By Alex Overcash, Senior Product Manager, RegEd
Preparation is key in replacing your compliance technology
Budgeting for, and going through the selection process is just the first step along the journey toward improving the efficiency of your overall compliance program while minimizing the risk of non-compliance. At the point where you’ve decided to replace your compliance technology and have selected your provider or decided to build, it will be time for some important considerations.
Allow sufficient time for planning!
Navigating the process of upgrading or replacing your compliance technology can be a daunting task, and can often expose your firm to an increased risk of non-compliance during the transition. Taking the time to properly plan and prepare is an important and often overlooked step prior to beginning the migration to your new system.
Evaluate current processes with rigor
While an important consideration, many firms mistakenly aim to configure their new technology solutions to match existing processes and procedures without considering how to introduce improvements to the overall compliance workflow. A new implementation is a prime opportunity to zero-base your current process and evolve to a new one that is ideally suited to your firm’s current needs.
While familiar, aged processes can inhibit the opportunity to leverage the capabilities of evolving technology to introduce new efficiencies to your program. Now is the time to review your P&P’s, how they are supported by your process, and identify key areas of focus to ensure your new solution can alleviate the bottlenecks and risk areas while allowing ease of supervision. Collaborate with your stakeholders to determine the optimal structure of your hierarchy and permissions to ease the process of supervision.
Ensure key stakeholder participation through every step of the way
Some of the most successful implementations are the result of close collaboration between various departments including legal, compliance, financial professionals, and Human Resources to name a few.
As part of the vendor selection process, current pain points should be identified and reviewed by all key stakeholders. As part of the implementation plan, consider bringing the group back together in order to map out your optimal process flow and work with your vendor to achieve that goal.
RegEd’s experienced implementation team will partner with you along every step of the way to help ensure your compliance program is optimized for your specific needs, and can share best practices gleaned from hundreds of prior implementations.
Ensure your configuration solves existing pain points
Firms often have multiple, disparate systems in place, some of which are loosely integrated and many that are standalone or manual processes – with no integration with the overall compliance platform.
By utilizing RegEd’s ever-growing library of API’s and import/export capabilities we can assist you in integrating these various systems with your compliance program to improve efficiency, accuracy and relevance of your data. Areas of consideration include which systems are currently linked, which ones are not but need to be, and how often they need to be synchronized. Some solutions may require near real-time updates, whereas some may be better suited for nightly data feeds or even monthly. Each of these decisions should be evaluated based on need, as they will ultimately impact the responsiveness of your overall solution.
Common side effects of disparate systems are duplication of data, erroneous information and loss of historical information for record keeping purposes. Prior to upgrading your overall compliance solutions, it is best to take the time to resolve duplicate information and erroneous data ahead of making the transition, as well to back up all necessary records to maintain regulatory compliance.
Third-party solutions and services are available to ease the process, as this may involve systems and databases outside of the compliance arena that are often complex. It is also important to work with your incumbent technology solution provider to export as much information as possible to preserve the integrity and continuity of your data to assure proper record keeping and compliance.
Take steps to baseline your existing system and note current turnaround times, time to market, responsiveness to regulatory change, risk mitigation, financial professional satisfaction, and other key measurables as determined by your firm so that you can properly measure your return on technology investment (ROI) as compared to your previous solution.
Once you have determined your optimal process and made decisions on any proposed changes to your current workflow, you will be better prepared to make decisions on your technology configuration in collaboration with the technology implementation team.
Resource and budget for success
Resourcing is another challenge to consider when planning your technology overhaul. It is important to involve all key stakeholders and decision makers from the beginning, as bringing them in later can delay your project schedule, or worse – negatively impact the configuration of your solution. Your firm will need to coordinate with your technology vendor on project planning, timing to minimize operational disruption, key stakeholder milestones, required internal technology resources and plans for user training.
A dedicated internal project management resource can significantly reduce disruption to your operations and speed the process while ensuring your compliance team doesn’t lose sight of their primary duties. It is also important to thoroughly review all provided collateral to ensure informed decisions support your vision. RegEd offers extensive, specific training for end users, compliance staff, and other key stakeholders that covers both end-to-end system navigation know how, as well as shared best practices on operational efficiency.
Ensure your new solution is sustainable
A successful, sustainable compliance solution requires evolution, continuous innovation, support and growth in an ever-changing regulatory environment. It is of ultimate importance to plan and budget for the support and maintenance of your system in subsequent years to ensure a positive ROI. Having a ‘seat at the table’ with your technology vendor to discuss and review decisions on the technology roadmap will ensure your voice is heard so your solutions continue to support the particular needs of your compliance program.
For further information on the resources and solutions available to assist you in achieving your technology vision contact RegEd at firstname.lastname@example.org.