IBM OpenPages with Watson wins “Best UI Innovation” at the Risk Market Technology Awards

By | 3 minute read | February 15, 2021

Risk Markets Technology Awards 2021 winner, best UI innovation, IBM

As we move into the new year, it’s clear that the turbulence that defined 2020 is not going away. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, its resultant economic and social uncertainty will linger. It remains imperative for large enterprises to modernize their governance, risk and compliance (GRC) approach in order to face these challenges.

As organizations grow, risk complexity expands, and cybersecurity threats loom. In a business environment defined by sustained market volatility and ever-increasing regulations, companies need the ability to recognize and manage risk and regulatory compliance challenges. Firms are witnessing a dramatic increase in active first-line users — sometimes tens of thousands — scattered across the organization and using tools with inconsistent capabilities. Firms need a modernized risk management approach that includes a modern user interface, one that’s accessible and personalized for all types of users. User experience must be carefully considered to ensure that all stakeholders can participate in risk and compliance initiatives throughout the organization.

Risk.net, the world’s leading source of in-depth news and analysis on risk management, created an “innovation” category as part of their Risk Markets Technology Awards for 2021. The Markets Technology Awards, part of the Risk Awards, recognizes the achievements of technology vendors, trading platforms, law firms, clearing houses, and all of the people who help make the industry run. The Risk Awards is the longest-running and most prestigious awards competition for global derivatives markets and risk management. Entries for the innovation category are based on significant product development updates within the previous 12 months.

For 2021, the first-ever “best user interface innovation” award was given to IBM for its OpenPages with Watson solution portfolio.

IBM OpenPages with Watson is an AI-driven governance, risk and compliance platform built to help organizations manage risk and regulatory compliance challenges across the enterprise.

Last year, a Forrester study found that an implementation of OpenPages can result in as much as a 218% increase in ROI. The Risk.net award represents another milestone achievement for the OpenPages development team.

A modern GRC solution helps break down silos and improves communication across the organization, reducing costs and allowing leaders to spend less time on monitoring and more time on analysis in support of risk-aware decisions. This approach brings the entire organization together to contribute to the GRC effort — not just risk and compliance professionals. Under this new paradigm, a wide variety of users — including line-of-business managers, risk and compliance functions, and auditors — will have different UI requirements. OpenPages was developed as an integrated solution that can bring all three of these lines together, so they can easily share information and work toward the same goals, in keeping with an agile methodology.

Since line-of-business users are not necessarily trained GRC professionals, an intuitive UI that can cut through the complexity and occasional tedium of GRC is essential. With their latest update, the designers of OpenPages endeavored to completely eliminate the need for training. AI fills in the gaps, with Watson providing AI-powered dashboard widgets that help contextualize information and suggest courses of action.

OpenPages also uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to provide initial guidance for new first-line users. With this helping hand, users no longer need to wade through thousands of pages of training documents in order to successfully contribute to the GRC effort. From there, users are able to leverage predefined dashboards, which can then be easily configured based on the specific user’s needs.

The latest version of OpenPages supports other UI innovations, such as tools that allow users to build GRC use cases from the ground up using intuitive drag-and-drop controls. With a task-focused UI, built-in workflow, calculation engine and other recent improvements, OpenPages enables users to maintain a clear view of the company’s GRC position, and gives them intuitive controls to take quick, confident action when needed.

As always, it’s a team effort and I would like to thank our incredible OpenPages design team, user research team, offering managers, development team and customers who joined us in this collaborative award-winning effort.