Is your compliance function ready for the digital future? In the final episode of this week’s 5-part Sherlock Holmes and Innovation and Compliance crossover, Tom highlights this critical question that every compliance professional should be asking themselves.

  • Today’s Sherlock Holmes story is The Adventure of the Copper Beeches wherein Holmes exclaims during a case: “‘Data! Data! Data!’ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay.’”
  • The future of compliance is all about data. Quality data – creatively gathered, parsed, modeled and tested – is the spelunking, mining, and refining of the digital age.
  • In an MIT Sloan Management Review article, entitled “Is Your Company Ready for a Digital Future?”, authors Peter Weill and Stephanie L. Woerner explore some strategies that businesses can use to boost efficiency in the digital future, each applying equally to a corporate compliance function.
  • Weill and Woerner suggest four different solutions; Tom gives a summary of three of them:
    1. Standardize platforms: Build a digital platform with a feedback loop that can deliver compliance solutions to your employees and provide you with continuous data on how to improve the system.
    2. Improve employee experience by operationalizing compliance: Utilize non-compliance concepts such as mobile apps and access to more useful websites in order to improve compliance communications through a greater speak up culture and empowering relationship managers.
    3. Tie the operationalization of compliance to the business objectives: If you can build the compliance function into the business unit in a way that streamlines the process and prevent siloing, your company will not only be more compliance but will reduce costs and increase efficiency, thus increasing profitability.
  • Whichever road you take towards the digital future, you’ll need support from the top brass and all other critical stakeholders who know what’s what. And remember, the compliance landscape will constantly be shifting in the coming years. If you can’t innovate to keep up, you might be left behind.

Resources/links

Is Your Company Ready for a Digital Future? by Peter Weill and Stephanie L. Woerner

Why Compliance Programs Fail—and How to Fix Them by Hui Chen and Eugene Soltes

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