William Webster

written by

William Webster

Researcher, Avoncourt Partners GmbH

Culture Blog - Jan 15, 2018

The Road Ahead: Artificial Intelligence will assist in regulatory compliance

Organizations of all sizes are facing growing pressure to improve performance. They are expected to drive efficiency, sales and profits, while cutting costs and upholding corporate integrity. And there are ever-increasing risks which are taking corporations by surprise, for example the growing number of cyber attacks, and the fast-changing polemics on the political landscape.

Businesses are increasingly seeing the value of managing everything under one umbrella. Twenty years ago, each department was typically bogged down with sets of regulations and rules. These were often siloed departmentally and held different standards for different areas. Nowadays, businesses form a Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) body, providing a single centralized process and empowering organizations to more easily control and manage internal and external factors that may impact the enterprise. With a centralized repository of data, businesses determine potential issues and new opportunities, and decide at the high levels how to react.

Compliance Design with Line Icons

With GRC covering so much ground, the amount of data being collected by companies is causing unclarity. Huge complex sets of structured and unstructured data need to be combed through and analyzed in order to separate actionable information from ‘white noise’.

The amount of data will only keep growing as the world becomes more connected, and this increases the chances of mistakes being made. In many cases, cyber security is still departmentalized and seen as the duty of the IT team. Instead, it needs to be incorporated into each enterprise’s overall risk structure. This ensures that risk is considered within all processes, and damaging effects can be mitigated. Employees are capable of sharing sensitive data on open social media. Cardholder payment information has become a toxic asset for companies and they need to monitor closely how this information is managed by their employees. Artificial intelligence is able to recognize erroneous, and even malevolent, employee behavior and to recommend corrective action.

Left and right human brain with social infographic on logical side. Creative half and logic half of human mind.

As technology advances and machine learning improves, the potential margin for error will diminish and companies will be able to manage the entire GRC function with just a handful of employees. This is a stark contrast to the current set-up in some multi-national firms which employ hundreds of workers with the sole task of data collection.

Firms will become better equipped to manage unexpected risks, and won’t be left completely vulnerable to rapid changes in the market or industry trends. 

Ultimately, as businesses face greater pressure to deliver against a backdrop of evolving risks, more advanced GRC technology will become necessary. There are great developments, for example the Haifa-based Sherlock Garden. Companies can now begin to rely on a single process and point of reference, ensuring that they are better prepared for the expected and, more importantly, the unexpected.