Why digitization moving slow for Compliance, Legal and Secretarial functions in India

As the whole corporate world globally is moving towards digitization and ensuring that they make the best use of data, take faster decisions and smart storage of documents, the pace is slow with Compliance, Legal and Secretarial functions in India. We conducted a survey speaking to Chief Compliance Officers, General Counsels and Company Secretaries of leading corporates and it was quite eye-opener for us and we thought that this article should be good read for Board Members, CEOs, CFOs and CTOs to support compliance, legal and secretarial functions in digitization and help organization achieve better efficiency, greater control and creating an organization memory.

Lack of budgetary allocation: In many companies, while Compliance Officers or General Counsels are very keen to automation their function but they do not have budget allocation which means that even if there are intent and enough cash in the company, the budget constraint resulted in delays. Many responses suggested that these functions got special budget allocations from CEOs & CFOs.

A need of Project Manager: While everyone understands and can appreciate the immense advantage of automation and benefits of digitization, however, the whole project requires a lot of time commitment. At times the project takes almost 3 months hence Compliance Officers, Company Secretaries and General Counsels generally takes these projects around July – Aug as this is the time when they have a fairly easy schedule. Our responses also suggested that a lot of time corporates released one employee from his day to day function and allotted the project management assignment to ensure the successful transition.

Staying in comfort zone: This one largely goes to the function heads including Compliance Officers, General Counsels, and Company Secretaries and they feel that using excel sheets and word documents has been taking care of their need for decades so why change. But in reality things have changed, businesses have moved from word and excels. Earlier things were moved without technology and now everything moves around technology. Be it movie ticket booking, payment transaction, school report cards, air-tickets, hotels, hospital visit, bank visits or even doctor visits, you are required to use technology. Also, there is a need to shift individual memory to institutional memory so unless we automate and digitize, things will remain in memories of individuals.

Keeping data on the web: There is general fear in minds of Corporate Secretaries and Compliance Heads that the data will be on the web. The reality is that even otherwise the data is on the web as you access all your data through remote access i.e. from home, other cities, hotel etc. Hence the fear about data on the web is unwarranted. Instead, the automation helps you to store all data and perform various functions of Company Secretaries, General Counsel and Compliance Officer from wherever you are and even you can use any device like iPad, Handphone, Laptop etc to perform your assignment.

We at Volody has been instrumental in digitization Corporate Legal, Compliance and Secretarial functions of many corporates which resulted in automation of day-to-work, centralized data at one place, helpful in taking financial and non-financial decisions and managing respective function smartly.

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