We all know there is no choice – compliance to many of the regulatory frameworks are guided by the various laws of countries or shared laws for trading blocks and international agreements. Few sectors today are light on or without governance, and those that do belong to this category are most likely still informal and in the process of being formalised and regulated. This, in essence, is one of the bedrocks of a functioning contemporary society.
The demand on every contemporary commercial operation is to be able to remain competitive in a very dynamic market and so change, it seems, is ever present and ever demanding, not to be escaped. However, it is also a typical trait of many organisations – and, more specifically, the human makeup – to rather remain fixed in patterns and behaviours that have been proven through life experience to be effective.
Once a rhythm is established and an organisational ecosystem has crystallised, it can often become predictably resistant to change. It is here that an every-changing regulatory obligation is beneficial (although not necessarily comfortable). Whilst changing market conditions might be noticed in a business, it often does not provide enough pressure for an organisational adaptation (or at the speed to remain competitive), and such businesses remain trapped in commercial inertia.
Famously, Kodak remained resistant to an in-house prototype of a digital camera and this well-known example lead to a huge loss of what later became a global standard in photography. Regulatory requirements for organisations to change to become or remain compliant are of course different to normal changing trade and market conditions because they are legal obligations imposed on businesses operating within the relevant market, and therefore leave no choice but to comply or face penalties, prosecution or other legal sanctions.
Non-compliance can, in many contexts, often extend not only to the business but can also be levied against the individual responsible decision-makers. Implications of non-compliance can have consequences which range from a mild reminder and a wrap over the knuckles to an impact so severe that it could cause permanent damage and potential ruin to a business or even an industry, for reasons such as cashflow restrictions, imposed trade sanctions, and reputational damage – to name a few.
Consider this: the kind of forced change to be regulatory compliant to regulations can actually be a benefit in many regards. Below is a brief summary of some key aspects where this benefit can be incorporated into your organisational spend and strategic plans to achieve compliance changes:
Many good examples can be found across many industries where historical high risks abounded, until regulations were introduced to reduce and in some cases – eliminate – what sometimes amounted to serious injury, impact to quality of life, or death, to workers, communities or consumers of certain products or services of those historical organisations.
In fact, if regulations were not in place, life would be very difficult as ordinary consumers would be vulnerable to the point of daily exploitation and harm being inflicted on them as a result of our highly connected and digital world.
So, the case for framing regulatory changes has been sketched and the suggestion to make good use of the compulsory changes that compliance bring is that it be seen as an opportunity to do broader improvements and create strategic currency in your business. However, one element is absolutely indispensable in enabling businesses to become and remain compliant through the evolution of the various requirements, and that is the role of technology.
Specifically, it will be cardinal that your business benefit from scalability and flexibility of systems so that your changing processes and operational environments do not misalign with what your solution has been designed to do. Rather, a good solution – take a workflow or case management platform such as FLOW – has to be able to mold and flex to continue to provide the value and operational backbone for which it is intended, as the regulatory landscapes continually become more sophisticated and circumspect.
Not only will your business stay on the right side of compliance with all the benefits of cost avoidance and the right to have brag value for your brand to customers, but it will continue to legitimise your business and its trading right in a very competitive environment, build trust with consumers, suppliers and other interested organisations around your own which make up your ecosystem, as well as provide you with improved operational costs on your bottom line through being cost-effective to keep aligned and change it to your developing needs.
In addition, a workflow and case management solution such as FLOW must also future proof your business in that it must be able to seamlessly integrate with both existing and new technologies and systems that your business uses, as well as stay able to provide enhanced value through ease of use and customer and user-centric design and functions. Additionally, it is a core requirement to demonstrate compliance to various regulators and for this, a solution such as FLOW performs well in that it provides dynamic, configurable, and specific reporting outputs tailored to provide you with the necessary data to demonstrate continued evidence of compliance.
As an example, it is very able to provide case management functionality of your client base, provide you with set regulatory triggers and management flags for any client maintenance or interventions required for regulatory compliance (such as keeping your KYC information fresh and up to date without having to inconvenience clients because your records are not kept well, or automation of consuming customer data is not automated and has to be manually given by your customers in regular intervals) and many other customer portfolios related management functions.
Allowing your business the freedom to evolve to changing and increasingly sophisticated ways to understand your world, your customers and their needs, and your greater ecosystem is not negotiable for any organisation wishing to remain competitive and relevant in the changing world where it operates. However, this will not be possible if your technology solutions do not provide the flexible and scalable framework needed for this, whilst still remaining reliable and robust to manage your workflow and operational processes and automate many functions currently manually done.
FLOW is designed to provide you with this value, and it allows space and functionality to continue to support and enable you with your digitisation needs in order to optimally deliver your core value proposition to your market, without the constraint of being held back by an inability to operationally achieve this in a digitised solution space