The future of Compliance Management will bring transformed practices and shifts towards new areas of focus. Looking ahead and incorporating them into your strategy will help you guarantee your organization meets its regulatory requirements and avoids harmful consequences.
We already explored the upcoming ITAM trends , and now it’s time to zoom in a little further into regulation frameworks and security practices with these the top ten 2024 compliance trends.
To break them down, we divided the trends into three groups – IT compliance, software compliance, and Risk Management. This will help you follow along and incorporate them into your future planning.
Table of contents
- The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on compliance
- Data protection enhancements
- Greater cybersecurity focus
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application compliance
- Cloud compliance
- Open source compliance
- Regulatory Change Management
- Operational resilience
- Third-party Risk Management
10 trends that will define the future of compliance in 2024
Compliance is no different from any other aspect of business operations; internal and external factors continue to drive change. Whether this is improvement-based or to meet evolving market needs, your IT organization’s IT compliance practices – including software and risk compliance – will need to adapt to better meet the business demands and expectations for 2024 and beyond.
To help you with this, these ten compliance trends provide valuable insights into what is coming for the practice the upcoming year.
Let’s take a look.
IT compliance trend #1 – The impact of AI on compliance
It’s no news that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is impacting and transforming the ways in which businesses operate, and compliance is not exempt from this.
AI- enabled technologies will radically alter compliance processes, reducing the time and effort required for data gathering and analysis. Analyzing large data sets allows you to identify compliance patterns, issues, and improvement opportunities, including predictive analytics that foresees potential compliance challenges and takes preventative measures.
However, enhanced operations are only one side of the coin. The other is ensuring that AI is used ethically and fairly. For example, algorithms should be made transparent and accountable. There will likely be regulations that guide the ethical use of the technology, necessitating compliance audits of AI algorithms for fairness, ethics, and bias.
IT compliance trend #2 – Data protection enhancements
Due to the rising focus on data privacy and the prevalence of data breaches, data protection measures will be prioritized in compliance procedures.
Organizations must implement stringent authentication and authorization procedures to address this. Also, compliance frameworks need to evolve to accommodate new data privacy requirements, including where countries and regions introduce or tighten their data protection regulations.
Bringing from the previous trend, Doug Rabold highlighted how AI can bring both benefits and challenges regarding data protection. He warned about possible mayor data breaches during next year as “many of the data safeguards in place with the human handling of data may not yet be in place to safeguard data from Generative AI.” Allowing information to be pulled in by this technology and put into a general data repository “could expose it to other data consumers outside the organization to which that data has been entrusted.”
On the other hand, however, he said that “despite the potential for data security breaches, an ironic reality is that Generative AI may enable improved compliance in the future” helping to “alert to non-compliant scenarios – both potential ones and those already realized.”
IT compliance trend #3 – Greater cybersecurity focus
Also in terms of IT security, another aspect to keep in mind is that the introduction of stricter laws in this area will require organizations to improve their cybersecurity practices, particularly focusing on end-point and cloud security. This extends to Cyber Risk Management, with organizations adopting advanced threat detection to call out cyber attacks and response systems.
Principal ITSM Consultant at i3Works Ltd, Vawns Murphy, recommended in this regard the implementation of multi-factor authentication (MFA) across organizations, allowing access to applications using a time-based one-time password. He pointed out that “having MFA in place adds an extra layer of security to your organization, helping IT departments to achieve zero-trust security remotely.”
IT compliance trend #4 – Sustainability
The last IT compliance trend has to do with the fact that organizations need to support and enable corporate sustainability programs. Depending on the region, this might include complying with regulations that make IT operations more sustainable and environment-friendly. This could mean climate risk compliance, with companies required to disclose environmental risk assessments as part of their compliance activities.
Of course, this isn’t exclusive to compliance. Sustainability is a trending topic in current times and was also incorporated into the ITAM and IT Service Management trends for 2024. To help with this, Antonina Douannes came onto our podcast, Ticket Volume, and shared some ideas on how to incorporate sustainable IT principles into business operations.
Software compliance trend #5 – SaaS application compliance
When it comes to software compliance, the first trend looks at the future of SaaS applications. It’s important to note that they will most likely face stricter regulations regarding data governance and user privacy. For example, compliance with cross-border data transfer regulations will be more important for SaaS providers and consumers.
To address this, it’s important to bring these requirements into your strategy. Vawns Murphy advised to make your SaaS stack available in your service catalog, so “everyone knows the approved SaaS services and how to access them” to help “IT colleagues know what is and isn’t supported.” and “reduce the risk of shadow IT.”
Software compliance trend #6 – Cloud compliance
This point was briefly touched upon, and it has to do with the fact that cloud technologies continue to evolve. What this means is that there will be more extensive regulations to govern their use, and customers will expect more.
For this it’s important to leverage capabilities that can help you incorporate the new requirements into your compliance strategy to make sure they are addressed.
Software compliance trend #7 – Open source compliance
Finally, this trend looks at the increased use of open-source components in software development, an aspect that will continue to grow in the upcoming future. In this sense, it’s important that your license compliance practice ensures that open-source components are used according to their licensing terms to avoid unwanted consequences.
Risk compliance trend #8 – Regulatory Change Management
The first important element to consider when it comes to managing risk in upcoming times is that organizations might need to create a scenario to quickly adapt to the changing global regulatory landscapes, particularly those in finance and technology industry verticals.
Consequently, some organizations will need to incorporate capabilities to create more robust Change Management systems, in order to manage regulatory changes as they become more prevalent.
Risk compliance trend #9 – Operational resilience
When it comes to risk, an element to take a look at is the increased focus on developing business continuity plans to ensure operational resilience during possible crises, such as cyber attacks. In this sense, more regulations will likely focus on managing and mitigating operational risks in some industry verticals.
Risk compliance trend #10 – Third-party Risk Management
Finally, as more of an organization’s operations rely on third parties, there will be a need to assess, incorporate, and manage the risks associated with third-party vendors and suppliers.
This means expanding your Risk Management strategy, for example, by ensuring that supply chains are resilient against various risks, including environmental and geopolitical.
As you’ve seen, there’s much for organizations to put their eyes on across IT, software, and risk compliance. It’s important to note that not everything can or should be addressed at once. When it comes to setting out a compliance plan, you should prioritize and adapt to the requirements and priorities of your organization or industry.
For this, the 2024 compliance trends that were outlined here can help you see where the practice is heading towards and some possible transformations that might lay ahead. Some aspects to look out for include the impact of AI, an extra focus on cybersecurity and data protection, and the inclusion of third-party Risk Management, and regulatory Change Management.