Regulations drive compliancy in AP

Survey shows the number of Asia-Pacific companies that have implemented compliance programs has doubled over the previous year.
Written by Farihan Bahrin on

More companies in the Asia-Pacific region are realizing the importance of local regulatory compliance and are moving to implement compliance activities within their organizations, new research from MarketShare has revealed.

K.C. Yee, vice president for Asia-Pacific at Serena Software, the company that commissioned the study, said in a statement: "While the take-up of compliance initiatives in Asia has increased, the main drivers have also changed, with local regulations being a major factor.

"This can be expected with countries such as Japan already creating J-SOX which is set to go into effect next year. Other countries in Asia are following suit and developing their own industry regulations, and this will be the main driver of compliance activities in Asia over the next two years."

MarketShare's study measures the understanding of regulatory compliance and IT, levels of compliance-related implementations, and IT spending directed at compliance-related activities. The study surveyed CIOs in countries across Asia-Pacific including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.

According to MarketShare, 42 percent of Asia-Pacific companies interviewed have implemented compliance programs, double that of last year's figure. MarketShare attributed the uptake in compliance programs due to local in-country regulations, adding that 46 percent of survey respondents cited local regulations as the main reason to implement regulatory compliance programs.

This trend contrasts to that of 2006, said MarketShare, where the main driver of compliance-related programs in the Asia-Pacific region was due to globalization factors. Last year, companies that were looking at trading with overseas companies and markets had to adhere to regulations from the market they were trading with.

MarketShare holds that globalization-related factors--such as cross border and international trading--will likely continue to play a prominent role in driving compliancy activities this year.

The survey also found that 79 percent of Asia-Pacific respondents believe that they will gain an advantage over their competitors by complying with regulatory compliance standards, compared with only 69 percent a year ago.

Japan has also overtaken Singapore as the leader in regards to current take-up of regulatory compliance. Some 56 percent of Japanese respondents said they had implemented compliance programs, compared to the Asia-Pacific average of 41 percent. Singapore is in second place at 52 percent.

Japan is also seen as the country leading the change in meeting regulatory compliance standards, taking over the top position from Singapore a year ago, according to the study. Thirty-four percent of companies surveyed feel that Japan is the most active in terms of meeting compliance standards, compared to 26 percent for Singapore.

Farihan Bahrin is a freelance IT writer based in Singapore.

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