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Automation Compliance and the Impact of the COVID-19 Spike in Regulations

3 min read
Jun 22, 2020 1:00:36 PM

In the wake of COVID-19, organizations have juggled surges in volume while working remotely, and compliance departments have been inundated with COVID-19-related regulations and documents.

According to JWG – a Blueprint partner and leader in RegTech and market intelligence – compliance officers in financial services organizations alone have seen 3,021 COVID-19 alerts since April.  JWG forecasts that a total of nearly 16,000 documents will be published by year’s end for financial services, which is double the number of total publications from all of 2019. In these regulatory updates, regulators have made it clear that they expect organizations to still comply with existing rules under these exceptional times.

For automation teams in heavily regulated industries like financial services, healthcare, insurance, etc. this means that successfully managing an already challenging area of automation has become even more complex. The tactical and strategic treatment of compliance must now be even more diligent with the rising volume of regulatory updates to avoid fines and audits from non-compliance. This comes with the added complexity of also managing the greater demand for automation to alleviate the workload surges these industries have experienced.

The Source of the Regulation Changes

The review JWG performed found that regulatory publications for financial services doubled in the two months after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic on March 13th, leading to 6,346 total publications by June. This tally represents 98% of the total document count for 2019 in only the sixth month of this calendar year, with no indication that this upward trend is showing signs of slowing.

The updates and requests have come from conduct regulators, prudential regulators, market operators, international bodies, and a combination of regional, state, and federal governments. JWG also found over 100-cross sector sources like justice ministries and public health sites must now perform daily horizon scanning procedures.

The Impact on Automation

For automation teams with a considerable digital workforce already in production, navigating a drastic increase in policy and regulatory change is a challenge and poses heightened scrutiny on change management at a time where organizations are confronted with remote workers and limited bandwidth due to spikes in demand.

Whenever any type of regulatory change is introduced, the business processes the bots are based on need to be analyzed to ensure compliance. If a change to the process is needed, the bot needs to be pulled out of production, reconfigured, tested, and then re-deployed.

The changes that are applied to those bots to bring them back into compliance then need to be clearly reflected or documented. This not only safeguards your organization for future audits and expedites the audit process, but facilitates future analysis that may be needed as the snowball of regulatory change continues to roll and increase in the months to come. Doing this for 10 relatively simple, tactical bots is manageable. Measuring the impact on 100 complex, end-to-end automated processes, implementing changes where necessary, and reinforcing the audit trail is another story.

How to Manage COVID-19 Regulatory Change and Post-COVID Audits

To better manage the spike in regulatory changes as a result of the pandemic and implement a sound automation compliance strategy moving forward, large organizations in heavily regulated industries need to invest in the tools that allow them to visualize the impact of change.

Many large enterprises are still using disconnected, siloed tools to manage automation compliance. In most forms, this means one or even multiple instruments for compliance management, and then others for business process design, optimization, and automation without any kind of integration or real synergy.

To truly reinforce regulatory change management and make it effective so it doesn’t result in non-compliance penalties, a centralized tool is needed that allows stakeholders to easily design business processes and then connect them to all the critical regulations, policies, and constraints so analyzing the impact of change can be performed quickly yet thoroughly.

The Blueprint Enterprise Automation Suite

The Blueprint Enterprise Automation Suite offers automation and compliance stakeholders a centralized and collaborative place to design, optimize, manage, and store all business processes and critical information like regulations, policies, and enterprise constraints.

Specifically, Blueprint offers the seamless ability for stakeholders to store all regulatory constraints in a centralized location and ensure those compliance mandates are accounted for when optimizing processes by connecting them to the process itself or even individual process steps, significantly reinforcing and aiding automation compliance.

To facilitate the daunting task Compliance Officers have in navigating the COVID-19 regulatory mire now and in the months to come, the Blueprint Enterprise Automation Suite delivers the Impact Explorer; a tool that allows Compliance Officers to visualize the impact of change in regulations or policy with the click of a button. The Impact Explorer graphically displays all the regulations a business process is connected to or can be used to visually illustrate all the business processes a specific regulation is related to, giving Compliance Officers the powerful ability to instantly understand and measure change, providing a better way to manage the abundance of regulatory activity during this unprecedented time and ensure compliance.

For a quick overview and demo on managing compliance with the Blueprint Enterprise Automation Suite, see the video below:


*JWG, 8,496 Additional Covid Documents to Swamp 2020 Compliance, by PJ Di Giammarino, June 2, 2020.