DUBAI; February 12, 2018 - Accenture (NYSE: ACN), in collaboration with The World Government Summit, has released a new report that finds that regulators must embrace the innovative application of emerging technologies, known as RegTech, to enable a more effective regulatory environment, mitigate risks and drive competitive advantage. According to the report, RegTech allows regulatory processes to be redesigned, enabling real-time, data-driven decisions that drive innovation.
As digital disruption increases, innovative products and services, such as ride sharing and lodging services, are increasingly challenging or bypassing regulatory processes. The report, RegTech for Regulators, finds that RegTech opens a treasure chest of opportunities for regulators to keep pace by using analytics and anticipatory interventions at an unprecedented scale, helping to build trust in regulations needed for new business innovations.
“The regulatory environment has a tremendous impact on a country's ability to innovate and prosper. In the coming years, data and insights will be a catalyst for innovation and business growth and serve as the backbone of more effective and efficient regulatory systems,” said Gianmario Pisanu, managing director and consulting lead for Accenture in the Middle East and Turkey. “Regulators should consider moving away from the traditional debate between risk-based and principles-based regulation and leverage data to cut enforcement and compliance costs.”
The report identifies a clear roadmap that regulators can use to adopt RegTech in the near term.
- Initiate Open Engagement: The relationship between the regulator and the regulated must undergo a transition to become more cooperative, rather than adversarial. There is potential to work together with governments, technology startups, academia, technology service providers and industry associations to understand how technology is evolving, what it means for regulators, and how its adoption can be accelerated.
- Orchestrate Innovative Ecosystems: Creating the enabling environment requires regulators to work with ecosystem stakeholders and invest in digital technologies. Helping regulators in this journey are RegTech initiatives that work with financial authorities in select markets to strengthen and accelerate innovative capabilities.
- Test Potential Solutions: Regulators should play a catalytic role in the development and adoption of RegTech solutions. There is merit in starting small by testing potential technologies, tools and solutions in a controlled regulatory sandbox environment, which allows regulators to engage entrepreneurs more quickly and at a lower cost.
- Transform Operations: The regulator of the future will be an analytics-driven organization with data scientists, behavioral scientists and technology specialists playing a vital role. Legacy systems will have to be replaced by more agile and cloud-first platforms. This will also mean embedding the voice of the customer as well as the regulated entities into the regulatory process and driving technological deployment to break organizational boundaries restricting the free flow of talent and ideas.
In the longer term, the report suggests that regulators look at “Regulation as a Platform”, which is defined as a holistic approach in which regulators collaborate with businesses, government entities and citizens to drive innovation and improve compliance outcomes. Made possible through capabilities such as machine learning and analytics, the platform makes it easier for business and government to understand and work with regulation.
Regulation as a Platform can be a catalyst for the creation of innovative advisory applications. One example is a Smart Advisor solution for regulators and business organizations, developed by Accenture Labs. The solution leverages technology tools — such as conversational agents, predictive monitoring, sentiment analysis and social risk analysis — to help officials at a regulatory agency or a business organization make better decisions leading to improved outcomes for all stakeholders.