Life is constantly changing and evolving. Old ways of doing things are constantly being rethought and redone. Some people catch on quicker to this change than others, but ultimately, inefficient processes are always rooted out and streamlined.
In terms of IA (internal audit), Microsoft and Google dominate regarding supplying the software that most organizations use within IA. Not because they provide you with a single, unified IA architecture on a versatile, easy-to-use platform, but rather because the documents, spreadsheets, and emails most organization’s use to manage their internal audit processes are mainly provided by these companies.
These tools are, of course, incredibly useful. They are essential for many aspects of business operations, but in terms of IA, these business tools fall very short at managing audit, risk, and compliance requirements. The fact of the matter is that managing risk, audit, compliance etc. will always lead to failure if it is managed in such a scattered process that lacks complete visibility and collaboration throughout the organization. These manual processes can drag you down and leave your organization vulnerable to:
- Troubles with compilation. When information is scattered throughout the organization across possibly thousands of spreadsheets and other manual tools, consolidating that information can be difficult and cumbersome, as well as very prone to error and things slipping through the cracks. It’s like trying to solve an intricate puzzle where all of the pieces are scattered throughout different locations of your house.
- No audit trails. These processes, without a complimentary technology architecture, do not have audit trails. There is no certain way of knowing about the actual level of accuracy in any audit, assessment, survey etc.
- Issues with consistency. Structure is essential in building anything that you wish to thrive, and these old processes severely lack a clear and decisive structure in helping organizations managing IA requirements. The lack of visibility, versatility, and broader organizational awareness can lead to inconstancy within IA reporting.
- Prone to manipulation. These old processes have little to no security to protect you from manipulation. It lacks visibility into possible cover ups and history of changes made and leaves you incredibly vulnerable to fraudulent activity.
At times, me and others like me often sound like a broken record – repeating ourselves over, and over, and over again. This has been one of the more prominent soapboxes for those who offer software solutions in risk, audit, compliance etc. But on the flip side, the inefficiencies and the complete lack of versatility within these old, manual processes cannot be ignored, and a vast bulk of organizations still manage their IA processes in this outdated and cumbersome way.
This is why documents, spreadsheets, sharepoint, emails etc. fail in audit related processes, unless complimented with a versatile and easy-to-use technology. Implementing an integrated and versatile approach to IA and other related processes is becoming increasingly essential in this dynamic and fast-paced world of business. Versatile solutions that provide consistency and audit trails is the best path for organizations of all sizes.Organizations must seek efficiency, effectiveness, and versatility if they wish to manage their IA, risk, compliance, and governance related processes in a way that is best suited for the current business environment we are in.
Ensuring your IA processes are at a proper level of maturity is critical in being able to fully monitor and understand the dynamic, modern world of business and effectively evaluate the organization’s risk and compliance across the organization holistically. An immature IA architecture leaves organizations vulnerable and caught off guard to inconsistency and manipulation. When organizations approach IA through the semi annual, error-prone processes without collaboration spread throughout the organization, the mesh and web of information scattered throughout the organization amplifies risk, creating a possible fatal mistake. A mature IA architecture, on the other hand, will give you complete visibility and versatility in understanding and protecting IA processes.