IT GovernanceRisk Management

The Role of Risk Management and Governance in Intelligent Automation

Intelligent automation (IA) is what happens when robotic process automation and artificial intelligence combine to make processes better and cheaper. Achieving and maintaining IA requires a concentrated strategic dose of governance though. An article by KPMG for CIO magazine discusses some of the challenges to risk management and governance that will arise from IA.

Smart Governing

In the first place, KPMG says enterprise risk management should be mindful of these factors:

  • Well-defined risk appetite and compliance requirements
  • Identity management and security
  • Controls integration, logging, and traceability
  • Business continuity

Governance needs to be heavily involved in the strategic direction of automation, including what will be automated, who will steer the program, and how use cases will be approved and prioritized. Risk and governance must also be embedded into the general “plan, build, run” of the program. Defining risk management guidelines occurs during the planning phase. And for the building phase, the article says this:

… a key recommendation is standing up or fully operationalizing a governance function. “Often we see our clients diving into deep water, which is great for taking immediate advantage of ROI opportunities, but they don’t always consider risk and governance and then they may find themselves in trouble,” [Martin Sokalski, Principal, Emerging Technology Risk at KPMG] explains. One client, for example, ended up far along their automation journey with hundreds of automation solutions across different functions. Not until very late in the process did they address what this meant from a risk, controls, and compliance perspective.  “We assessed and uncovered a lot of issues,” he says. “They ended up having to basically disrupt the program because those considerations weren’t thought about early in the process.”

Lastly, during the run phase, risk management runs its natural course, perhaps through a Center of Excellence.

This covers the basics of the discussion, but there are still deeper details to consider. For a more technical explanation of these ideas, view the full article here:

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