Austin Okere, the founder, CWG Plc and Bayo Adekanmbi, the Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, led out the discourse as technology enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, audit executives and other industry stakeholders deliberated the notion of the ideal “21st Century Chief Audit Executive (CAE)” at the Internal Audit leaders and executives Summit 2017.
Mr Okere’s keynote address titled ‘Artificial Intelligence and expectations from the 21st century Chief Audit Executive (CAE), centred on the opportunities Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers to auditors, the risks it poses and the unique competencies every CAE’s must possess in order to be able to competently function in the corprate space of the future.
According to him, the internal auditing profession must be fully prepared to participate in organizational AI initiatives of the future. Human expertise develops technologies to make machines smart, and smart machines, in turn, augment human capabilities.
“It is critical that internal auditors pay attention to the practical application of AI in business and develop competencies. Internal auditors must have sufficient knowledge of key information technology risks and controls and available technology-based audit techniques ,” he concluded.
On his part, Mr Bayo Adekanmbi, in his presentation titled “The Big Data Puzzle and implications on CAE’s”, charged the participants to explore the benefits big data to leverage big data to improve their professional practice.
While Mr Adekanmbi noted that Data is the World’s 21st Century Crude Oil, he noted also that like crude oil data must be refined before it can be useful. He urged the CAEs to acquire needed skills and tools to be able to use big data to their advantage.
The Panel session
The panel session on “Issues and challenges for the 21st CAEs”allowed the speakers further share fascinating snippets that are worthy of note. The panel session which was moderated by Mrs Adedoyin Odunfa (CEO, Digital Jewels) has Austin okere, Bayo Adekanmbi, Lawrence Amdadi (partner at KPMG) and Bashi Saheed (Partner, PWC) as panelists.
At the end of the panel session, the speakers were given awards of recognition for their contribution to the growth of the technology sector and to the success of the event .
Data Pollution and Data Militancy…
It was at this session that Mr Adekanmbi revealed that, just as it is for crude oil, Pollution and militancy will be the greatest threat to Big Data in the near future. He defined pollution as the “situation when you have data in the wrong place, just as when you have crude oil on the water body”.
He explained that data militancy is being expressed in the forms of data theft and identy theft. “Data militancy is when someone gets to take over your information system and holds you to ransome.This form of militancy is worse than kidnapping”, he explained.
According to him, “the greatest risk we face is that in the nearest future, there will be a thin line between processes, ethics and privacy”. And he advocated for policies to mitigate data pollution and data militancy.
Break Down the silos!
This theory was proposed by Mr Okere at the panels session. He explained that efficiency has been greatly hampered in many institutions because of the “silo” syndrom. According to him, internal auditors must ensure free inter-department information flow by seeking for answers across board and sharing details with all who must have them across board.
“We have to see audit as less of a reactive role. Ausitors must become more proactive. They must be ahead of the curve. They must seek answers and advise their organizations on how to avoid being distrupted or self-distrupt. We need to see auditors less as after-actors’, he concluded.
The other speakers enphasized the need for collaboration and self development to the prosperity of the internal audit profession.
About the IIA
The IIA Nigeria, a non-profit professional association is an affiliate of IIA Global (www.globaliia.org) with headquarters in Florida, USA. The IIA is the creator and custodian of the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, and the Code of Ethics.
It develops, maintains and administers the only globally recognized certifications for internal auditors – the most important being the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Numerous researchers, learning and development resources and opportunities including formal classroom training abound in the IIA.
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