SIG University

Get Ready for the New Normal

While automation may reduce the need for some jobs, it will also introduce jobs that we have not even imagined.

I recently went back to read an article that I bookmarked a while back on the predictions for 2020. Forget self-driving cars and flying cars; Popular Mechanics magazine predicted in 1951 that every family in the 21st century would have at least one helicopter in their garage. They also predicted in 1957 that every road and street would be “replaced by a network of pneumatic tubes,” and your car would only need enough power to get from your home to the newest tube.

Dave Evans, the chief futurist for Cisco Visual Networking, actually predicted in 2012 that he'd be out of a job by this time because, as he forecasted, everyone would be able to predict the future themselves.

Automating Everyday Tasks

I wasn’t alive when Popular Mechanics made its predictions, but I was alive for the statement by Dave Evans. What I know for sure is that while his prediction for companies to make data-informed decisions is slowly coming to fruition, we are far off from a world without futurists. What amazes me is that most automation predictions were in the form of self-driving cars rather than taking place in everyday life.

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

Organizational Alignment For The Intelligent Automation Journey

The steps a company must take for a successful RPA & Intelligent Automation journey

SIG University Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) Program graduate Mike Morsch has led an RPA and IA journey before. He discusses the steps a company must address to ensure a successful Intelligent Automation journey to produce the best long term and sustainable outcomes.

In the CIAP program, students gain knowledge of automation technologies, learn how to identify the correct opportunities to build, run and sustain a successful automation program, and will understand the true potential of IPA technologies when adopted correctly.


I found the CIAP certification training to be an excellent baseline for anybody looking to embark on an intelligent automation (IA) journey. Senior leaders looking to sponsor a program really need to think through how they can best start the program to ensure both leadership and associates understand the focus of the program. It is easy to get caught up in “cost savings” and getting fast and visible results to justify a program. While quick wins are always a good way to show the value of any initiative, the long term benefits available in taking a broader view will pay the most dividends on investment over time. In thinking about my own experience and the lessons learned in the CIAP program, I would suggest to anyone considering IA the following areas of focus to create the best program.

Mike Morsch, VP Global Procurement

How to Become a Certified Intelligent Automation Professional

Intelligent process automation technologies allow your team to focus on more strategic business objectives.

SIG University’s Certified Intelligent Automation Professional (CIAP) program is an online certification program for working professionals who seek to become more efficient and free up team resources by automating repetitive, rules-based activities. An investment in the CIAP designation will provide your team with a holistic understanding of Intelligent Process Automation technologies so they can focus on more strategic business objectives.

Outlined here is more information on the benefits of a CIAP designation, as well as a profile of who would benefit from the program.  


What is Intelligent Process Automation?

Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is an evolving set of software technologies that can be used singly or in combination to automate repetitive, rules-based routine tasks. The Intelligent Process Automation technologies are broadly categorized as:

  • Robotic Process Automation – Handles repeatable, routine and predictable tasks
  • Cognitive technologies – Have the ability to be trained to read variable inputs and determine what actions to take under different circumstances.
  • Workflow orchestration – Manages work between different IPA technologies, legacy systems and human workers.
  • Virtual agents – Use voice or text chat for direct interaction with users.

The key to true Intelligent Process Automation is how to combine the above-mentioned tools to solve end-to-end business problems. 

James Swinford, CEO, Virtual Operations

RegTech and the Role of Third-Party Risk Management

As risk and compliance management professionals look to RegTech companies to assist with their legal, regulatory and compliance mandate, it’s important to have a solid third-party risk management program in place to make risk-informed decisions for the extended enterprise.

In highly regulated industries, there are seemingly endless regulatory and compliance requirements and activities, and they often are inseparable from the underlying risk management activities themselves, including those for third parties.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. has arguably become the most complex and costly jurisdiction for regulatory compliance. An article published by World Economic Forum on enterprise risk management points out that banks are “less experienced with non-traditional threats such as cyber risk, strategic risk, operational risk, regulatory risk and legal risk. Making matters trickier, these risks aren’t easily quantified.” The authors also note that “the growth in such risks is virtually unprecedented in the history of banking. This puts a premium on firms’ abilities to make connections and to recognize the complex whole is far greater than the sum of its parts.”

The financial services sector leads the pack in terms of the amount of regulation it is subject to, including the compliance challenges, regulations and laws in near and far-flung jurisdictions, as well as the cost and complexity of compliance, risk management and governance practices. This sector is not alone is the endless struggle to balance costs and compliance. Healthcare, oil and gas, and the tech sector are also struggling with the cost and complexity to managing sector-specific risks and compliance.

>>More from Linda Tuck Chapman -- Third Party Risk Management: An Opportunity for Procurement<<

Linda Tuck Chapman, President, Ontala Performance & Education Solutions

Drive an Effective Governance Program with Technology

Artificial intelligence and machine learning technology can help organizations foster a culture of innovation with their third parties.

Jai Chinnakonda, co-founder of a provider technology start-up, enrolled in SIG University's Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program to learn how he can better serve his clients by gaining a more thorough understanding of third-party risk management best practices.

In the C3PRMP program, students focus on best and emerging practices to identify, assess, manage and control third-party risk throughout the lifecycle of relationships, and learn how to align risk fundamentals and frameworks with risk culture to develop the essential tools and controls for effective governance.


The digital age is seeing an increased dependence on third-party service providers of varying sizes – including start-ups – to meet the challenges of technological innovation, cost, demand for service excellence and heightened competition. 

Organizations are often locked in a love-hate relationship with their vendors as they struggle to meet expectations, sometimes both ways. In today’s digital journey, no organization can thrive on its own. To create true value for your organization and help meet business objectives, your organization will need to build a lasting relationship with your third parties. Organizations will need to adopt the art and science of engagement.

The business ecosystem is experiencing a fundamental shift. Organizations are moving away from purely cost-savings partnerships to value-generating risk-sharing partnership models. As the third-party ecosystem grows, the ability to manage and govern third parties is becoming more critical to success.

Jai Chinnakonda, Co-Founder, ENGAIZ

4 Steps to Build a High-Functioning Team

Implementing Dr. Bruce's Tuckman's four stages of group development

While enrolled in SIG University's Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program, Omar Khweiss was able to contribute his expertise to help his distributed team grow, face up to challenges, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work and deliver results.

The CSMP program exposes students to leading-edge training on contract administration, compliance, risk mitigation, performance, governance operating models, talent management support, transformation and more to help companies put effective governance programs in place.


During a recent visit to my company’s headquarters, I met some of my fellow senior buyers for a team project that we are embarking upon together. We all come from various regions of North America and this was our first time working together. Coincidentally, the meeting took place during my last week of SIG University’s Certified Supplier Management Professional program. I took the initiative to implement Dr. Bruce Tuckman’s group development process discussed in Module 7 to help the team dynamic evolve. As prescribed, I utilized the forming, storming, norming and performing stages from his theory to take full advantage of this prime opportunity to all share collectively in real time.

Stage 1 - Forming

We started off with the initial stage of forming. On day one, we asked our manager why we were selected to be a part of this team as well as what was expected of us. Our manager presented his vision for the team but also gave us the sense that we’d work independently since we all hold seniority within the procurement division of our company.

Omar Khweiss, Senior Buyer, J.R. Simplot Company

Laying the Foundation for a Vendor Management Program

A Senior IT Consultant talks about shaping a risk culture and standardizing her company's vendor review process.

While enrolled in SIG University's Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) Program, Wendy Hsu was able to immediately apply what she learned and contribute her expertise toward sourcing a third-party risk management tool to develop her organization's Third Party Risk Management Program.

In the C3PRMP program, students focus on best and emerging practices to identify, assess, manage and control third-party risk throughout the lifecycle of relationships, and learn how to align risk fundamentals and frameworks with risk culture to develop the essential tools and controls for effective governance.


In more ways than one, the learning opportunity with SIG University’s Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program was more than coincidental. Earlier in the year, I had chosen the C3PRMP program to fulfill my 2019 Individual Development Plan objective. Little did I know that by July I would be fully engaged in assisting my manager to source a suitable third-party risk management tool and develop a project plan to implement our future Third Party Risk Management (TPRM) program. While the timing of my taking the certification program couldn’t be better, the challenges ahead of my company’s TPRM program (which will soon be called Key Vendor Management Program) couldn’t be greater given we are a young company still in the process of shaping our risk culture and standardizing our vendor review process.

Wendy Hsu, Sr. IT Procurement Consultant, Venerable

Change Management: A People and Culture-Driven Approach

Change management is an important part of governance.

After a reorganization within his company, a SIG University graduate applies lessons learned in the Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program to facilitate a people- and culture-driven change management approach to bring his company into regulatory compliance.

The CSMP program exposes students to leading-edge training on contract administration, compliance, risk mitigation, performance, governance operating models, talent management support, transformation and more to help companies put effective governance programs in place.


 

The Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program from SIG University discussed the importance of GR&C and provides samples of governance models with roles and authorities, its relationships, and communication structures in relation to the procurement or sourcing strategies of an organization. I was glad to see these topics discussed as it confirmed the need for reorganization within my company, which now has clearly defined roles and responsibilities between governance and third party risk management and the sourcing department. 

Change Management Theories: A Focus on People and Culture

The new governance model implemented considered internal and external factors that affect the overall operations of the organization, most importantly, the people. In order to be successful, we instituted a proactive period of transition using a systematic approach that consisted of a well-defined change plan. Our sourcing department had been resistant to change developed from the previous governance structure, making it challenging to implement new changes. Part of our strategy was to include within our change management plan early involvement of all key players and stakeholders in order to minimize the resistance previously experienced.

David E. Romo-Garza, Director of Business Risk and Controls

SWOT Analysis: A Procurement Best Practice

SWOT Analysis graph

A Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) student rediscovers the benefit of SWOT analysis, a tried and true procurement best practice. In the CSP program, students focus on the hard and soft skills of sourcing, including strategic sourcing and outsourcing methodologies, as well as best practices in negotiations. 


It is common for many procurement professionals to lose sight of the basics and fall into a pattern of just following along with the habits they’ve built through the years. During SIG University’s Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program, I was able to take a step back and evaluate some best practices that seem to have fallen off in my procurement department.

Within my organization, as with many, there is a never-ending sense of urgency when internal stakeholders come to us with sourcing or contracting needs that they would like completed yesterday. By actively embracing SWOT analysis, procurement would be able to better serve its stakeholders. This analysis would provide better oversight of issues as they arise and increase the potential of solving business issues with enhanced results.

Sammi Kiesel, Strategic Sourcing Advisor

Breathing New Life into Traditional Vendor Management

Vendor risk management is part of effective governance.

SIG University Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) Program graduate David England has noticed a decline in vendor management teams. He shares his thoughts on how the adoption of third-party risk management strategies by vendor management teams can help position them as a key asset and reverse their decline.

In the C3PRMP program, students focus on best and emerging practices to identify, assess, manage and control third-party risk throughout the lifecycle of relationships, and learn how to align risk fundamentals and frameworks with risk culture to develop the essential tools and controls for effective governance.


There is a growing awareness within the mainstream business community of the importance associated with effective third-party risk management – a capability that has been nicely incubating and maturing within heavily regulated industries, such as banking and financial services, for eons. This increased exposure and attention could be just what is needed to revitalize the flagging vendor management movement.

Many F500 organizations have well-established vendor management capabilities that spawned several decades ago with the onset of strategic process outsourcing and continue today as an effective operational strategy. Many organizations I have consulted with over the past 15 years benefit from these capabilities, which has helped them achieve the value intended from these important vendor relationships. These key capabilities include:

David England, Director, Governance Services at ISG

Pages