IBM RegTech Innovations

Redefining risk and compliance: IBM OpenPages with Watson

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With the launch of OpenPages with Watson v8, IBM is continuing to build on its legacy of  industry-leading technologies for the financial sector. David Marmer, VP Offering Management, IBM GRC, offers insights into some key features of IBM’s latest milestone in governance, risk and compliance technology—showing how these innovations directly address long-standing industry needs—and empower business users with increased efficiency, confidence and business value from their risk and compliance systems.  

The global regulatory environment continues to evolve at a rapid pace. For financial services institutions, the ever-growing volume of regulations and annual changes since the financial crisis continue to challenge banks’ capabilities, as well as their confidence, in managing compliance and risk exposure. While these issues are not unique to the banking sector and apply to every industry, for banks the issues are more pronounced and carry a greater penalty if not addressed. In particular, three issues with risk and compliance systems have been found to contribute to this situation: low visibility, disparate disconnected systems, and limited reach.

  • Low Visibility: Many banks suffer from a lack of confidence in a complete, accurate and timely view of their obligations, and the associated end-to-end responsibilities that are required as a result.
  • Disparate Disconnected Systems: Banks have attempted to build confidence through the implementation of risk and compliance systems and content providers. These solutions are often characterized as non-integrated silos with different taxonomies, user interfaces, and skill requirements. This makes it increasingly difficult to achieve a holistic view of risk and compliance across all units and risk types.
  • Limited Reach: Most importantly, banks have strived to engage the first line of defense. To date, however, available solutions have tended to focus on risk experts—not on line of business stakeholders—and served a small group of people in the second line of defense. With the increase in the pace and volume of regulatory challenges, it became apparent that to be successful, risk has to be viewed as everyone’s responsibility. However, while the people closest to the processes needed to be actively involved to ensure that the best, informed, decisions were actioned, still the barrier of silos, complex systems, different taxonomies and classifications persisted.

IBM OpenPages with Watson addresses these pervasive challenges. With innovation and investment in new technologies—from AI and analytics, to User Experience Design (UXD)—IBM transforms Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) through the harmonious combination of Software, Content and Advisory.

Software: The Leader Re-Imagined

OpenPages with Watson has always been the market’s most powerful, flexible and scalable GRC solution. Based on a common object model, banks are able to start with a single risk domain and pragmatically roll out other domains with a common taxonomy and experience. With our latest milestone—OpenPages with Watson v8—we have completely reimagined the user experience and made the first line of defense the center of focus, while maintaining the feature-rich experience of the second line.

Our goal is a zero-training environment in which the line of business never needs to ask: “What are you telling me? I don’t understand why I need to do this?” Everything is contextually expressed in a task view guiding the user through what is needed to complete a task.  To accomplish this we have developed a whole new look and feel to the UI and workflow, including:

  • New Home Page which is personalized by the user profile.
  • New Grid View and List View that use dynamic layouts, colors, tasks, fields and guidance to accentuate the most critical information and required activity.
  • An intuitive drag and drop method for adding evidence documents, with automatic check-in/check-out and detection if it is new or a modification of an existing document.
  • New visualizations, such as the Tree View diagram, for having a complete line of sight of risk activities and supporting documents.
  • Improvements to the Questionnaire—such as direct links to underlying assets, dynamic text, and parameter passing to launched reports—to give the first line more context to questions they are asked.

IBM has also made investments in advanced analytics and AI for governance, risk and compliance. In OpenPages with Watson v8, we apply these technologies to identify patterns, make recommendations on classifications and controls, monitor changes in the regulatory environment and automate the risk and compliance processes.

The result of these investments and innovation in GRC—added participation in first line of defense, and increased efficiency and effectiveness in risk and compliance—significantly increases confidence in the system.

Content: Taming the Mountain of Regulations

IBM has built a digital library containing thousands of regulatory documents, which are updated daily. We monitor for changes, and based on the banks applicability, alert the appropriate stakeholders of potential impact to their obligations and associated policies, procedures and controls. In doing so, IBM OpenPages with Watson enables banks to be more confident in their requirements and how they are managed.

Advisory: Trusted Guidance 

IBM’s lab services expertise and business partner network ensures you have the right skills at your disposal to adopt these new features.  Furthermore, Promontory Financial Group provides deep risk and compliance practitioner expertise to clients, enabling implementation of a comprehensive strategy spanning from obligation identification through risk management and remediation. Together, this added value of experience and expertise enhances confidence in an end-to-end risk and compliance framework.

OpenPages with Watson will transform the way risk and compliance professionals work. The new design and rich capabilities will allow institutions to preserve stakeholder trust and reputation, more effectively manage their targeted risk exposure, and drive efficiency and better insights in the risk and compliance processes.  We are extremely excited to share these advances with you.

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