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3 Top Process Compliance Challenges and How to Solve Them

Rachel Nizinski, Appian
July 31, 2023

Technology is an indispensable ally for navigating process compliance challenges with confidence. That’s because as digitization expands and regulatory requirements change, process compliance becomes more and more difficult to address manually. 

In this blog post, we’ll examine common process compliance challenges and how technology can help solve them.

1. Manual, paper-based processes.

The most significant challenges for process compliance are manual and paper-based systems. These traditional methods are time-consuming and error-prone, and they limit visibility into your processes.

With process automation tools, you can transform process compliance with digital documentation, streamlined approval processes, and centralized access to information. And when processes and documents are digitalized, you’ll benefit from better visibility across your entire organization. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • AI-driven content processing extracts and classifies information from documents and emails, which can significantly reduce human error from manual data entry or misplaced documents.

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) automates repetitive tasks—like reviewing and approving documents—to speed up turnaround times.

The level of accuracy made possible by digitalized processes ensures that you consistently meet your compliance requirements. And by reducing manual work and the errors that come with it, you can focus more on the bigger picture of your processes to ensure that they’re not only compliant, but optimized.

[ Want to learn more about automation strategy? Get the Gartner® report: Beyond RPA: Build Your Hyperautomation Portfolio. ]

2. Lack of real-time data.

Lack of real-time visibility into compliance activities is a major cause of concern for many organizations. Without timely insights, it’s difficult to identify non-compliant areas before they pose risks and cause regulatory penalties.

Process automation platforms with data management capabilities can help. Use them to connect and unify data, track compliance activities, generate customizable reports, and set up automated alerts for process deviations or violations. Some examples include:

  • Data fabric is a virtualized data layer that connects and unifies data, providing a centralized view that allows you to track changes and updates in real time. 
  • Process mining provides a visual map of each step and variant in a process, so you can identify and determine the cause of noncompliances and other at-risk areas.

  • Business process management (BPM) unifies people, technologies, and data in a single workflow and helps you track and analyze organizational needs and regulatory changes to quickly adapt and act.

With better visibility, you can proactively address compliance issues, identify trends, and make informed decisions to mitigate risks.

[ Read how FirstBank uses data fabric to ensure compliance with regulatory expectations. ]

3. Complexity of regulatory requirements.

Ever-changing regulatory requirements pose a significant challenge for organizations: it’s often overwhelming to manually interpret new requirements, and implementing new changes can create opportunities for error.

Platforms with advanced security controls and comprehensive compliance programs can significantly reduce the burden of manually interpreting new regulations by ensuring that your systems are up to date. These systems meet strict security and regulatory standards so businesses can stay ahead of evolving compliance requirements and spend more time on innovation and improving operations. 

Process mining can also be a valuable tool. By providing insights about how processes are actually being executed, process mining can help identify potential compliance issues and improve overall adherence to regulations and policies.

[ Learn more about process mining. Get the eBook: Process Mining Guide—Optimize Your Business Processes. ]

The power of process automation for easier compliance.

With process automation platforms, you can automate manual processes from end-to-end. These platforms offer transparency into compliance-related activities by allowing you to monitor and track progress in real time, make it easier to demonstrate compliance by creating digital trails of activities should an audit or investigation arise, and improve standardization by providing a centralized framework for managing workflows across the organization.

Organizations that embrace technology for compliance processes are better positioned to mitigate risks, adapt to regulatory changes, and improve overall business performance. Choosing the right automation solution is key to ensuring fast and successful implementation. 

With Appian, you’ll benefit from improved processes, faster ROI, and shorter implementation. And, you’ll benefit from our decades of experience with local, state, federal, and global regulations that help keep you in compliance, even as policies change. 

Appian delivers 95% faster processes. See more in the Forrester Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) of Appian study.