Bridging the “front and back of the house”: A lesson in risk management

Between cloud proliferation, new tech infrastructure and tools and an increasingly distributed workforce, organizations are struggling to implement proper risk management practices. They often ignore one of the most important components of a solid risk management strategy: efficient communication between the “front and back of the house.”

risk management

How can it be done?

A successful risk management program involves key business stakeholders — the “front of the house” — defining policies around risk and subsequent consequences of not adhering to them. Once established, these policies are then disseminated to the various functional or system owners — the “back of the house” — who are then tasked with implementing them for their departments or teams.

Historically, there’s been big variances in how functional leaders incorporate these policies, monitor them, and report on their success.

Artificial intelligence (AI)-backed automation tools can be extremely useful for streamlining risk and compliance but, if technology is not vetted thoroughly, throwing it at the problem can cause even bigger issues down the line. But the problem has never been the lack of appropriate tooling – rather, the issue lies in organizational silos that keep these tools and initiatives from functioning together.

This disconnect is prevalent, which is why we’re seeing more businesses look for solutions that bridge the “front and back of the house” within the same workflow. By consolidating risk management strategy and real time monitoring and measurement in one place, you get less context-switching, reduced friction, and increased efficiency. Policies and expectations of how to follow them are streamlined throughout an entire organization, making it easy to follow and ensuring risk management efforts aren’t in vain.

The sentiment is easy to understand, but implementation typically comes with more challenges. So, how do enterprises get ahead of the curve before the headaches of new tech integrations or worse? There are several ways to attack this, but the easiest and most impactful is to prioritize solutions that work seamlessly with your existing technology stack. This is sometimes referred to as a platform-native approach, and it serves as the proverbial bridge within an organization.

Conventional knowledge has led companies to default to best-of-breed solutions to fix their technological woes. But this approach requires extra due diligence to ensure they complement existing systems and are accompanied with appropriate training for employees who need to get comfortable with new tech interfaces and processes. In other words, a lot needs to go right for individual solutions to get off the ground successfully. A platform-native approach — if done right — will achieve these things without anyone even knowing it’s there.

A platform-native approach

Seamless application integration synonymous with a platform-native approach takes a lot of disparate capabilities and makes sure they work together. In the case of risk management, it does this by making sure all systems and people have the correct access and permissions organization-wide. Access to sensitive information is restricted only to those that need it, compliance is automated, and auditing is performed with a press of a button, instead of being a drawn-out, manual IT effort.

When you consider the nature of today’s hybrid and remote working environments, streamlining risk management and compliance becomes even more important. Most organizations have added new applications and technologies to power pandemic-driven work needs. All these systems require an added layer of security and access. Combine this with what’s being called “The Great Resignation” – employees leaving their jobs at an unprecedented rate – and provisioning and deprovisioning individual access to company information and systems might as well be a full-time job.

How many of us have left a job only to use our former company logins to access systems or information we’ve left behind? In many cases, this is innocent — we forgot to save a colleague’s email or need access to an old document saved on the company server. But it also leaves organizational data vulnerable — financials, customer information, trade secrets — that could cause a world of hurt if it falls into the wrong hands.

In another instance, a new employee may need a company mobile phone or laptop provisioned. Normally, you would put in a ticket into IT and they would evaluate entitlements on an individual basis. But this doesn’t take into account roles and responsibilities across multiple business applications, which can have cascading consequences in other places.

A platform-native approach automates these constantly changing, hard-to-keep-track-of permissions, putting risk and compliance at the center of your business. Beyond better privacy and security measures, this offers another major benefit to business: increased time-to-value and productivity. With less energy spent on IT downtime and hurdles with new tech adoption, employees can focus on their jobs and making real contributions to the business, rather than deal with the growing pains of learning new systems or not having access to what they need.

A company can invest in all the best-of-breed solutions under the sun, but if there’s nothing bridging the people to new technology and processes, there’s no real ROI to be gained. Connecting the “front and the back of the house” is critical to risk management, and a platform-native solution is one of the most effective ways to achieve this for all business systems.

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