Addressing the Difficulties of Regulatory Change Management

May 31, 2022

Regulatory change is accelerating. As industries grapple with new technologies and digital transformation, compliance teams face the monumental task of keeping up with the regulatory requirements. Modern business has become an integrated web of supply chains and third-party partnerships. While such evolutions are expected as markets change, the pervasiveness of these relatively young developments and the speed at which they influence the modern economy leaves regulators and compliance teams alike racing to address new forms of risk.

Risk management is a labor-intensive task itself and is cited as the biggest challenge for compliance teams, while the pace of regulatory change and the cost to meet them are close behind. This begs the question, how can teams faced with an already challenging responsibility meet the ever-evolving demands of emerging technologies and the regulators racing to address them? 

Digital technology is a rapidly evolving field, and as adoption has increased all the way down to the consumer level, and more products and services are distributed digitally, so to have the tools organizations use to operate and the products and services they offer. But regulating this technology is difficult as it requires a high level of expertise. As soon as it uses and vulnerabilities are addressed satisfactorily, a new threat can emerge. A regulatory change management process in today’s dynamic environment needs to be:

  • Effective. Organizations need to develop a greater understanding of changing regulatory requirements and their impact on the organization to empower the organization to be proactive in keeping track of, assessing, communicating, and monitoring the regulatory change. This allows the organization to demonstrate good compliance practices to regulators and officials.
  • Efficient. Organizations need to fully leverage and optimize their resources to manage regulatory change and enable efficient and sustainable management of resources as the business and regulatory landscape develops and evolves.
  • Agile. The regulatory landscape is a dynamic. This demands that organizations understand their regulatory environment and its potential impact on the organization and develop a strategy on how to adapt to regulatory change quickly to this change and to always be aware and responsive to developments within the landscape.

This fast-paced environment means that regulators and compliance teams alike must continually address issues at the micro level, which in turn leads to a slew of new policy decisions and regulatory requirements. Regulators who once worked on long time horizons to implement guiding legislation are now shifting to an agile sprint cycle focused paradigm. But high volume and complexity can stretch a regulatory agency’s resources thin, and can lead to incomplete, conflicting, or unclear requirements. Compliance teams with the same challenges are left struggling to meet regulatory requirements or begging for more complete guidance fully. This can often lead to compliance teams being left on the back foot in keeping up with regulatory change and managing risk as the organization adopts new technologies and operations. 

The pace of change and effort required to address those changes is punishing to those not positioned to respond in kind. However, there is an opportunity in all this chaos. An opportunity for exhausted compliance teams to gain ground and add significant value to their efforts, and that is to integrate the agile nature of their work into their compliance strategy. The very digital transformation that compliance teams are contending with offers new tools and opportunities to address it. Automated document control systems can help preserve the integrity of policy and procedure documents while keeping them up to date, accessible, and fundamentally simpler to author and deploy. 

It is paramount that organizations address compliance in today’s dynamic business environment with agility and efficiency. The benefits of an integrated and collaborative technology architecture are:

Eliminates cumbersome and redundant manual processes. Compliance continues to grow its complexity and back-office professionals must analyze high volumes of incoming data and information manually to maintain compliance and keep up with constant change. This often results in things getting missed and potentially manipulation.

Keeps-pace with the continuous barrage of changing regulations. The regulatory landscape continues to grow, and nobody sees any signs of stopping. Organizations need an automated system that helps keep track of this overwhelming volume of change.

·Allows the organization to free up misallocated resources to respond to and monitor emerging compliance risks and build on the organization’s operations by providing strategic insights into the business and its risks. 

A dynamic business environment requires a system to actively manage regulatory change and emerging risks that could impact the organization. Organizations need to develop a cohesive process to gather information, sort out what’s irrelevant, analyze critical information, and determine the potential impact on the organization. The old ways of doing business with uncoordinated regulatory change processes are an impending nightmare given the overwhelming volume of regulatory change in todays environment and its broader impact on the organization. It is critical to develop a regulatory change management program that monitors change, alerts the organization to risk conditions, and enables accountability and collaboration around changes and the impact to the organization.

An effective software solution can help manage and audit third-party relationships by easily deploying vendor surveys, tracking contract obligations, visualizing risk assessment data, and reduce friction in communication. While these are just a few tools compliance teams can use to leverage the resources they have access to, the true value is in the ability to respond to constant change. It is unlikely that the pace of change will slow down any time soon, leaving those compliance teams best prepared to respond quickly and effectively with the ability to thrive in a complex and challenging undertaking. To achieve this, organizations must develop a process for collaboration, accountability, and integration between regulatory change management, information, and data and a GRC information and technology architecture. 

Organizations need to develop an integrated, agile, and collaborative compliance program and framework like VComply – built on a common information architecture and framework. VComply’s system and compliance architecture allows for compliance, risk management and assessment activities to be coordinated across different departments and functions of the organization, assisting the organization in breaking silos and making more informed business-decisions.  

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