Regulatory Compliance

Addressing Compliance Demands in Business Today

In today’s fast paced world organizations are having a difficult time keeping up with the growing list of regulations they must maintain compliance with. There is often a learning curve involved when developing a proper governance plan that will support compliance and also the added costs associated with obtaining and maintaining regulatory compliance

In addition, companies are dealing with a number of other issues related to the access, security, and retention of their information, all while trying to maintain regular business operations. 

Increased Pressure

Organizations are confronted with a variety of challenges when it comes to their information.   In looking at these risks mitigation is extremely important but companies also need be mindful of the business needs from an operational standpoint so that it does not become overly cumbersome for the workforce to actually perform their jobs on a daily basis.  These risks include:

  • Cyber Crime - Hackers, criminals, and virus writers are always a threat to a business and by exploiting potential vulnerabilities in software and servers, these attacks expose a business to the possibility of having intellectual property, customer data or any type of important information stolen.

  • E-Discovery – Any litigation that a company becomes involved in includes the likelihood of a discovery request.   As most business content is electronic today, this would result in the arduous task of identifying, locating, securing and producing all the necessary material to comply.

  • Government Regulations – The requirement for greater transparency within business operations and transactions continues to rise, bringing with it an increase in the number of governmental regulations that are created that businesses must maintain compliance with.

When considering options to address these challenges, businesses must proceed with the constant awareness that the future will bring increased regulation and increased risk.  In solving the problems of today, they must also anticipate the potential issues of tomorrow.

Meeting the Challenge

Although it may seem like an overwhelming task to properly address and manage compliance, companies are nevertheless responsible and held accountable for doing so.  In order to successfully achieve compliance organizations must: 

  • Identify the Planning Team – Representation from a number of sources is critical when it comes to compliance.  It should include persons across the following areas: Compliance Office, Legal, Records Management, IT, Business Operations and also the CEO and/or CFO.  C-Level representation is crucial since ultimate accountability falls to them. 

  • Design and Build the Plan – It is important to first set common goals before designing the plan and then to keep communication open throughout the process. A strategy must be developed that addresses both compliance requirements and business needs that can be implemented across the enterprise.  In particular, areas of risk must be identified, prioritized and properly managed to ensure that no gaps exist.

  • Set Clear Policies and Controls – A governance policy should be developed and documented which outlines how content will be managed within the organization.  It should contain guidelines that are known to the workforce and include mechanisms for implementation and reporting through the use of internal controls.

  • Consider Technology and Automation – There are a number of software solutions on the market today that are designed specifically for content management that support compliance and business process automation.  From point solutions to enterprise offerings, the best approach is to consider technology wisely from the standpoint of a tools ability to meet company requirements.

When it comes to proper information management, compliance concerns will continue to remain a high priority for organizations.  Control frameworks will need to be secure but also stay flexible so that they can be easily adapted as new regulations and risks emerge. 

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