Technology News, Tips and Tricks

Teaching Tech: What is Compliance Management Software?

The software of today market is overflowing with business tools.

This rapid proliferation is a driving force behind boom across industry sectors, but there is a catch to it.  It’s called compliance management.

We are talking about different forms of compliances that a business organization must uphold. This is no small task because the rules are diverse and encompass legislation, as well as a variety of internal and external standards. 

The good news though, is that technology has simplified this endeavor. Having a dedicated software program makes our lives much easier. With it in your arsenal, you can stay on top of requirements and navigate a minefield of risks.

Compliance Management in a Nutshell

Compliance management refers to the ongoing process of planning, organizing, and managing compliance with laws, industry norms, and standards.

These rules of the game form the compliance benchmark. Grasping it is a starting point for any compliance management process.

It’s the responsibility of companies to enforce these rules and take on the following responsibilities:

  • Internal/third-party audits
  • Security procedures and control
  • Reporting and support documentation
  • Creation and implementation of compliance policies

From Theory to Practice

The first practical step is to conduct a thorough risk assessment and competitor analysis (through compliance lens).

After that is sorted out, you can put together a compliance checklist and set up a reporting and recordkeeping framework.

If you struggle to understand what compliance is and entails, don’t hesitate to seek external experts and advice. This is a sound course of action, especially in particularly sensitive matters.

Take the example of NIST 800-171 (Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations) requirements. This set of guidelines applies to all instances of federal data processing in nonfederal systems (by third-parties).

Here, experts can provide actionable tips and recommendations on confidentiality of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). They enable you to establish a system security plan for processing, storing, and transmitting data.  

Harnessing the Power of Tech

Going about compliance management manually is a nightmare.

Fortunately, in the age of Big Data, we can leverage software solutions to foster workplace automation. This process streamlines repetitive tasks such as data tracking and reduces the burden on human employees.  

Instead of piles of paperwork, there is one central database, where all critical information regarding compliance is stored. This company-wide pool of intelligence is instantly accessible to all employees.

Sophisticated algorithms do the heavy lifting, accounting for individual codes of conduct and internal operating procedures. Reporting and management information suites facilitate decision-making.

All you have to do is log in and issue a request.  Based on complex calculations, the system returns an answer, which can come in the form of approval or denial.

In some cases, the software forwards the request to the responsible manager, which tends to warrant further investigation.

Key Software Considerations

The trickiest part is choosing the right piece of software.

To make strides towards an educated decision, you want to first figure out the key features. Here, we would implore you to focus on robust reporting, monitoring, and investigation suites. Don’t overlook security, backup, and tech requirements either.

Next, decide what type of web hosting you want, an onsite or offsite hosting (cloud). Weigh their specific pros and cons— the former gives complete control, while the latter is less costly.

Assess how well a solution can integrate with an existing system such as HR. That will enable you to crosscheck requests with existing internal data. At the same time, you may want to ensure software draws from public sources like news feeds.

Lastly, look for scalable solutions that can serve you for years to come. Feel free to ask the vendor for demos, references, and software roadmap. Evaluate the level of support and training vendor provides.

Making It Work for You

Once you select the tool, you need to oversee compliance implementation.

To avoid hiccups and bottlenecks, get a decisive buy-in from corporate leadership. Explain the value of prevention and magnitude of risk. Compliance may not fit in the standard ROI equation, but the stakes are as high as they can be.

Not playing by the rules bears the risk of tarnishing your reputation and severing relationships with the customers.

So, keep an eye on blatant and severe cases of non-compliance, such as jeopardizing workplace health and safety. Detect anomalies in behavior, backward trends, and questionable activities early on. 

Finally, bear in mind that software doesn’t eliminate human involvement. Provide compliance training, onboarding blueprints, and task specifications to all employees. Empower compliance teams to work at peak efficiency and closely work with IT consultants.

Following these steps, you should be able to operate ethically and with supreme integrity. 

On the Same Page, on the Safe Side  

In this day and age, compliance management is not optional.

It is the utmost necessity, a ubiquitous standard for companies of all shapes and sizes.

To come on top of all the requirements, put a functional system in place. Enlist top-down support and make sure compliance benchmark stays on top of everyone’s mind. Address incidents promptly and act in the best interest of your business and its clients.

Your efforts should pay dividends in the long run. Among other things, effective compliance management trims costs and minimizes the risks related to non-compliance.

So, it’s time to cherry-pick your fully-automated tool and get ahead of the game!  

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