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Owing to the benefit galore that it promises business, building your corporate culture around adherence to compliance is a necessity. A culture of compliance reduces the chances that your business will have to deal with non-compliance fines. It also protects you from most non-compliant risks, from the risk of data loss to the loss of compliance-conscious customers.
While compliance officers are essential to run a smooth compliance program, the role of the IT department in achieving compliance cannot be gainsaid. Ideally, IT teams ensure that your business can be active in meeting regulatory requirements, instead of reactive. You can not only identify risks proactively but also approach compliance from an agile perspective.
Here is the pivotal role IT plays in achieving compliance:
Tracking The Different Policies
Policy management is an essential part of compliance. Conventionally, businesses used to rely on paper-based systems to track policies, but this was rife with errors. From losing vital information to forgetting about vital policies in the decision-making process, relying on such methods can make compliance tough. Luckily, IT departments can help the business comply better by implementing policy tracking software.
For instance, in the case of employee training, the software stores data concerning the trained employees, signatures from these employees, the specifics of the training, and any other aspects that need to be added to the training programs. You can store and distribute policies easily throughout your organization and increase the chances of compliance by ensuring your IT department is involved. The more proof you have that non-compliance was a mistake, the lower the penalty you can incur.
Enjoy Smooth Data Governance
Data is a pivotal part of running today’s business. In terms of compliance, some regulations might require you to be careful with how you store your data. For instance, you need to show that you have the necessary internal controls to prove that you are compliant with SOX. This means protecting your data from unauthorized access by employees.
The IT department will have a vital role in ensuring this. It can help to implement the internal controls necessary to protect and store data safely. Ideally, the team can be in charge of investing in data protection software and encrypting data when necessary. In the case of SOX compliance, they can also help ensure that the data’s integrity remains unaltered. In a nutshell, the IT department can help track your data throughout its lifetime with your business and implement the necessary controls to ensure compliance.
Investing In The Right Software For Compliance
Sure, some software might come with features that make compliance easier, but this isn’t always the case for highly regulated industries. Some requirements might be unique to certain businesses within the industry, requiring software that is customized. For instance, in the medical field, it is essential to use payroll solutions that can help deal with shift pay differentials. In the construction industry, some businesses might need to use tools that ease the burden of calculating and reporting certificate and multi-union pay needs.
Such slight differences between software choices draw the line between costly lawsuits and your peace of mind. Since your business will work with a bevy of software, it is essential to ensure that they are regulatory-friendly. Ideally, this is a role that your IT department can do best.
You can rely on the team to pick out software that completely complements your compliance needs. They can also carry out an internal audit to identify if the current tools your business uses are effective enough, or if better tools exist out there. Eventually, this approach to software purchases ensures that you maximize your ROI from the same software.
Non-compliance incidents, when spotted early, can be a goldmine for insights. They can expose errors in how your approach compliance, which could easily have led to fines or the loss of customers and investors. This allows the business to learn from its own mistakes, as well as cut the cost of catering to these issues.
However, responding to such incidents might require the involvement of technology, a space in which IT departments thrive. Ideally, all involved parties need to work in collaboration with each other to make it easy to track any incident. This might require investment in the right software for collaboration.
You will also need to follow a document trail to identify where things went wrong. When resolved, it might be essential to keep an account of the solutions chosen as well as their effectiveness in preventing the incident from happening once more in the future. Luckily, IT can help with all these issues. Your business will be armed with the necessary tools to keep tabs on compliance incidents and respond quickly and effectively.
When it comes to industry regulation, remaining in good legal standing is essential. The tools you use to inform and improve your compliance status should be effective enough, as well as user-friendly. The trick is to involve the IT department in picking the right software for an easy time adhering to compliance requirements.