We are living in times of change. The advent of information technology led the whole world around us to change, and artificial intelligence is now promising to bring even more profound changes. We are not near fully working artificial intelligence right now however we are making some very interesting progress in its direction. We may not have an artificial intelligence, but we have started successfully developing the pieces of technology which will be the prerequisites of artificial intelligence. We can expect these technologies to completely change the way we manage regulatory changes.

The problems with manual regulatory change management

Before we get into the changes that will occur in the future, let us look at where we stand right now and the problems we face. Currently most businesses are handling change management manually. Small businesses have a couple of people dedicated to regulatory change management, while larger organizations may have entire departments dedicated to regulatory change management. These people keep a close watch on all regulatory updates and news coming their way.

There is a lot of work to be done. These people don’t just wait for the upcoming regulations, they try to anticipate the coming changes. They look at the attitude of the government. If anyone new is being hired to lead the local regulatory agency these people will look into the previous records of the new person to try to predict the type of regulatory changes they may want.

Anticipating regulatory changes is important because a change in regulations can have profound effect on businesses. The regulations may make a business process illegal because the process is harming the economy – in such a situation the business will have to amend all future business processes and also all marketing plans to ensure that they do not commit to something that will not be possible in the future.

The process of going through the regulatory changes is itself a major pain. Not only do the regulatory experts have to manually comb through the changes, they must also then manually determine every area of the business affected by the regulatory changes. They must go through all the policies and documents to ensure that there are no violations as per the new regulations. This whole process takes a considerable amount of people and time, which means it ends up costing businesses a lot.

The technology available now

As we said before, we may not have artificial intelligence, but we do have many technologies that can be considered its prerequisites. Regulatory change management software uses machine learning and natural language processing to make the whole process streamlined. There is no need to manually sift through regulations; the software can automatically detect what has changed and highlight all the changes to the regulatory experts.

That’s not all – regulatory change management software also has risk maps in them. These risk maps define what process is linked to which policy and regulation. This proves to be of immense benefit when a regulation is changed. The risk map helps the software understand how everything is linked. So if the software detects a regulatory change, it can also see what parts of the business will be affected by the regulatory changes. This makes the whole process, from detecting changes to implementing the required changes, much faster.

Where we are headed

We can never be a hundred percent sure about the future because there are multiple paths which can be taken, and we don’t really know which one will end up becoming reality. There is talk of creating regulations in machine language so that computers can easily understand them. However, at the same time, natural language processing technology is also getting better, which means that soon there may not be a need of creating laws in machine language as the software will be able to understand the regulations as they are written right now.

We will not be surprised if the governance and administration part of the business is fully automated in a few years. We will still need people to supervise everything, but the computers will be able to do a much better job of monitoring everything and ensuring that there are no problems throughout the organization. It is possible for a human being to forget an important requirement which can result in a compliance violation, but it isn’t really possible for computers to forget any step. This will result in processes getting automated across the organization.

We are sure that we will look back on current times and find it funny how backwards we were, because some of the technologies on the horizon have profound potential to advance not just businesses but the whole society. Even regulatory bodies are now focusing on technology that will help them audit businesses easily and automatically detect problems.

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