In an era where change is the only constant, organizations are being inundated by a deluge of shifts across risk, business, and regulatory dimensions. Each change brings its own complexities and managing them individually, much less collectively, becomes a herculean task. The challenge is two-fold: not only must businesses keep up with these changes, but they must also ensure that their response is in sync with their overarching business strategy.
The Scope of Regulatory Change
The world of regulatory requirements is an ever-shifting landscape. This turbulence is compounded by the continuous introduction and modification of laws, regulations, enforcement actions, and administrative decisions at local, regional, and international levels. For many, the challenge isn't merely about staying afloat but preventing drowning in the overwhelming sea of updates.
Several factors contribute to this growing complexity:
- Frequency of Change: Over the past half-decade, there's been a more than twofold increase in the number of regulatory changes. Regrettably, most organizations haven't augmented their resources or processes accordingly.
- Global Context: Regulatory changes aren't localized phenomena. Regulations, regardless of where they originate, often have global implications. For instance, despite being based in Asia, many organizations are more concerned with EU and US regulations than those from their home countries.
- Regulatory Inconsistency: Complying with international standards becomes a labyrinth when regulations conflict across jurisdictions. This is particularly evident in areas like privacy laws.
- Expansion Ambitions: As organizations seek growth in new markets, they're confronted by a myriad of regulatory challenges. While expansion offers revenue potential, it's offset by the evolving regulatory landscape of each new region.
- Information Overload: Today's organizations are swamped with information from various sources – legal updates, newsletters, blogs, tweets, and more. Making sense of this information and distilling actionable insights becomes a formidable task.
Defining a Process for Regulatory Change Management
In the face of such challenges, it becomes imperative to have a robust regulatory change management process. This process should be capable of gathering information, sifting out the noise, directing crucial data to subject matter experts for analysis, ensuring accountability, and determining the potential impact on the organization.
The ultimate objective? To have a strategy that not only monitors risk but also allows you to alert your organization about changing risk conditions. This involves creating a cohesive, automated system to monitor regulatory change, gauge its impact, and instigate necessary updates in policies, training, and controls.
Harnessing Technology for Regulatory Change Management
One of the keys to effective regulatory change management is leveraging the right technology. To help ensure your organization stays compliant with both current and ongoing regulatory changes, a suitable GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) platform will allow you to establish a consistent, repeatable process enabling compliance and regulatory professionals to:
- Identify control gaps & automatically notify stakeholders responsible for mitigation efforts
- Map individual controls to multiple frameworks simultaneously for time & efficiency savings
- Manage test result exceptions that cannot be remediated to align with internal policies
- Produce audit timeline reports to determine the status of all audits & related compliance
- Auto-generate internal & third party risk assessment questionnaires & track results over time
The rapidly changing regulatory environment places a significant burden on organizations. However, those equipped with proactive regulatory change management processes will be better positioned to navigate these challenges. By moving away from manual and ad hoc processes, organizations can embrace systems designed for comprehensive and consistent change management, ensuring they remain compliant, competitive, and prepared for the future.