The biggest risk is not taking any risk … In a world that's changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks," What Mark Zuckerberg stated throws light on the fact that risk and business are inseparable. While there are risks that a business deliberately takes to see what's beyond their boundaries, there are many other kinds of challenges, risks and threats that a business encounters without a prior notice. In an era where IT acts as a spine for most business organizations, the advent of mobile, social and cloud technologies has extended the business outside corporate firewalls, creating, in effect, "shadow" IT department. Thus, growing regulatory environment, higher business complexity and increased focus on accountability have led enterprises to pursue a broad range of governance, risk and compliance initiatives across their organizations. However, if these initiatives are uncoordinated in an era where risks are interdependent and controls are shared, the results could not be fruitful.
This being the scenario, enterprise risk managers need to be equipped with state-of-the-art tools. Such tools provided a decade ago were very expensive and were offered by a few vendors as the worldwide risk control solutions marketplace was dominated by the likes of IBM and CA. To bridge the demand and supply gap back then, was born ARCON TechSolutions, which has today emerged as a leading technology company specializing in risk control solutions. The 2006 founded company offers a proprietary unified governance framework, which addresses risk across various technology platforms.
Established in London with research & development headquartered in Mumbai, ARCON saw its first product implementation in a major bank in India in 2007. With a small beginning, ARCON has come a long way both in terms of number of customers, as well as its product maturity. It has also expanded its portfolio over the years and currently offers products for automated risk control, real-time risk assessment and privileged identity management to over 100 customers, including major telecommunications operators spread across India and Middle East.
Anil Bhandari, Chief Mentor, ARCON TechSolutions believes that the scenario in the risk control ecosystem has been changing rapidly with the entry of many smaller players offering niche products and an expanding customer base where even SMEs are actively looking for risk control solutions. He says, "ARCON is the only major player in India offering wide range of risk control solutions. Driven by the 'digital India' initiative of the government, the marketplace will see substantial growth which we consider a big opportunity for us. Offering an affordable solution to the SME segment without compromising features is a challenging task for us but we are sure to beat all the odds."
Riding high on success, ARCON has been recently listed by Gartner in their PAM and as a leader in Innovation and
Product categories in the 2015 annual leadership compass report released by KuppingerCole. This Leadership Compass provides an overview and analysis of the Privilege Management market segment, sometimes referred to as Privileged Identity Management, Privileged Account Management, and others, in which ARCON specializes in. The recognition does not come as a surprise, since their product, ARCOS Privileged Identity Management Suite, was originally developed as a product for privileged identity and access management in large-scale and highly heterogeneous environments typical for data centers.
Arcon has been listed by gartner in their PAM and as a leader in innovation and products categories in the 2015 annual leadership compass report released by Kuppinger cole
Drilling Down Into Risks Faced by Financial Institutions
A recent survey conducted by Wolters Kluwer of 800 governance, risk and compliance professionals across Asia-Pacific highlights a number of challenges for large financial services organizations and a surprising lack of preparedness in some countries and risk areas. The report states that "multi-billion-dollar fines levied on global banks for compliance breaches and control failures have made headlines the world over ever since the onset of the financial crisis. Some of these contraventions were egregious, others were merely careless. Collectively, many of these fines could have been prevented if the three lines of defense were coordinating their risk, compliance and internal audit processes at a holistic, enterprise level."
Highlighting the risks and compliance issues associated with financial services sector, Anil explains, "With online solutions in many areas of personal and organizational life, many of the financial transactions occurring on digital channel, and technology extensions like Internet of Things, there will be many avenues for cybercrimes to take place. The identities and data at all levels are increasingly at risk. Thus, risk control solutions are the shield with which one needs to move around in the digital world. Risk control solutions are hence required by all businesses irrespective of the size. An earlier investment in such a solution will help avoid many of the future potential dangers."
Well aware of the grey areas in the risk matrix for organizations providing financial services, ARCON always takes a holistic view of risk control and offers a suite of products addressing all the aspects of risk control and compliance. Its solutions have been adopted by major banks and financial institutions in India as they abide by the rules and regulations imposed by regulatory authorities like RBI, IRDA and others.
Nurturing a Highly Agile Engineering Team
Right from the inception, the philosophy of the team at ARCON has been to become a nimble player in providing integrated risk control solutions for an ever changing technology landscape. Its product engineering team remains on a continuous lookout for improving products in terms of features and performance in order to offer comprehensive features in a product suite. Elaborating further, Anil says, "Our technology lab is always busy
experimenting with new technologies and assessing their impacts on the risk control domain. An eye on competitive offerings makes us take a hard look at our own and look for innovative ways to offer improvised features. The agility of our product engineering team is our USP. We take great pride in quick response of the team in satisfying customer needs and introducing new features."
The team at ARCON consists of experienced professionals with industry knowledge and strong technology background who have in past worked with some of the large corporations including several Fortune 500 companies. The 10 years old organization thrives on agile and young product development team with a perfect blend of experienced and young technology enthusiasts. The team is fully equipped to conceptualize and deliver solutions across various risk interfaces. It constantly engages in brainstorming sessions and analyzes customers' needs to formulate approach for addressing each of the needs. The approaches are discussed with customers before implementing into the product. In one of the instances while addressing a customer's specific needs, ARCON had put a senior product development team professional at the customer site to ensure smooth implementation of the specific need.
Furthermore, ARCON boasts of having one of the best in class risk labs established in Europe, which helps in its research and development efforts. The management at ARCON believes that it is important to balance professional life with personal life and hence, the work environment adopted in the organization is flexible yet motivated to produce results. "We encourage our people to connect, communicate and celebrate the essence of life along with work with an idea to make ARCON a home away from home. Our value driven culture ensures a work environment that is open, transparent and encourages and supports excellence at work. In addition to creating an organizational culture that is value driven, significant efforts are made to infuse a sense of ownership," adds Anil.
Becoming a Partner in Growth
ARCON firmly believes to partner with every customer so as to ensure that they derive maximum value of the product than the price they pay. It does not assume freedom from responsibilities and celebrate just after the end of installation of the product, but only when it hears words of satisfaction from the customer. "Truly speaking for ARCON, we engage with every customer in an everlasting engagement assuring them that we are always there whenever they need. We are always happy to hear what we can do more for them," asserts Anil. Besides onsite support during installation and implementation, ARCON has 24 X 7 support facilities from its offices. "Our philosophy of not leaving even smallest of customer queries unanswered is the key of ensuring customer satisfaction," he adds.
Foreseeing Vulnerabilities and Building a Defense
The management team at ARCON deems innovation to be the key driving all its products till date and in the future to come. "Our vision is to foresee vulnerabilities ahead of time and be ready with solutions. We will be on a continuum of experimenting with latest technologies to offer robust and complete solutions," concludes Anil. Having ensured robust risk control mechanisms, ARCON envisions going further to provide facilities to extract deeper insights into the huge collection of data.