The start of a new year always puts pressure on corporate compliance teams. New regulations hit. Personnel at key agencies change, and enforcement strategies shift as well. While a hectic January is common, 2020 is shaping up to be particularly eventful because of three key trends that compliance teams must tackle in order to keep their organizations on the right side of regulators.
From my 25 years of experience in high tech, I know that legacy processes might not be able to survive during this shift in compliance today. Here are the trends I see developing as we move into the next decade:
Compliance Trend #1: Consumer Privacy Goes Global And Local
Why It's A Big Deal: From the multinational level (e.g., the possible expansion of the ePrivacy Directive in Europe) to the state level (e.g., the CCPA), businesses will need to cope with a confusing array of regulatory changes, including new consumer privacy laws. Businesses should regard this as a preview of coming regulations.
Multiple national- and state-level regulatory bodies are considering rolling out their own versions of these laws, which can have far-reaching implications. For example, the CCPA offers broad protection to California residents, so even if you think you conduct no business in California, you may still need to comply due to third-party vendor or partner relationships.
An Obstacle That Must Be Hurdled: Legacy baggage. Legacy compliance management systems (CMS) were designed for a pre-recession reality, yet many of these tools are still widely in use, especially in the midmarket.
Legacy approaches to compliance management are either entirely manual and home-grown or are based on CMS systems, architected as monolithic tools and designed for specialized consultant-led teams who would implement them horizontally across the economy. This year, the obsolescence of home-grown solutions and legacy CMS tools will elevate risks. With data privacy laws spreading from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the manual processes these tools rely on may fail to keep up with regulatory requirements.
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