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Rapid technological advancements have brought in changes in all sectors of business. All businesses are hurriedly reinventing their business models in order to conform to the needs of digital customers. With this rapid expansion, the roles and responsibilities of the top management are changing drastically. With increased business opportunities due to digitalization, the risks associated have also increased multifold. Digital strategies pose enormous challenges that companies must acknowledge to address in order to ensure regulatory compliance. IT has become pervasive in both the professional as well as personal lives and with this it has become a challenge to operate businesses within regulatory framework.

Changes in the world of compliance
Digitalization in any sector brings technological advancements creating opportunities within and outside the business. Companies need to act proactively in order to take advantage of these opportunities created because of digitalization in order to gain competitive advantage. However, risks associated with cyber-security, privacy concerns over going digital and failures of compliance towards increasing number of regulations has also increased tremendously.

 What most businesses fail to achieve is integrating digitalization not just in the products they deliver but also incorporating digitalization in the way they operate their internal business. A survey report by Deloitte Benchmark says that more than 80% of the survey takers estimate that digitalization will bring in a change in nature of compliance and the tooling of compliance. GRC tools like VComply are making compliance in businesses more flexible and adaptive. Staying compliant through digitalization has led compliance to become less boring and daunting for the top management. Changes in the role of a compliance officer

There is a divided opinion on whether digitalization in this sector will make the function of a compliance officer obsolete or not. In the same survey, Deloitte Benchmark explores that 33% of all survey takers think that compliance officers will need to have IT and data analytics expertise to keep track of compliance in the advent of digitalization. Including IT and data analytics skills with their preceding skills will only substantiate the opportunities generated due to digitalization in the compliance sector. Financial Service Industry seems to have the most positive view towards digitalization being a compliance enabler.

Concerns over Digitalization
With increasing flexibility and adaptiveness being brought in due to digitalization, there is also a perceived risk over going digital. Concerns about cyber security, data privacy, data protection and ICT integrity are dominantly prevalent across all businesses. These concerns, however valid, must be dealt with a changed outlook towards digitalization. There must be a shift in perspective from data concerns to leveraging data to advantage. Businesses must put greater emphasis on selecting right data from different business units in order to use digitalization to their benefit to improve compliance. Digitalization will empower businesses to use more adaptive compliant policies, procedures, training materials and so on.

There is also a concern that digitalization will lead to focus on hard controls to mitigate compliance risks. Data and IT offer great opportunities but cultural aspects and personal integrity and brand equity in a business must not be neglected and forgotten. There is an increased need in businesses now to define a balance between soft and hard controls without overdoing control.

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