Technology Help Companies Stay Compliant During COVID-19

Tuesday 11/08/2020 - 5:14

Ways that an enterprise can leverage technology — quickly and with a minimum of pain — to mitigate some of the impacts that COVID-19 has created. Especially in the areas of risk management and regulatory compliance.

Here are some examples where certain technology solutions are being applied to battle back the effects of the outbreak on business-as-usual.

Workflow Automation

Why have Legal Operations units and risk management teams increasingly turned to workflow automation? For the efficiency and agility it provides, of course, but also because it has the potential to minimise human error.

At a time like this, a business may be particularly vulnerable to any mistakes that can affect compliance, or create issues within vital legal processes, such as contract management or litigation.

Another aspect of workflow automation that’s particularly noteworthy right now is how the best of these platforms allow secure remote collaboration between staff, stakeholders, and customers.

Workflows have already been drafted and released by providers that are targeted specifically at automating processes that are key to operations during the pandemic.

Policy Management

Thanks to COVID-19, policy managers have had to react in real time in order to revise company policies and procedures to meet the new demands they’re faced with, or have had to quickly communicate existing policies and capture attestations.

Doing so using traditional manual methods isn’t efficient in terms of either cost or time when your employees are scattered to their homes, and the bigger the organization, the less feasible it becomes.

Policy management software, especially if SaaS-based and designed around user-friendliness for administrators and employees alike, can help solve the issue.

Policies can be quickly drawn up or modified in collaboration among the right decision-makers, then distributed electronically.

Another nuance is how policies that are specific to certain roles can be developed and distributed only to those staffers.

To assure timely attestation, these systems incorporate automatic reminders, and will also escalate non-responses to the appropriate supervisors for a more pointed followup.

What’s another benefit of automated policy management systems at the high end of the performance spectrum?

They make tracking, analyzing, and reporting the status of a policy initiative far quicker and easier, and can help risk managers spot compliance problems even before they happen.

Shadow IT Management

Many enterprises don’t have a handle on how many End User Computing (EUC) spreadsheets and other digital assets exist across their organizations.

These are the documents an employee may create using applications or tools that aren’t part of a company’s core IT, so they’re effectively outside of IT’s control.

Together, they make up “Shadow IT,” and are vital to everyday operations, but can also present serious issues.

Now that employees are working remotely, you can imagine how that might ratchet up the risk level, since a company’s business intelligence, operations, and regulatory compliance can all be affected by the data contained in EUCs.

A Shadow IT management solution can identify these hidden spreadsheets and digital assets, and enter them in a central inventory so managers gain critical governance.

They can also, in the best cases, automatically assess the risk levels posed by these assets, triaging them so managers can take appropriate action.

Technology is not, by itself, a panacea for all the difficulties created by disruption on the scale of COVID-19, but, applied in the right instances and in concert with the right processes and people to lead the effort, it can be much more than just a bandaid.

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