Sep 11, 2019
5 min read



“In today’s modern world, people are either asleep or connected” – Janice H Reinold.

Digitisation is transforming the way enterprises operate. Technology is helping automate mundane and routine tasks and freeing up executive time for managing customers and business. Digital platforms pack the power of cloud, mobile and analytics making CXOs smarter, more efficient and more productive.

Indian organisations have been aggressively digitising business processes. This journey started at least 2 decades ago with Accounting followed by Payroll, Office Productivity Software, ERP, HRMS, CRM and Document Management Systems. In the current wave, CXOs are focussed on digitising Governance, Risk and Compliance Management Processes.

While software is supposed to make life easier, but too often it is a source of frustration. With a growing number of software products on the market, it has become increasingly difficult to select the right one without breaking the bank. How do you sort through all the choices and find the right software product and vendor for your business? Here are a few important considerations.

Does it have all the right features?

A digital journey works better with a product which has all the features that you need to run your business.  

  • Smart Dashboards - Easy to use, real time, colour-coded with drill down capabilities
  • Native Mobile Apps - IOS & Android based mobile apps to manage your compliances
  • Flexible Workflows - Configurable workflows which adapt to your business processes
  • Legal Update Notifications - Timely, Comprehensive, Personalised, National Updates
  • Integrated Comprehensive Compliance Database - Comprehensive and accurate compliance database covering the law of the land
  • Strong Analytics and Reporting - Automated and on-demand analytics and reporting capabilities to flag non-compliance and risks
  • Integration with your Office email - Legal updates / alerts / notifications / reminders / escalations / reports on your office email
  • Integrated Document Management System - Manage all your compliance documents and working files with version management
  • Comprehensive Compliance Coverage - Covers all types and categories of compliances in India
  • SAAS Based - Quick and Easy to on-board without any additional IT infrastructure and licenses
  • Secure & Available - Best in class information security with availability when you need it You want to see most of these, if not all, in the solution. Any half-baked product will simply add to your overhead without any benefits.

Is it easy to use?

Compliance cuts across your organisation. Employees at various levels of skill, experience and technology-savviness need to feel comfortable using it. If this software has to work in your organisation, it needs to have a user-friendly interface.

Make sure that the product is easy enough to be used by all the target users in your organisation.

Is it quick and easy to deploy?

IT projects are notorious for time and budget overruns. If it takes more than a few weeks to go-live, chances are the project will lose momentum and will cause headaches. In addition, the vendor needs to have strong capabilities in business discovery and compliance applicability assessment before deployment. You want to make sure that all the applicable compliances for your business are mapped in the software.

Make sure that end to end on-boarding can happen in a few weeks.

Does it offer deployment Options that suit you?

Your organisation may have specific policies for leveraging cloud based products. While Cloud deployments offers amazing operational, technical and financial value, it is likely that your IRM (Information Risk Management) team prefers an on-premises deployment. Such a deployment presents challenges such as product support, daily legal update and periodic product upgrades.

Make sure you discuss deployment options of your choice with vendors.

Does it offer “Pay as you go” Pricing Option

IT budgets are stretched. There is a constant tussle between CIO and CFO on additional capital allocation for digitisation projects. Perpetual licensing option can be extremely capital intensive. However, if ‘pay as you go’ pricing is available, budgetary allocation and approval might be a breeze. Such as price option may help you come on-board for a price which may be cheaper than the salary of a junior company secretary.

Make sure you discuss pricing options that suit your business with your vendors.

 

Can they Scale with you?

Well managed mid and large sized Indian businesses are growing at a double digit CAGR. Revenue growth often accompanies a larger geographical footprint. This will clearly result in an exponential increase in your compliance obligations with more states, union territories, cities, zila parishads and gram panchayats.

Make sure you discuss scalability of technology platform and compliance coverage across the country.

Who gets custody of your data in case of a divorce?

There may be several reasons as to why you may need to part ways with your service provider at some point. Under such circumstances, you will need access to all your historical data and documents. In case a service provider is unable to support your business requirements, it might lead to a significant unforeseen risk. In addition, you may need the service provider to erase primary and all data back ups containing any of your records.

Make sure you discuss various options at the time of disengagement with your service provider.

In Conclusion

Making a decision to buy and deploy a software has implications beyond the financial. There are other entry and exit costs. An organisation commits a lot of intangibles such as executive time in decision making, deploying, training resources among others. In addition, there are implications on employee productivity, culture change and risk management practices. It is important to do thorough due diligence to ensure that the digital journey is smooth and you work with a vendor which has the right people, financial, technical and operational capabilities. A good selection can be a blessing and a bad one can put you and your organisation behind by several years.