With business moving faster than ever in our digital age, disruptive companies and industries are offering consumers new and exciting options that have never been available before. At the same time, they are causing headaches for governments and regulatory bodies since legislation and regulations can’t seem to keep up with the speed of the changes. With regulations uncertain, compliance becomes a nebulous situation.
The most blatant example of this is the adoption of drones by companies as vehicles for the faster delivery of products. Major online retailers like Amazon and Alibaba have been ready to put this into action for years, some with fleets of drones ready to go. The speed bump has been the fact that aviation laws and regulations haven’t been updated to take the drones into account, so what could have been a revolution in home delivery several years ago is still on the back-burner, waiting for the regulatory bodies to catch up.
The Uber Debate
The latest disruptive industry to create waves in Australia is the rise of ride-sharing service Uber. Certain parties are demanding that government regulate the company in the same way that they do current taxi services. Others believe that although some regulations are necessary, Uber might bring about much needed reform to the current regulations, relaxing or eliminating some of the more burdensome and unnecessary requirements.
The two sides fall along fairly specific arguments. On the one hand, existing taxi services shouldn’t be hurt by a new entrant that doesn’t have to conform to the same set of regulations, and consumers should be offered the same level of safety protections they currently have in taxi services. On the other hand competition is always good for consumers, so Uber’s low fares and the ability for consumers to rate the drivers and the service in real time will naturally force the existing monopolies to up their game and perhaps lower their prices.
Changes and More Changes
Compliance outcomes are under greater scrutiny than ever, with governments, consumers and the general public expecting high levels of compliance across all industries. Incidents, failures and non-compliance are highly visible to a large audience. The situation with Uber appears to be coming to a head which will probably result in a quick regulatory solution, whichever way that falls.
Unfortunately, an expedient answer that comes under pressure also means that there is a great likelihood that changes will be in the cards before long, meaning that Uber – and any other disruptive companies facing the same dilemma, like AirBnB – will face hardships in complying with what may be a moving target for a while. Similar difficulties will be faced by the regulatory bodies as they discover and adjust to the realities of the new situation. Co-regulation offers an effective way to manage these competing demands, in a field that is already layered with complexity.
Complying with a Moving Target
Co-regulation is an idea fuelled by a standardised and automated compliance solution in which both the regulatory bodies and the businesses can have open real-time access to the compliance situation. This allows for the kind of transparency and collaboration necessary to ensure that the issues that will inevitably arise are more easily recognised and addressed. To learn more about co-regulation, download our free ebook – Co-regulation and Compliance: Solutions that automate and standardise compliance.
Uber won’t be an isolated case. Australia’s Start-Up sector is booming, and regulators need to be prepared for the changes and challenges ahead that will undoubtedly come from the rise of more and more innovative and disruptive industries. Both businesses and regulators can be prepared for these changes by implementing a standardised compliance solution. Compliance Checkpoint is such a solution, with automation and end-to-end standardisation that allows real-time monitoring for co-regulation and efficiency in compliance.