Kaelyn Barron Image
Kaelyn Barron
Senior Specialist

Uniting governance, risk and compliance: The power of a centralized platform

August 21, 2023
0 min read
board members managing grc from a single digital platform

Keeping up with rapid-fire regulatory changes on both national and regional levels can be overwhelming — even for fully staffed compliance and risk teams. The pace of regulatory change seems to accelerate daily, as enterprises continue to expand their digital infrastructures and governments scramble to mitigate cybercrime.

Organizations know they need to get better at understanding emerging risks and identifying budding opportunities in real time. But the answer isn’t more data; the typical organization is increasingly drowning in data. Rather, GRC leaders need the right data — and the ability to turn it into actionable insights for better decisions.

Why “reactive” compliance and risk management approaches no longer work

Data privacy and cybersecurity are not the only drivers of significant regulatory change. For example, in the U.S., the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to finalize new rules requiring public companies to disclose risks that are “reasonably likely to have a material impact on their business, results of operations, or financial condition.” The new rules will also require disclosure of “information about direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1) and indirect emissions from purchased electricity or other forms of energy (Scope 2),” as well as certain types of GHG emissions “from upstream and downstream activities in its value chain.”

Data privacy and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting certainly are compliance headliners as we move into 2024. But the list also includes new regulations regarding pay equity, money laundering, worker safety and a host of others.

Given the volume of these new regulations, the pace of change and the variability from one region to another, one thing is clear: The old “reactive” approach to compliance and risk management will not work. Compliance today is not just about keeping the company “out of trouble.” Compliance in the modern context should not be viewed as a series of manual acts conducted at specific times. Instead, businesses must aim for a proactive state of “constant compliance,” and the factors driving compliance should also drive the business.

The measurable business value of proactive or “continuous” compliance

Proactive or continuous compliance requires constant monitoring of relevant regulations, real-time verification of adherence to those laws, and the ability to scale up compliance operations in the event of mergers, acquisitions, new partnerships or other significant changes.

Of course, making the transition from reactive to continuous compliance requires access to new and better data. The problem? The world generates about 329 terabytes of new data every day. On a more local level, chances are that your organization is generating three times more data this year than it did in 2019. You are drowning in data. Some of it is critical to your compliance and risk strategies, but most of it is irrelevant.

You need the right data, not more data

One way to ensure that you have access to meaningful data is by developing a process for how it comes into the enterprise. As data is acquired or generated, automated tools can help you determine whether it needs to be retained —and if so, for how long. Advanced platforms will also allow you to clearly tag data, so you can quickly find and retrieve it when needed.

Modern analytics tools make it easy to cut through irrelevant information and find accurate data quickly. Without such tools, there is simply no way compliance and risk teams can achieve the level of speed and agility needed to create a culture of continuous compliance — or turn compliance and risk management into growth drivers for the business.

Why you need to move beyond point solutions

Another issue clouding the management of compliance data is the proliferation of point solutions throughout the enterprise. Over time, almost every organization has accumulated a sprawl of digital tools. In a vacuum, each one was acquired to solve a particular data management problem. But, over time, these tools simply created data silos that make it almost impossible to manage, access or share accurate data.

The proliferation of point solutions prevents compliance and risk teams from creating a single source of truth. It also creates redundant work and prohibits modern digital workflows. Gaps between these systems also result in lost data — or, perhaps worse, widespread use and sharing of inaccurate or outdated information.

Moreover, a collection of point solutions inhibits the concept of continuous compliance and creates a series of manual tasks for compliance and risk teams. This makes compliance a series of isolated (and slow) events, rather than an effective and real-time workflow.

The power of a single shared platform

Deploying a shared platform for governance, risk, audit and ESG reporting enables the ideal state of continuous compliance — and provides your organization with a single source of truth. It breaks downs data silos, integrates your data streams, and gives you the ability to generate reports automatically and apply sophisticated analytics to generate deeper insights, faster.

Replacing a collection of point solutions with a single, consolidated platform also reduces software costs and eliminates the need for additional third-party resources. It allows compliance and risk teams to automate manual processes, such as the creation of status reports and monitoring of regulatory changes. It also allows you to prioritize the regulatory obligations most relevant to your organization with a structured, rigorous and evidence-based risk assessment methodology.

Turning compliance and risk management into business drivers

The compliance and risk landscapes are clearly awash in change. Regulations are evolving faster than ever, cyberthreats are becoming more ubiquitous, and enterprise data is being generated at amazing speeds and volumes. Perhaps the most significant development, however, is the changing role of compliance and risk management.

Successful organizations are already building cultures of continuous compliance. Their compliance and risk leaders are transforming their roles — from individuals tasked with keeping the organization out of trouble to strategic leaders who show the C-suite, board and other company leaders how to turn compliance and risk into high-value business drivers.

Technology is the foundation for building this new culture of continuous compliance. A modern, integrated platform for governance, risk, audit and ESG reporting is critical to making sense of the massive amounts of data flowing into the organization, leveraging it to drive strategic insights, and creating an accurate source of truth for the enterprise.

Diligent helps organizations of all sizes make this essential technology transformation to a single platform for compliance and risk management. It's purpose-built to provide unprecedented clarity on governance, risk and compliance — capturing relevant data from any information source, surfacing meaningful insights and automating processes in a single source, so directors, leaders and executives can make better, more informed decisions to achieve their purpose, faster. Learn more about what Diligent can do for you by scheduling your demo today.


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