Geopolitics, the coming regulatory storm, and
the digital transformation of procurement, supplier management, legal and risk functions.
There is little need for a reminder of the increasing compliance burden companies are facing, both in the UK and overseas. Look only toward the websites of the large players in recruitment and you'll see 'compliance' sat proudly in place of the former favourites. But, there is perhaps a need for a contextual wake up call for those charged with ensuring organisations and systems supporting them make proactive compliance-led change before the coming regulatory storm. And that is before we know the full extent of action that governments and regulators will take using the excuse of Covid-19 recovery...
The end of the transitional period marking the UK's departure from the EU is breathtakingly close, and yet, in no part helped by the pandemic or the lack of progress on agreement for the terms of the continuing relationship. Companies are still grossly unprepared for the changes that may impact them and the pivots they will need to make. Add into this mix the fact that many of those same companies are now (perhaps reluctantly) recognising the need to consider a further pivot in the direction of e-commerce, and one can begin to see the makings of a perfect storm.
We lay compliance risk for e-commerce companies out in two tracks, namely 'consumer protection compliance', including data protection, advertising, transaction rights, user generated content, and payment related; and 'business relations compliance', including supply chain integrity, tax, financial compliance, and competition law. And that is taking aside sector specific compliance risks for digital media companies or suppliers of financial or otherwise regulated services.
That is a lot of compliance.
So... we have uncertainty over the terms governing trade with our largest trading partner, an unstable (hopefully not hostile but that rather depends on how those agreement talks go) political landscape within which companies may well be operating for the foreseeable future, the critical mass of a workforce that has had a short time to get used to working remotely (and will probably be doing so a lot more in the coming months and beyond), and companies reactively pivoting into previously unchartered territory.
Yet, procurement systems don't speak to legal systems, supplier management systems are excel spreadsheets, integration and oversight of those systems on an end-to-end basis is scrappy at best.
Other 'compliance' related processes rely heavily on manual input and actions from individuals in silo's, and the uptake of new and helpful technologies (or adaption of existing ones) to pull all of these things together in a meaningful and future proof way, automating and leveraging technology where possible, and thus getting ready for change, is still poor.
It is time to wake up, all the headcount in the land won't lead to the kind of efficiency needed to weather the storms heading our way in the coming months and years.
It's time to look hard at the obligations you have, map them against what you are doing to comply with them right now, and think deeply about how those obligations could change. Then work through the scenarios of what you need to do in order to adapt and meet those changes.
We don't think you'll like what you see.
We are certain you will need to adapt what you are doing, digitally and transformationally, to ensure you are ahead of the game, compliant, and prepared to identify and implement rapid and efficient change in order to stay compliant.
Drop us a line
Let us prepare you for what comes next.