Governance and Compliance: Mitigate Risk in 6 Simple Steps

How can you be an innovative business when you need to ensure governance and compliance for every process hosted on your technology platform? It’s a difficult balancing act. In our recent survey of 500 business leaders, 92% reported at least one tension within their organization, with ‘innovation vs compliance’ and ‘process vs vision’ highlighted as complex areas.


The trick is to see these priorities as complementing, not competing with, each other. Then governance becomes a part of innovation, not an obstacle. Compliance is more than just about helping your company to avoid fines and mitigate risk. A compliance-first approach can build trust, save time and help you react quickly to changes in technology, laws or customer expectations.

grc governance.JPGIf you want to take your digital governance beyond simply adhering to regulation and use it to drive and unite your business, then you’re in luck! We’ve laid out six simple steps to follow so that you can make your business more secure, more efficient and more responsive.


Your 6 steps to digitize governance and compliance

1 – Take a compliance-first approach

A lot of companies suffer from trying to retrofit compliance. The truth is, this can leave them on the back foot. It’s also why compliance and governance are sometimes seen as a barrier to getting new approaches to market. But if you design compliance into your processes by default, you can mitigate risks without slowing projects down.

For example, automating processes not only ensures regulation but is also more efficient than manual processes. And by deploying an agile platform, you’ll always be ready to respond to new rules or new business needs. Speed’s important to business. But if new products, channels or processes don’t comply by design, a step forward can soon turn into two steps back.


2 – Get the complete picture

In our survey, system complexity ranks highly in the list of challenges for compliance. When the systems, data – and people – of an organization are fragmented, it’s hard to get a complete view. This makes it hard to ensure you comply with the rules you’re set by regulators – or those you set yourself, for that matter.

A digital business platform can wrap your existing IT systems and pull in data from all of them. With this in place, you see the full story. You can then model and evolve processes to make compliance an integral part of how your organization does business. 


3 – Don’t leave your legacy. Take it with you.

legacy system GRC.JPGYour data doesn’t have to be in one place, as long as you can see it in one place. There’s no need to rip and replace IT when you can access the information you need in the way that you want.

For example, you might have a legacy ERP system that holds important data but is hard to flex to the needs of your business. You can wrap it in a more agile digital business platform that’s still able to draw data out of your older system – or write data back to it.

An important principle is to free the value locked inside your legacy systems. To do this, identify the pain points. Then find out how to work around them.


4 – Start small. Scale quickly.

small breakthroughs grc.JPGTrying to change too much, too quickly can backfire. The most effective change often comes from small shifts. People pick up on this instinctively. It’s why 82% of our respondents think small digital breakthroughs create momentum.

There’s another argument for this kind of iterative improvement. You get to see what works best before you fully commit. You can then scale quickly once you know something has value.

This approach is also effective for executives who need to show success to justify funding for further initiatives. In today’s world, small successes are key to continued sponsorship.


5 – Unite the business

integrated approach grc.JPG

A lack of collaboration between departments is a common problem. Our research shows it is one of the main barriers to digital progress. It’s critical to overcome the issue, because real commercial impact comes from different parts of a business working as one.

The best digital leaders bring the right people together from across the business. But you need mechanisms in place to make this happen. This often means digital tools that give people a clear, shared view and enable them to co-experiment with ease and speed.


6 – Lead, but empower too

People seek digital leadership. In fact, 30% of all respondents chose ‘lack of digital leadership’ as their top challenge. But leadership doesn’t mean dictating exactly how to digitize. It means creating conditions in which people can put digital to work themselves.

Part of this involves education and skills. And part of it involves tools and giving people the freedom and space to experiment, collaborate and co-create. 82% said that they would like to be more self-sufficient with digital, so they can make a bigger impact on behalf of their function and their business. Give people the opportunity and they’ll take it.

The extra benefit of this kind of leadership? It reveals the people and projects that are already creating processes that make a real difference. You can then support them to add further value.

This article is based on a larger research report. So if you’d like to learn more about how to digitize your customer engagement strategy, why not download our complimentary report: ‘Make your Breakthrough in Governance & Compliance.’