Good governance of an enterprise has two core tools at its disposal - an Internal Controls System (ICS) and an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) System. Ideally these two systems are also fully integrated - creating a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle for corporate governance. These requirements are not new for most enterprises, however the solutions in place may be approaching the end of their life cycles with many emerging new requirements. Many Alyne customers leverage our Software as a Service (SaaS) both for ICS and ERM use cases and we have observed some common challenges and success factors.
- Extensive Control Framework
Many organisations manage control frameworks with hundreds or even thousands of controls making it essentially unmanageable. Multiple iterations with many stakeholders created a framework with high redundancy on various levels of detail. This will fail both in management cost and control effectiveness.
- Abstract Controls
Taking standards, laws and regulations and generating controls based on abstract requirements often create abstract controls that do not provide sufficient guidance to the organisation.
- Low Awareness
Especially corporate governance related frameworks may suffer from the “ivory tower syndrome” in which only a small group of people are aware of the controls and fail to gain traction and awareness in the organisation. Broadening the audience is essential for the ICS to be effective.
- M-A-U-S Controls
Define your controls to be Measurable (evidence can quantify effectiveness), Atomic (only defines one aspect), Understandable (written in language understood by recipients) and Specific (defines a clear rule).
- Targeted Control Set
Define your set of controls to achieve a specific objective such as comply with certain standards or reduce fraud potential in process X. Be clear about the objective and do not simply add controls for completeness sake.
- Consolidate Governance
Especially with corporate governance it is important to gain synergies from other control frameworks such as IT governance, ISMS, data privacy, sustainability and others in order to avoid duplication of effort for the business.