IBM RegTech Innovations

What’s new in OpenPages with Watson 8.2 release

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Introducing IBM OpenPages with Watson 8.2 release

IBM is excited to announce the availability of IBM OpenPages with Watson version 8.2, a dramatic upgrade that brings additional functionality and automation to the product, all of which is designed to ease and streamline governance and compliance processes within financial institutions and beyond.

IBM OpenPages with Watson is an AI-driven governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solution that helps clients manage today’s growing risk and regulatory compliance challenges. Version 8.2 includes new feature enhancements, such as enhanced visualizations to better understand analytics results and spot insights. It also includes key integrations, with IBM partner Ascent’s regulatory knowledge platform, and the IBM Watson Assistant solution that provides clients with 24/7 internal virtual assistant support. In addition to all of this, version 8.2 features the Business Continuity Management (BCM) solution.

Manage data and change

The new Business Continuity Management (BCM) solution integrates within the risk management framework already present in IBM OpenPages. This will enable current OpenPages users to leverage existing information in OpenPages into the new BCM solution. It is also available as a standalone solution.

Work began on the BCM-specific solution in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. The IBM team held workshops and validation sessions with clients and business partners focusing on the challenges facing business continuity managers and the overall business continuity process. Consistent with other risk and compliance domains, data consistency, data integrity and data collection are among the major hurdles to be tackled, frequently driven by siloed structures within the organizations.

Business continuity (BC) managers are placed in the unenviable position of trying keep business continuity plans current in an environment that is ever changing, both internally and externally. For example, new lines of businesses, staff turnover, changing assets and reorganizations occur on a regular basis. BC managers frequently lack access to the details of such organizational changes that directly impact processes, risks and controls and the related business continuity plans. Despite these changes, BC managers are tasked with having accurate, consistent and current plans in place to ensure critical processes will continue both during, and immediately following, disruptive events.

The OpenPages BCM solution integrates with its existing, longstanding Operational Risk Management solution, enabling BCM users to have a centralized data repository to access risk and control data for business processes identified in a business continuity plan. From the business continuity plan, users can also view related business entities, business impact analyses, policies, procedures, as well as essential employees that will implement the plan during a disruptive event. With one-click access to information from all of the components impacted by the business continuity plan, a BC manager can have confidence that his or her plans provide the most current and consistent information from the organization.

Lessons learned from COVID-19

As the outcomes of the current COVID-19 pandemic continue to unfold, events force us to consider how we react to unanticipated disruptions in both our personal and professional lives. COVID-19 reminds us that the impact of disasters can come in many forms, not just to physical property but also to our most important resource, the people that support the business and their families. Clear communication and training are vital elements to ensure the success of business continuity plan execution, which can be accomplished through plan testing and comprehensive policies and procedures.

IBM OpenPages with Watson has been listed as a leader in both the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated Risk Management and the 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice Award.

Test and improve your Business Continuity plan

The importance of business continuity plan testing and the need for flexibility have emerged as key themes in business continuity management. When these themes are considered and applied, businesses can emerge more resilient and responsive to future disruptive events.

In general, organizations that test business continuity plans on a regular basis, and learn from the issues identified during this testing, are more prepared to address the effects of a disaster. The time for failure occurs during the testing of a plan and not during a live event. Testing enables the organization to learn from failures and iteratively improve upon their plans with each test. Testing also enables key employees to train to successfully implement business continuity plans, and provides clear direction to employees about crises response.

The IBM OpenPages BCM solution helps users set up automated, scheduled workflows to test business continuity plans, which can run on a recurring basis, to assist in automating the notification, preparation, and execution of testing scenarios. Test results are stored as separate records in the solution, allowing users to observe how a plan has improved over time. All issues created from testing automatically enter into a separate workflow where action items can be assigned and tracked.

Why BCM now?

The need for flexibility in business continuity planning is a key theme we’ve heard during this pandemic. With IBM OpenPages BCM solution, users can create and modify workflows, add new fields and values to object models, and create new views, all without the need for code. IBM OpenPages visually displays the mapping of related records to the business continuity plan, such as policies or procedures, so that the user may quickly access, review and revise documents impacted by a changing business continuity plan.

Similar to a business continuity plan, a business continuity management solution should be flexible enough to adapt to client needs while supporting the regulatory changes to business continuity that are on the horizon. As clients look to improve their business continuity management practices, we look forward to working with them using the new IBM OpenPages BCM solution.

What’s Next?

To learn more about IBM OpenPages with Watson and the recent 8.2 release, including the new Ascent partnership for regulatory compliance management, Watson Assistant integration, and BCM solution, attend our webinar on June 23 and discover all the possibilities for enhancing your risk and compliance use cases with AI and advanced analytics.

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