compliance officer using compliance technology platform

A Cease and Desist to Decentralized Compliance Technology Programs

Let’s paint the picture. Your team, tired of manual processes and working hours upon hours in an excel spreadsheet, decided it was time to invest in some kind of regulatory technology. You did your research and selected a one-off compliance solution, or maybe you outsourced a particularly tricky aspect of your compliance program.  All in the name of solving your most critical compliance issues.

Fast-forward a year or two and you’ve found yourself with a completely decentralized compliance ecosystem, with multiple solutions and teams handling various aspects of your program – bouncing in and out of different tools and excel sheets all day long.

Sound familiar?

That right there is the trap so many compliance teams have fallen into: decentralized compliance programs.

On the surface, investing in a one-off solution or compliance technology appears to be a perfect steppingstone. It solves your specific challenge, and it often appears to be cost effective. However, the trouble is, compliance, with all its intricacies and nuances, is in and of itself an integrated process requiring an integrated solution…or an ecosystem of solutions which speak to each other, sharing data and critical information between platforms.

As a small team, it sometimes seems difficult to make the jump from manual to automated in one go. But often times, those who take small steps with multiple one-off solutions end up with a hodge-podge of solutions that actually make their life even more difficult.

What’s the Problem with Disjointed Compliance Technology?

According to 70% of compliance professionals, new rules and regulations are creating a greater need for automated solutions. Which means your team might be considering a point solution or outsourced team as a band aid to current headaches. But before you get too far into your process, let’s dive into why you might not want to go down the path of decentralization.

Problem 1: The Siloes

If data is being collected in one or more solutions, but those same solutions aren’t speaking to each other, it likely won’t take long for data siloes to create compliance risks within your organization. In order for a technology or software to actually help your compliance team, it needs to be integrated with every aspect your team is involved in. Which means no siloes.

Problem 2: The Continued Reliance on Excel

One-off solutions are great at solving the problem they specifically address, but what about the other 32 challenges you face in a day. They stay right where you left them…in Excel.

Problem 3: The Lack of Configuration and Scalability

It can be difficult for niche solutions to address the entirety of a firm’s needs. Which, in more than one case, has resulted in a kind of Frankenstein amalgamation of solutions – decentralizing your processes across a multitude of separate, disparate systems.

So now, instead of spending countless days in Excel, your team is suddenly spending their days logging in and out of systems that don’t speak to each other and gathering a slew of information and data to help move their projects along.

And who is responsible for somehow manually integrating all of that information (probably by exporting everything to Excel and creating your own reports)? That’s right, the compliance team.

Not quite the result you were hoping for when you first started talking automation, right?

On top of which, should you ever need to change or reconfigure your process, that task now involves adapting multiple solutions and technologies. Talk about a headache.

Plus, if you’re only using a solution once a year (say for an annual compliance need), team members likely won’t recognize or remember the specific compliance technology or platform…and any critical emails from said technology partner will be swiftly disregarded as spam.

Conclusion

Now this is not to say there will never be a use case for point solutions, like we said before, they can be a great solve to your more niche compliance challenges. But it’s important to remember, point solutions were designed for one specific point. And in today’s modern (and evolving) regulatory landscape, firms need to be considering the broader picture of compliance.

Ready to see what real automation can do? Discover the ComplySci difference.