Changing Times – 5 Compliance Trends for 2017

If you’re a compliance professional, prepare yourself for a roller coaster ride this year. Over the past year, the EU has strengthened its regulatory frameworks, especially with enhanced privacy protections. In contrast, the new U.S. administration is expected to modify Dodd-Frank measures and the fiduciary rule and cut regulations generally. Pundits predict that we’re in for some big compliance changes, but it’s hard to tell how these might pan out for now. Data compliance imageWith the upcoming twists and turns on the regulatory roller coaster, you need to keep these five compliance trends top of mind:

  • It’s not just about financial services. Financial services firms have long been subject to regulatory requirements, such as NASD/FINRA 3110 and SEC 17a-4. These firms have long been leaders in adopting technologies to ensure compliance. Yet, beyond financial services, firms in pharmaceutical, healthcare, energy, and other markets are subject to regulatory requirements. We’re expecting organizations across the board to bolster adoption of compliance solutions to address eDiscovery and investigations more efficiently and cost effectively.
  • Cloud-based compliance approaches are becoming mainstream – for firms of all sizes. Cost, deployment speed, and other advantages of cloud solutions compared to on-premises solutions are clear and compelling. Bringing home this point, Forrester reports that in 2016, 61% of decision-makers reported that their firms had implemented or were expanding their use of SaaS for archiving. We see adoption of cloud-based compliance solutions accelerating with a mix of multi-tenant, dedicated, and private cloud models to address varied data privacy and residency requirements.
  • The scope of data is fundamentally changing for compliance and risk mitigation. Email has long been a key focus for compliance and eDiscovery. However, with the increasing adoption of social platforms and communications channels (e.g., Skype for Business, LinkedIn, Slack, voice, and dozens of others), many organizations are still in “catch up mode” in enforcing policies. In its January 2017 letter on regulatory and examination priorities, FINRA reminds us that “firms must ensure the capture of business-related communications regardless of the devices or networks used.” We expect organizations to drive towards a single, unified view of all communication channels.
  • The intersection of compliance and security is essential – and will become more important. Security considerations have long been critical in the adoption of technology and no less so for compliance solutions. Driving home this point, FINRA highlights that cybersecurity will be a key priority in 2017 and that it may review firms’ methods and tools for preventing data loss. Over the next year, we’re anticipating that organizations will look to leverage growing convergence across their security and compliance programs.
  • Analytics are becoming vital for compliance and risk mitigation and will drive business value. Recognizing that manual approaches are costly and simply can’t scale, many compliance providers have adopted basic keyword or phrase supervision capabilities for email. Increasingly, however, firms demand more advanced analytics – with a unified view across a wide range of data and communications channels. Leveraging advanced analytics across a mix of communications channels enables compliance professionals to cut costs and reduce risks by more clearly understanding broader links and data flows. We’re expecting that these capabilities will also provide a foundation for compliance professionals to work with other teams to unlock business value by surfacing new patterns and trends.

We’re gearing up for big regulatory changes in the U.S. this year. As our market shifts, I encourage you to focus on the five key trends noted above. Analyst reports such as Forrester’s Q4 2016 Wave on Information Archiving Cloud Providers and our eDiscovery executive briefing series can provide additional perspective in the evolving compliance market. We look forward to ongoing dialog with you throughout the year.