R&C: In broad terms, what benefits can automation bring to a company’s compliance programmes and systems?

Nash: Simply put, automation increases efficiencies and effectiveness. Efficiency is the most recognised benefit of automation as once-manual processes are now being streamlined without the time and strain on compliance officers. However, the benefit I find most impactful is increased effectiveness. Automated technologies allow a finite team of compliance professionals to not only process but also better understand larger amounts of data and to reveal behavioural patterns that can better focus their efforts. For instance, sexual harassment in the workplace is reaching an inflection point in the media. This tells us something is obviously going on – increased incidents of harassment, better understanding of what harassment is and growing confidence to report by victims. Whatever it is, there are patterns here. With automation, compliance programmes are able to identify these same trends in a much more granular and regional way within organisations. That is because technology is much better at comparative analysis than people. So when people integrate technology properly into their compliance programmes, these programmes are then equipped to be proactive in their responses to large patterns, instead of reactive to individual issues.

Jan-Mar 2018 Issue

NAVEX Global

Novartis International AG

Quarles & Brady LLP

Siemens AG

Walmart International