3 Ways to make regulatory compliance a strategic weapon

July 15, 2018

Company Culture, Data, Managed Services

By admin

Let’s face it, regulatory compliance is like the broccoli on a five-year-old’s dinner plate (that glaring thing you hate, but you’re forced to swallow). Regulations are numerous and complex, often overlapping, constantly changing – and businesses are expected to keep up.  

In the past decade, a large number of regulations have emerged globally; most recently, with the GDPR. It’s been a fast, steep climb to keep up with rapidly increasing data usage and technology innovations, but we’re finally starting to get a bit of breathing room.  

With the regulatory landscape having finally settled down, we’re in a position to think more strategically about compliance and adopt a proactive instead of reactive approach – to view compliance as a tool that offers increased visibility into operations and enterprise risk, as opposed to a necessary evil.  

Compliance Strategy Needs

With proper planning and execution, a well-designed compliance architecture can create a competitive advantage. We’ve identified three key attributes that can help make your compliance strategy a success.  

  1. Keep it simple and sustainable. Start by conducting a thorough review of your current process. Eliminate any duplication that may be lingering from the past and be open to new business ideas that can improve or streamline your process. Avoid solutions that ‘work for today’ as they may not work so well tomorrow. The landscape changes quickly, so architecture needs to be flexible in order to keep up with long-term needs for capacity and performance.  
  2. Automate. There are so many ways automation can support your mandate and help improve your bottom line. It can increase efficiency by replacing human intervention for tasks that are high-risk, take too much time, or are prone to error, and also eliminate the risk associated with losing key persons. At a higher level, automation provides increased operational visibility that can help executives with making decisions to limit risk and fraud. 
  3. Make it modular. Modular architecture will help you remain agile and allow you to integrate with evolving technologies in the future. The idea is to expand from simply ‘checking the boxes’ to creating a plan that works to prevent minor to critical enterprise risks from happening at all. The regulatory environment is constantly shifting, it makes sense to set yourself up with a governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) strategy that you can easily build on as your needs change.   

How you Succeed

Bringing all of this together is a team effort. CFOs and CTOs should work together, taking a qualitative approach to data management that involves more than accuracy of numbers. It’s a delicate balance of creating a solution that satisfies current needs and regulations, while keeping an eye to the future and anticipating how both of those things will change.  

More customers are seeking out companies who share their personal values and compliance culture. Failing to demonstrate strong compliance practices can result in a loss of brand trust and reputation. Today’s consumers are discerning, and they want to know their sensitive data will be protected.  

Good compliance will always come with a cost, but from a cost/benefit perspective, an investment that drives competitive advantage while improving business and shareholder value, always makes sense.