obligations and information management. However, in our modern and digitised economy, sticking to this method could have disastrous consequences for the business.
Old-school methods of undertaking risk management and compliance processes take a frustrating amount of time when gathering and assessing the huge volumes of paperwork and data. Data that is submitted manually for compliance in many cases can be erroneous, even when high level data integrity checks are in place.
Hidden costs of data breaches
Historically, it’s been essential for many businesses to commit a huge number of hours (and thereby additional revenue) to the process of risk assessment and mitigation to avoid not only physical risks to the business and staff, but the massive actual and associated costs to the business of data breaches.
In the past, breaches have mostly been due to human error or (less often but just as impactful) insider misuse or physical theft of devices. These days, digital integration means organisations are more susceptible to malware and security vulnerabilities.
Traditional analogue methods are now just woefully insufficient to handle the complexities and regulatory requirements of global digital chains and organisational needs. Cyber security, data privacy, modern slavery and many other related threats will lead to frustration and failure if businesses do not keep up with emerging new (and improved) methods of protection and compliance.
COVID-19 & your remote workforce
Worldwide, in the wake of the spread of COVID-19, boards and management (those ultimately responsible for the governance and compliance of a business), need to be rapidly adapting outdated, inadequate solutions. As the purpose-built cloud solutions emerge, the old school mind-set and the inherently flawed nature of manual entry and management of these processes needs to be phased out. Fast.
Rapid changes in new technology, compliance regulations, and industry trends will dictate how boards operate moving ahead.
In order to be successful in implementing governance, risk and compliance (GRC) strategies, Directors and executives need to adjust faster to these changes than they currently are when attempting to ensure sustainability and growth for their organisation.
Risk & compliance tech – why it works
Cloud based regulatory software (regtech) on the other hand, is purpose-built with updates and industry evolution in mind, so when industry compliance and regulations change, updates can be deployed to keep the business up to date with changes seamlessly.
Integrated risk systems offer referential integrity and links between data, files and information. Such systems also improve accountability as tasks and actions can be assigned to individuals and teams, thereby eliminating the confusion, double handling and unreliable data in reporting.
Collaboration on important documents and projects can improve leverage on expertise between teams both inside the organisation and with external partners and service providers in a safe and secure way. Similarly, in-built analytics can improve reporting capabilities.
Cyber security is critical. Artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation software developments are happening, and now with so much of so many workforces working remotely as the world battles to contend with COVID-19, major trust issues lie ahead. It is an organisation’s internal responsibility to ensure that it is applying the required technology, ensuring staff have access to best practice guidance to tackle GRC cyber-security issues and maintain data integrity.
Don’t lose sight of what really matters
To protect client data, sensitive and other internal information (and ultimately, your business) we need to look at ways that ethics, values and standards can be woven into the artificial intelligence and digital transformation software that is making decisions for us. Within a few feet of where we sit every day, devices, software and data surrounds us, and so can pose a risk in relation to our data security and integrity.
Whether it’s for effective risk management, business scalability or ongoing compliance monitoring – during a crisis or as the commercial world evolves through and post-COVID-19, it’s inevitable that digital systems will become more commonplace. In today’s global digital economy, organisations need automation and integration across entire supply chains to preserve their competitive advantage, as well as streamline their governance processes, those who adapt the most readily will be the ones that prosper.