Internal Audit in the Age of Disruption

Disruption is sometimes described as a wave, crashing upon established business practices; or as an earthquake, upending the stable ground upon which the organization has stayed solid for years.

Think of disruption as something happening completed out the norms in relation to your business like what happened to the Hotel industries when AirBnB joined the market and complete disrupted the industry.

As internal auditors in our duty to provide assurance, insight and foresight, we have a great role to play in the age of disruption. Our greatest challenge now is to understand the disruption in our industries, can we see it when it is coming? Can we provide insight and advice to our organizations about the future of doing business?  Can we help our organizations create more value?

Disruption can be quick and unexpected and hence the need to change the practice of focusing on the historical audits and engage more on providing assurance using the modern technologies, tools and embrace continuous auditing. If you see how the digital camera first came in and completely disrupted major players like Kodak, how the likes of Samsung and Apple completely took Blackberry by surprise, you will understand that our roles as Internal Auditors is changing very fast and those who cannot cope and adopt will only have one options, exit the professional and find another job!

Its’ not too late to upskill your teams in Analytics, Robotic Process Application (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and emerging trends. It’s not too late to start.

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