Tom Fox’s guests this week are Anil Karmel and Travis Howerton, co-founders of C2 Labs. They both had leading positions in the government’s nuclear weapons program and left to found their company. They and Tom talk about “fixing the cadence mismatch” between digitally transforming heavily regulated industries and the need for compliance.



Technology vs Compliance

“Business processes in heavily regulated industries are built to standardize the way systems are built, designed, deployed, and to protect the organization,” Anil remarks. “So you know really to transform technology business processes need to also be transformed… There’s really been this need to fix this cadence mismatch between the need to be compliant and the need to modernize technology.” Travis adds that two-thirds of organizations find digital transformation challenging. Their goal at C2 Labs is to help clients modernize their business processes using technology tools while maintaining compliance and even reducing cost and risk.

RegOps in Compliance

“One of the things we’ve heavily focused on,” Anil tells Tom, “is bringing DevOps to compliance in something we’re calling regulatory operations or RegOps – where now you have the ability to transform the culture coupled with the tools to allow compliance professionals to quickly develop and deploy applications and ensure that they are continuously compliant, to simplify and automate regulatory compliance in real-time.” Travis comments on the value of automating repetitive processes: it allows humans to focus on analyzing data and making better decisions based on that data. Tom asks if they advocate data visualization. Travis responds, “Our focus is making sure that you’re capturing the right stuff in the right way and the most cost-effective way, and that it’s driving real-world risk reduction and improving compliance posture.”

Digital Transformation in Action

Tom commends C2 Labs’ philosophy of ‘digital transformation in action’. He asks the men to describe what the term means to them and why they believe in it. Anil posits that “digital transformation is going to disrupt nearly every company and organization on the planet over the next decade.” The problem, especially in highly regulated industries, is making that transformation a reality. He describes C2 Labs’ approach, which is heavily based on the automation of useful and necessary processes. “Automating stupid is not an accomplishment,” he quips. The best technology is useless if you don’t stay compliant, however. As such, the company ensures that every improvement has an audit trail and is compliant with regulatory guidelines. Anil and Travis tell Tom how their company handles audit trails, including their Time Travel feature.

The Future of Compliance

“Where do you see this journey going around digital transformation five years or maybe even 10 years down the road?” Tom asks. Anil and Travis respond that digital transformation is an inevitable part of the next few years, and how ready you are for it will determine the fate of your company. You need continuous compliance to manage digital transformation, so there must be both a cultural as well as technological transformation in the compliance space. The question to answer is, “How do we help optimize the implementation of these regulations in a way that’s repeatable, that gets the outcome that was intended without it being the drain on business?” Their compliance manifesto outlines a set of principles that can guide the discussion, they tell Tom.



Anil Karmel on LinkedIn

Travis Howerton on LinkedIn