Compliance Gap Analysis: Fine-Tuning the Compliance Engine

Michal Norman
April 10, 2024
Discover the better way to carry out a Compliance gap analysis with anecdotes

The concept of Compliance has changed. It has become checklists, box-ticking and audits. And while there is value in passing audits, the real value lies in ensuring that the organization fulfills legal obligations, and reduces the risks associated with non-compliance. In other words, in actually becoming and remaining compliant.

Yet, many companies have relegated Compliance management to an annual event. Like a car, it is serviced once a year and then forgotten about until the next time.

Where once Compliance monitoring was a tool that allowed for the organization to gain deeper insights into its posture and find potential gaps, it is now admin, pressure, and frustration.

This is understandable. There are significant challenges when it comes to Compliance gap analysis. 

What is Compliance Gap Analysis?

Compliance gap analysis is a systematic process used to evaluate an organization's current level of Compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards, with the goal of identifying any gaps or deficiencies. It involves comparing the controls the organization has put in place against the required Compliance requirements, highlighting areas that need improvement or corrective action to ensure full Compliance. The analysis provides valuable insights that enable organizations to prioritize and implement necessary measures to bridge the identified gaps and enhance their Compliance efforts.

Challenges with Identifying Compliance Gaps

There are numerous difficulties with conducting a Compliance gap assessment. Some of the more common challenges are:

  • You have to navigate an ever-changing, ever-growing technology stack
  • Your organizational structure is complex
  • The risk landscape is constantly changing
  • Information and data are fragmented and scattered across various systems, departments, or sources
  • Identifying Compliance gaps requires dedicated resources, time, personnel, and technology
  • You need an in-depth understanding of Compliance expectations and mandates to identify the gaps correctly
  • It can introduce more challenges and complexities that may affect performance and Compliance
  • Manually updating evidence and control statuses is time-consuming and can impact reliability
  • False positives as existing gap mechanisms detect gaps that are not relevant to your organization and its unique requirements

But what if this could change? What if identifying gaps in your Compliance and Risk posture wasn’t so cumbersome?

Why Bother with Detecting Gaps in Compliance?

Just as the dashboard tells the driver that the engine is overheating, for example, Compliance gaps tell the organization when there is potential for risk and what processes are introducing risks.

A Compliance gap analysis will also:

  • Help the business manage Compliance and risk programs
  • Discover deficiencies in controls or evidence that could indicate evolving risks or non-compliance
  • Allow for the business to address gaps and remain compliant while minimizing risks proactively
  • Enable you to significantly reduce Compliance gaps by taking prompt remedial actions and ensure consistent adherence to regulatory requirements
  • Allow you to gain rich control over data, organizational visibility, Compliance, and potential organizational gaps to mitigate risks and enhance Compliance hygiene.

In short, the gaps tell the organization where to go on the road to Compliance. Which brings us back to our earlier question - how can we gain a deep understanding of our Compliance and Risk posture without having to perform endless manual work?

In order to fulfill its true purpose, continuing with the car metaphor, Compliance monitoring needs an engine (a powerful Compliance management solution), a dashboard (to assess the overall Compliance posture of the organization), GPS (processes and controls) and fuel (data).

The Compliance Dashboard

A car’s dashboard provides every driver with an overview of how everything is working. Oil? Check. Brakes? Check. Doors shut? Check. Drivers don’t set aside two hours before every trip to go through the vehicle to ensure everything is working properly; they trust the dashboard to give them a clear picture and a green light. If no alarm shows up on the dashboard, you know you are ready to go.

Compliance management should provide the exact same function. Instead of Compliance teams having to go through all the data to find gaps, problems, and risks at every turn, they need an automated dashboard to help them monitor gaps in Compliance quickly and efficiently.

Imagine a digital dashboard that:

  • Eliminates the need to manually sift through extensive data to identify gaps in evidence
  • Provides an ongoing Compliance gap analysis that identifies risks and opportunities
  • Proactively identifies and addresses Compliance deficiencies
  • Fosters a culture of adherence to regulations and risk mitigation

You have Reached your Compliance Gap Destination

Such an automated dashboard, as a part of the larger analysis engine, lifts the manual burden from the GRC team. It is designed to sift through the data, find the Compliance gaps, and smooth over the bumps traditionally sitting in the road to Compliance gap analysis.

Using the right tools, your organization can:

  1. Stay on track with continuous Compliance monitoring aligned with your specific Compliance standards in real-time
  2. Automate your evidence status
  3. Configure and manage rules that allow you to effectively monitor and gain insights into your organization’s specific Compliance requirements
  4. Set up your own rules so you can flag any gaps and tailor your insights to your needs
  5. Gain peace of mind because your Compliance gap analysis is run every week automatically, and all the relevant stakeholders are advised of any issues or challenges, automatically

Welcome to a completely different approach to Compliance management, one that prioritizes your organization. Instead of annual, it’s ongoing. Instead of complex and daunting, it’s automated.

How to use Technology to Perform your Compliance Gap Analysis

Technology designed to provide the organization with seamless visibility and rich control can transform how the Compliance engine runs and how easily it arrives at its destination.

Just remember:

  • Your gaps are not a threat; they are a guide to optimizing your Compliance posture.
  • Your data is not administration; it is the information you need to proactively identify gaps in Compliance and address Compliance deficiencies.
  • Your Compliance gap analysis is not another complication; it is a way of fostering a culture of adherence to regulations while minimizing the risks.
  • There is technology designed to help you thrive in the era of Compliance.