All companies want digitalization, innovation and process automation. However, in practice there are many hurdles lurking when it comes to long-term integration. Digital compliance from KPMG creates security and awareness in this regard.


he GDPR, which recently came into force, is only one of many examples of regulatory requirements and obligations that characterize the field of digitalization. Since then, digital compliance has increasingly become a focus area for many companies. However, it is not only in the course of the implementation of compliance with the new regulations on data protection that a topic appears over and over again. Digital transformation and the increasing dominance of data analysis in all business areas requires digital compliance. Starting with the creation, processing and storage of data, the integrity, confidentiality and availability of information and IT systems must be ensured.

“Regulatory requirements and legal obligations play a central role in digital #transformation processes. #DigitalCompliance“

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The Drivers of Current Developments

Companies and organizations are being transformed at all levels by new technologies and systems. However, there are a variety of issues lying behind the overarching concept of digital transformation. These include both the increasing penetration of enterprise and IT architecture and the further development of individual technologies, which have a greater impact. These currently include in particular:

  • Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning & Deep Learning)
  • Cloud Computing
  • Block Chain
  • Data Lakes
  • Data Analytics (especially Big Data, Predictive Analytics and Decision Modelling)
  • Robotics for process automation

The introduction of standard software solutions such as S/4HANA is therefore of great importance. This as these lead to a global harmonization and consolidation of business processes and IoT connections. However, I am also seeing an increasing trend when it comes to the development of solutions and tools for tech start-ups. Be that as it may, both developments always pursue the same goal: optimizing the customer journey in order to secure competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive market. However, digital compliance plays a key role in ensuring that this goal can actually be achieved. Digital compliance covers all aspects of the parallel development, implementation and monitoring of IT and software solutions.

Digital Compliance as a Success Factor in Transformation

All transformation projects and digital compliance issues will have a significant impact on corporate governance requirements and structures. From the perspective of the enormous costs associated with digital transformation, it is advisable to consider the issue of digital compliance as early as possible. Let’s just take the impact that the decentralization of decision-making processes will have. Responsibility and responsibilities for compliance with regulations as well as data and process security are migrating from the corporate headquarters to the subgroups and from the IT departments to the specialist departments.

Nevertheless, digital compliance also plays a central role when it comes to automating decision-making processes. In practice, unresolved issues surrounding digital compliance have often proven to be the biggest pitfalls of digital transformation projects. This is a factor for the success of digitalization that has hitherto been underestimated. Digitalization can only be a success if it is ensured from the outset that the project results will function properly in the long term and can act as the basis for control and business decisions.

“Digital compliance is the most underestimated success factor in digital transformation projects to date.“

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This Is Why Many Transformation Projects Fail

The example of the introduction of robotics solutions to automate business processes and internal controls in Financial Shared Service Centers (SSCs) can be used to illustrate this theory. Substantial organizational measures are required to meet the requirements posed by digital compliance. For example, the question arises as to who will assume system ownership of the Robotics solution? Should the IT department accept and implement the demand within the framework of existing standard processes and assume system responsibility? Or does the SSC set up its own team, which designs, implements, partly self-programs, tests, productively sets, documents and monitors so-called bots?

In daily work, coordination is required with the IT department, the current owner of the ERP systems and various upstream and downstream systems. How does communication with the SSC team take place when changes are made to the ERP system with possible effects on the bots? Do the bots still function properly at the end of the many system changes and complex project landscapes and who notices this? In this regard, it becomes clear that digital compliance is about fundamental architectural issues. In particular, it deals with organization & governance, IT processes & operating models, employee and expertise development, IT security, software application landscape and IT strategy.

Digital Compliance from KPMG for Security & Awareness

This is just one of countless examples of the central importance of digital compliance in transformation projects. In the course of the comprehensive transformation, which has come to be known under the keyword Industry 4.0, as well as generally with digitalization, digital compliance will gain considerably in importance through the increasing automation of processes in coming years. Quality assurance and solution examples accompanying the project from external third parties such as Digital Compliance from KPMG can bring security and create awareness in the context of digital transformation projects. This is the only way to turn digitalization into a long-term success for the economy and a worthwhile investment in the future for companies.

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