It has been easy and, unfortunately, typical to ignore this topic when planning, building, and evaluating enterprise business software. Control concepts are not as urgent as transaction processing, as visible as financial reporting, or as exciting as analytics so they are almost always an afterthought.

Today we can’t afford for governance to be an afterthought, and from day one Workday was built with that in mind. To be fair, back in the ‘80s and ‘90s of the previous century— where enterprise software has its design roots—control was not top of mind. These were pre-Sarbanes-Oxley, pre-Basel II, pre-IFRS, and “audit around the computer” days. “Big ERP” has responded, as it must, by acquiring technology or creating capabilities that are then layered onto legacy system.