Last year, we realized that, in spite of all the research that reputable organizations publish about compliance and the practice of compliance, there was some key information about the current state of our industry and key trends that wasn’t widely surveyed or understood.
Because we speak with hundreds of organizations every year, NAVEX Global has a deep appreciation of the challenges compliance professionals face in balancing culture and compliance, in making the most out of every resource and in understanding what others are doing. So we wanted to address those gaps and ensure that we shared that information broadly.
Rather than limit ourselves to only our own clients and only our own point of view, we hired an independent third party research company and expanded the survey universe to include executive and senior-level decision makers from all types of companies, both clients of NAVEX Global and non-clients.
The survey participants included 301 decision makers in key ethics, compliance, legal, HR and risk roles representing a cross section of industries. Importantly, they were equally split between smaller and larger companies to get a complete picture of how programs are being funded, what elements are most important and how key decisions are made.
Some of the most important takeaways from this research include:
Protecting brand and reputation is now the number two driver of ethics and compliance program spend and enhancement. Return on investment analyses needs to go far beyond legal protections and regulatory compliance. Ethics and compliance programs need to be positioned as enhancing overall business value.
Budgets are growing, but in small increments. Practitioners may have a good opportunity to improve internal business processes and break down silos among multiple buying groups involved with compliance.
A full half of ethics and compliance budgets are likely to be funding hotline, case management and employee training solutions. What are industry professionals doing to ensure they have the best and most effective programs in place vs. a check-the-box solution to justify that spend?
Evaluate the holy trinity of your budget allocation – training, hotline and case management solutions. They’re the areas where the most money is spent and where practitioners can look for operational efficiencies.
The biggest area of growth is in ethics and compliance-focused solutions for managing third party risk. Even in small to mid-size organizations, practitioners are often dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of third parties. The growing need is for solutions that are scalable, manageable, centralized and affordable – with the ability to continuously monitor for changes in the risk profile. This is one of the most difficult solutions to do properly in-house and, given that, is one of the most outsourced solutions, per the survey.
The full survey report, Key Trends, Issues and Best Practices in Compliance, contains more detailed analysis, additional key trends around budget allocation and program spend as well as supporting detail from survey participants.