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Sins of the Silo

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Jun 25, 2018


The financial services sector faces numerous obstacles – especially the constant change in regulations. Michael Powell, Solutions Consultant at ZL Technologies, shares insights around the four biggest compliance challenges facing the industry today and how data management can play a role in overcoming them.

With a unique set of compliance standards, the financial services industry faces numerous obstacles in an ever-changing regulatory landscape. The largest organizations must constantly assess changes in regulations, changes in technology and changes in processes in order to appropriately approach information governance. Business processes, technology adoption and acquisitions/divestments, by their nature, create silos. Many of the headaches compliance officers and managers face can be traced directly back to these emergent silos. The four biggest compliance challenges facing the financial services sector today all start here.


Silos are a blessing and a curse; they are usually created by a new process or tool adopted by a part of the firm, meaning there are innovations taking place and time-saving tools available to employees, increasing productivity. Free data sources, like Slack or Dropbox, often pop up across the enterprise and pose liability risk before compliance officers are even aware of their existence. While these programs undeniably provide certain workflow benefits, they also further fracture organizational data control.

The bottom line: regulators don’t care if organizational data is scattered across the enterprise and difficult to access. Regulations apply equally to data across these silos and platforms. If it contains regulated data or communications, it must be managed appropriately. Therefore, it’s vital compliance officers and managers take all these platforms into account when planning their organization’s compliance policies and procedures.

So how do we handle silos if they emerge naturally? One method is to attempt to apply the whole stack of compliance processes to each silo; this is typically an expensive and error-prone endeavor. Another option is to use an archive or repository to govern all your information and simply add new data sources as they emerge. This requires less overhead and fewer changes at a business process level, as you eliminate many redundant steps.

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