The ins and outs, whys and wherefores and dos and do nots of regulatory compliance can be difficult to manage. Staying on top of compliance regulations can be a tricky business. It can be particularly tricky for organisations that operate in many international markets and are bound by the regulatory measures of multiple jurisdictions.
In having to adhere to an increasingly global regulatory landscape, companies are faced with multiple issues:
- Spirally costs of compliance activities
- Having to incorporate new regulatory compliance measures into their infrastructure on a regular basis
- Adhering to industry information and education on compliance regulations.
In the case of compliance, ignorance is not bliss. A lack of understanding and education breeds a lack of confidence in being adequately covered in terms of compliance obligations within an organisation. This leads to many organisations choosing an automated approach to document management to reduce the kind of human error that could leave a business in deep trouble – should they be audited.
Undoubtedly, there are benefits to compliance automation. It’ll reduce your data management costs and error rates. Compliance automation tools however, still require human intervention at the implementation stage. This ensures the system is set up to meet the necessary regulatory requirements that apply to that specific organisation.
Human intervention is also required to adjust the automated compliance infrastructure in the event of a change to the compliance landscape, such as the change in existing compliance regulations or the introduction of new legislation.
Automating compliance can significantly reduce the instances of errors, however, the potential for error will never be completely removed, as pesky humans still need to be involved. However, minimising the chance for error through automation remains significant.
Certain regulatory compliance mandates are better suited to automation. Compliance regulations with clearly laid out and defined records management processes which have specific retention instructions are prime candidates for automation.
Compliance automation can also make life much easier for internal auditors as it centralises audit information, which simplifies the process of collecting compliance data and helps to identify issues with the system with timeliness and efficiency.
Automation tools reduce the need for third party intervention to provide compliance services. This means your company’s data is more secure as previously outsourced processes are now carried out internally. In turn, this reduces labour costs involved with outsourcing.
An automated compliance set up gives you confidence in meeting your compliance obligations at any given time. A manual compliance process only offers a snapshot of your company’s compliance status at any particular moment in time. It’s also limited in not being able to identify if you have failed any aspect of your compliance requirements in the period between the last manual test and an external audit.
An automated compliance set up also eases the process of mapping security controls. This is particularly beneficial for large, complex organisations who are obliged to comply with a wide range of compliance regulations around their data and processes.