by Kevin Slate, VP, Technology
Recently, I spoke with Paul Lowrie, CEO of ControlNet to find out about the latest member of the Clover solution portfolio. ControlNet is a leader in developing risk management and control solutions for enterprise customers.
Paul, What solutions does ControlNet provide and who is its clientele?
ControlNet provides risk management and control solutions. Our solutions are flexible, allowing organizations to link their current risk management platforms with our controls module and providing complete visibility of business-wide controls and checklists.
For businesses needing an all-encompassing solution, we offer implementation of a full risk management program, providing end to end management of risk and control covering all three lines of defense; business, operational risk and audit.
Our clients range from large financial services organizations such as Royal Bank of Canada who have deployed our software globally, to smaller boutique firms using ControlNet to strengthen their control environment. While our initial clients were in the financial services industry, the solution is industry agnostic and can equally be deployed in any industry sector.
What do you feel are the benefits of working with ControlNet versus your competitors?
ControlNet is a challenger to some of the larger players in the development of risk software. While the larger players have dominated the market, they are often using older, less flexible technology. At ControlNet we can be more agile in responding to our customers’ needs.
We pride ourselves on our ability to provide a stronger user experience, utilizing customer feedback to address the concerns and needs of our clients regarding their existing solutions.
We put our customers first, with our primary focus on ensuring ControlNet addresses their requirements to reduce risk, increase business wide visibility and provide accountability for their control environments in a user-friendly way.
What is a recent success that you would like to highlight? How did ControlNet help the customer?
Let me share an abbreviated case study from one of our recent clients:
Who – Global Financial Services Organisation
Problem to Solve– Global Head of Operations based in London. Processing centres across the world. Lack of visibility of controls.
How did ControlNet help:
- Moved paper-based and excel spreadsheets into a single source for business controls
- Evidence uploaded to the controls removed the need for evidence in SharePoint sites
- Provided alerting to managers when controls go overdue or fail which allowed proactive management of control issues before they became error losses
- Reduced costs across the business from the execution of controls to preparing reporting / MI
- Green Solution – Paper based checklists discontinued
- Cost Reduction – Fewer operational losses, fewer audit points / less time spent with auditors, less time managing controls, MI on demand
- Demonstrable compliance with policies and regulations
- Supported by external auditors
What would you say is unique about ControlNet in your industry?
Market research suggests that there are very few solutions able to provide control management at such a granular level. Most industry standard solutions focus on risks at an aggregated level, while the substantiation of the performance of the controls is often carried out on paper checklists or excel spreadsheets.
ControlNet is unique by providing this necessary level of detail in one system. Each control can be mapped against business hierarchies, key risks, internal and external policies and regulations and company products. Evidence can be uploaded to support the status of the control, comments can be added and actions can be raised and assigned. Alerting capability can be implemented and a dashboard provides users full visibility of the control environment, allowing better management of all controls and the presentation of risks.
What are the biggest challenges that the primary industry you are serving faces today? What do you see on the horizon?
The primary challenge we see in the financial services industry is the volume of controls being managed across many different locations and in many different ways. MI is often reactive, provided in an inconsistent way and usually 3 or 4 weeks after the month for which the data is collected. ControlNet allows organizations to manage controls consistently and proactively, providing a real time view of the status of controls and corresponding actions.
The increased number of people working remotely, coupled with an increased requirement for the implementation of COVID-19 related checks and controls means the traditional methods of paper based and excel checklists are no longer viable.
We are already seeing clients use ControlNet to automate responses by using AI technology and / or Bots. As this technology grows across industries we anticipate more automation of the control environment with even more proactive management of risk to mitigate error losses and risk events.