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The Impact of Implementing a Continuous Monitoring Program in an Organization

ABSTRACT

Background

The Impact of Implementing a Continuous Monitoring Program in an Organization

Research Rationale

The organization's business environment has turned unpredictable and more complex due to various factors that are associated with globalization and digitalization. The increased access to the internet, the inclusion of sophisticated management systems instruments and growing global interrelated economic systems are the major contributing factors to the increasingly business risk(Moon, 2016). More specifically, the need to remain competitive in a dynamic global economy exposes business operations, financial instruments and information and business strategizing to a variable and unknown cloud of risks.

The federal business regulators have proactively set some required compliances that all organizations must adhere. However, most of these compliances which are necessary to help in monitoring the firms' operational and financial status and to recognize any alarming deviations are manual. They are periodically implemented, and an audit committee is then required to prepare a report concerning the level of adherence.

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The inadequacy of the periodic monitoring is the leading factor why organizations need a continuous monitoring program. Notably, also, the current business environment requires and electronic control program implemented alongside the automated business systems. The primary aim of this research is to evaluate the impact on an organization's operations and performance after implementing a continuous monitoring program. This topic is relevant to project management professionals and practitioners since it presents an oversight the process of implementing a plan and evaluating the project's objectives. Other research areas that are related to the study issue include continuous auditing and control assurance. Resources containing information about the implementation of an ongoing monitoring program will also be used as part of data sources. Deloitte, a UK based company that offers industrial auditing is an example of company that has conducted research to determine the how organizations can benefit from implementing a continuous monitoring program. In its report, Deloitte (2010), presents case studies of organizations that have experienced control and security problems and then offers advice on the need for them to use continuous monitoring.

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The inadequacy of the periodic monitoring is the leading factor why organizations need a continuous monitoring program. Notably, also, the current business environment requires and electronic control program implemented alongside the automated business systems. The primary aim of this research is to evaluate the impact on an organization's operations and performance after implementing a continuous monitoring program. This topic is relevant to project management professionals and practitioners since it presents an oversight the process of implementing a plan and evaluating the project's objectives. Other research areas that are related to the study issue include continuous auditing and control assurance. Resources containing information about the implementation of an ongoing monitoring program will also be used as part of data sources. Deloitte, a UK based company that offers industrial auditing is an example of company that has conducted research to determine the how organizations can benefit from implementing a continuous monitoring program. In its report, Deloitte (2010), presents case studies of organizations that have experienced control and security problems and then offers advice on the need for them to use continuous monitoring.

Research Objectives

Organizations vary in size, scope and business model. Accordingly, the natures of business risks they face and are likely to encounter differ considerably. Therefore, divers operations monitoring techniques and measures can be used depending on the organizational characteristics. The major assumption in this research is that all the organizations are currently operating in the globalized and highly digitalized environment and as such, they require a continuous monitoring program to counter the business risks in this environment. The primary hypothesis of the research paper is that organizations access better risk management strategies by using continuous monitoring measures. The objective of the paper is to determine the impacts of using the continuous monitoring strategy to assess operational and financial organization status.

Research Methodology

Research design

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The paper will use the secondary research design. Secondary research uses information already gathered by other researchers in similar areas. The reasons for using this research design is tied to the advantages associated with it. For example, since it utilizes information gathered through primary research, the viability for the data collected and the analysis used to draw the conclusion is guaranteed. Some of the advantages are; the information is readily available and as such the method allows a quick and cheap research. Secondly, it avails data on specific research areas that may be new or restrictive. Thirdly, it is essential for allowing the researcher to utilize the focus and recommendations of the previous primary research and come up with new results in a direction that were either neglected or unconsidered(Cooper, Schindler and Sun, 2003). It is, therefore, crucial to expanding the scientific research findings. In this study, using a secondary research design is critical in that it will allow the utilization of literature from some past research on the area of continuous control monitoring. The study will utilize the typical technique for a secondary research. This method is broken down into four steps that involve identifying the source of information to use, gathering the relevant data, determining the feasibility of the data from various sources and then analyzing the collected data. Some of the literature that will be used for this research include the "Continuous Risk Monitoring and Assessment" by Moon (2016), and "Continuous Monitoring; what it is, Why it is needed and How to use it" by Schultz (2011).

Moon (2016), examines the CRMA, considers why organizations need it and the possible advantages they are likely to get and then provides a methodology for designing and implementing it. Schultz (2011), looks into the benefits of implementing continuous monitoring and especially presents ways of conducting it in an organization. These two research paper utilize secondary data. This study will also use the qualitative analysis technique. This analysis method is used on qualitative information, and it is based on the subjective judgment of the researcher.

The philosophical underpinning of secondary research

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The philosophical foundation of secondary research is viewed from the phenomenological, interpretivism and reflectivity approaches its uses. Each of these developed from the nature of qualitative data often used for secondary research design. Reflectivity allows the researcher to explore the patterns, meanings, and inconsistencies in the data. Also, since the information utilized by a secondary researcher has already been used to draw a conclusion by the primary researcher, the researcher's position on the prior findings is critical to reporting the new findings (Grinnell and Unrau, 2005). Secondary qualitative research also explicitly utilizes an interpretive approach. Qualitative analysis typically involves interpreting the opinions of people, the behaviors, the values, and the experiences that are in the form of data. The research utilizes a descriptive-induction which requires explicit intuition. The intuition, therefore, calls for an interactive relationship between the researcher and the data thus making the analytical process to primarily depend on the researcher's subjectivity.

Secondary qualitative research is based on different epistemological assumptions. A constructivist paradigm informs it with the view that the world facts are constructed by individuals based on their social interactions. The social constructivist approach, therefore, rejects the objectivist view that claims that meaning can be independently identified from consciousness. It, therefore, allows the researcher to act as a social agent and therefore consider idealism; the reflection on the various aspects of the research issue is crucial to drawing a conclusion. Some of the principles used with phenomenology, reflection, and interpretation include contextualization of information, generalization and abstraction, suspicion, dialogical reasoning and understating. Based on these principles, secondary qualitative research allows multiple data analysis, therefore, allowing the researcher to develop varied conclusions

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Data collection method

Since the research is secondary and will use qualitative data and analysis, it will also use qualitative data collection methods. Some of these are survey, interview, observation and documents review. This research paper will primarily use the review of records method. This will require the identification of past research papers about continuous monitoring. Notably, the paper is inclined to emphasizing on the implementation of the program and the evaluating the impact thereof. The documents that will be reviewed will also be categorized into CM project design and implementation, and the results, both positive and adverse effect of using the program.

Document analysis and review involves a systematic process of evaluating the content of electronic and printed materials for the sake of gathering research information (Whittemore, Chase and Mandle, 2001). The viable documents must contain research information that has been recorded without the researcher's contributions. In addition to reviewing research works, this paper will also consider educational materials such as books and journal articles that contain information about continuous monitoring. Notably, most of these materials are related to the topics of information and technology.

Document review is used to gather any available background information concerning a research issue. It is also used to find out whether the project implementation report reflects the expected plan. Notably, to ensure that a document review is used to collect the required data, the researcher must make sure that he understands the reason for the compiling of the document. The accuracy of the information contained in the reviewed document is also critical to ensuring the conclusion drawn from the secondary research is viable.

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The following data contains a summary of some of the companies that sought advice from Deloitte extracted from a report.

Data analysis method

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The study will utilize qualitative data analysis techniques. This approach uses many steps which include the examining of the qualitative data collected. Organizing the date using predetermined qualitative measures is also essential to reducing the data into categories that can be used to provide a direction for the conclusion. The researcher then explores the data against the predetermined specifications of classes and provides a description explaining each of the observations made from the exploration. Pattern-finding is the next step which is achieved through displaying the data according to the specific categories. After this step, the researcher then establishes a correlation between the research variables based on the patterns of relationship identified. This provides the basis for consolidating the data to conduct any necessary comparisons. The last step to data interpretation is the integration and synthesizing of all the data.

Data analysis is the process where the researcher concludes about the patterns, themes, and categories that can be used to answer and to explain the research questions. Information description forms the biggest part of qualitative data analysis. A constant comparative method will be used to compare the findings and conclusions of all the documents reviewed in data collection (Service, 2009). This process involves the identification of new information from recent research and comparing it to the findings of earlier studies. This utilization of this method is essential to confirming theories formed from prior research or discounting them based on emerging findings. Three types of coding will also be used to compose the results. These are open coding which is essential for data organization, axial, used for identifying interconnections between the categories and selective which will facilitate the developments of a conclusion from the findings.

Research Problems

The anticipated research limitations are based on the unreliability of secondary sources of data and the fact that continuous monitoring is a new area in organizations and as such there is little information. The secondary research utilizes information from documented past studies. Using this type of data, the limitations of the primary research are transferred to the new study. As a result, secondary research is likely to provide vague or general conclusions that may not be of any help to organizations (Silverman, 2016). Secondly, using inaccurate data from the documents reviewed will give wrong answers for the research questions.

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Considering that continuous monitoring is a contemporary issue in organizations, the available sample that will be used to gather the secondary data is too small to provide feasible research population representations. Consequently, any conclusions drawn from the interpretation such small data, are not viable. Another limitation is due to the credibility of the research reports, books and journals containing information about the study topic. The lack of credibility of the data sources will compromise the conclusion of the study.

References

Cooper, D. R., Schindler, P. S., & Sun, J. (2003). Business research methods.

Deloitte. (2010). Continuous Monitoring and Continuous Auditing; from idea to Implementation.

Grinnell Jr, R. M., & Unrau, Y. (2005). Social work research and evaluation: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. Cengage Learning.

Moon D. (2016). Continuous Risk Monitoring and Assessment: CRMA. Doctorate dissertation. The State University of New Jersey

Schultz E. E. (2011). Continuous Monitoring: What it is, why it is needed, and How to use it. A SANS Whitepaper.

Service, R. W. (2009). Book Review: Corbin, J., & Strauss, A.(2008). Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Organizational Research Methods, 12(3), 614-617.

Silverman, D. (Ed.). (2016). Qualitative research. Sage.

Whittemore, R., Chase, S. K., & Mandle, C. L. (2001). Validity in qualitative research. Qualitative health research, 11(4), 522-537.

Wagner, E. (2013) Five Reasons 8 Out of 10 Businesses Fail. Forbes. [Online] retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/09/12/five-reasons-8-out-of-10-businesses-fail/#14cec39c5e3c [accessed on 24 January 2017]

Willebrands, D. Lammers, J. & Hartog, J.A. (2012) A Successful Businessman is Not a Gambler. Risk Attitude and Business Performance among Small Enterprises in Nigeria. Journal of Economic Psychology, 342-354


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