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Compliance Insights

Operationalize Compliance to Ensure 360° Visibility

Michael Rasmussen
Apr 12, 2022
2 minutes

Gone are the years of simplicity in business operations. Rapid growth and change in risks, regulations, globalization, distributed operations, competitive velocity, technology, and business data encumbers organizations of all sizes. Keeping business strategy, compliance, uncertainty, complexity, and change in sync is a significant challenge for boards and executives and management professionals throughout all levels of the business.

The interconnectedness of objectives, compliance, risks, and resilience requires 360° contextual awareness of risk and resiliency. It requires holistic visibility and intelligence of risk and resiliency. Organizations need to see the intricate relationships of objectives, risks, compliance obligations, processes, and controls across the organization’s operations. The complexity of business – combined with the intricacy and interconnectedness of risk and compliance – necessitates that the organization implements a strategic approach to operational resilience.

The past few years have taught us lessons, such as:

  • Interconnected risk. What started with a health and safety risk became a global pandemic and had caused downstream risk impacts on information security, bribery and corruption, fraud, business and operational resilience, human rights, and other risk areas. Organizations today face an interconnected risk environment and they realized that risk cannot be managed in isolation.
  • Objectives became dynamic. Businesses had to modify their strategies, departments, processes, and project objectives to adapt to a crisis. Objectives became dynamic in reaction to changes in risk exposure. These had to be monitored in uncertainty in a state of volatility with the pandemic. 
  • Disruption. Business is easily disrupted from international to local events.
  • Dependency on others. No organization is an island. Disruption and the interconnectedness of risk impact more than traditional employees and brick-and-mortar businesses, the range of third-party relationships the organization depends upon, and clients. 
  • Dynamic and agile business. The business has to react quickly to stay in business. This requires agility in changing business processes and responsibilities. All this introduced new risks and demand for engaging employees and maintaining a strong corporate culture in the midst of global concern. 

How to Operationalize Compliance?

The world of business is distributed, dynamic, and disrupted. It is distributed and interconnected across a web of business relationships with stakeholders, clients, and third parties. It is dynamic as the business changes day by day. Processes change, employees change, relationships change, regulations and risks change, and objectives change. The ecosystem of business objectives, uncertainty/risk, and integrity is complex, interconnected, and requires a holistic, contextual awareness of the organization – rather than a dissociated collection of processes and departments. Change in one area has cascading effects that impact the entire ecosystem.

This interconnectedness of business is driving demand for 360° contextual awareness in the organization’s risk and resilience processes to reliably achieve objectives, address uncertainty, and act with integrity. Organizations need to see the intricate intersection of objectives, risks, and boundaries across the business. Firms globally and across industries are focusing on resilience. The organization has to maintain operations in the midst of uncertainty and change, and this is becoming a key regulatory requirement in some sectors. This requires a holistic view of the objectives and performance of the organizations in the context of uncertainty and risk. Organizations are striving for business and operational resilience that requires integration and symbiotic interaction of risk management, compliance, and continuity. To develop a risk-aware culture, organizations need to be resilient with full situational awareness of the interconnected risk and compliance environment that impacts them.

To be a resilient organization, organizations need 360° situational understanding and visibility into their processes, operations, objectives, controls, and risks. What complicates this is the exponential effect of risk on the organization. The business operates in a world of chaos, and even a small event can cascade, develop, and influence what ends up being a significant issue. Dissociated siloed approaches to risk and resilience that do not span processes and systems can leave the organization with fragments of truth that fail to see the big picture of risk and resilience across the enterprise and how it supports their strategy and objectives. The organization needs visibility into objective and risk relationships across processes. The complexity of business and intricacy and the interconnectedness of risk data require that the organization implement an enterprise view of risk and resilience monitoring, automation, and enforcement.

Successful operational resilience management requires the organization to provide an integrated process, information, and technology architecture. The goal is to make complex information and connections easily understandable and give comprehensive straightforward insight into risk and resilience management. This helps to identify, analyze, manage, and monitor risk in the context of operations, processes, and services. This context captures changes in the organization’s risk profile from internal and external events that can impact objectives.

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