As risk and compliance managers look toward the new decade, they are hoping for several changes in the GRC landscape. Based on conversations with industry experts and customers, we've compiled 10 of the most important issues for compliance professionals. Here we give you a look at the first 5, with the second five in part two.

1) Regulatory Clarity

At the top of any GRC manager’s wish list is regulatory clarity for the financial services sector in 2010. In the depths of the financial crisis, the Obama administration promised financial services regulatory reform. President Obama himself remarked during his inaugural address: “But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control.”

But what has happened since then? A credit card bill was passed, but meaningful overhaul is still buried in the legislative process, and there are still major differences between the House and Senate versions of the critical elements of reg reform, including the systemic risk regulator, consumer protection and mortgage reform.

The political climate in Washington has shifted over the last year, and financial services reg reform is not the top priority for the administration -- health care is (and now terrorism). In the end, as the political momentum behind reg reform fragments into competing alternatives, GRC managers are going to have to accept this uncertainty and the current regulatory structure, which may endure longer than expected.

Of course, this in and of itself offers some clarity, which explains why we’re continuing to see strong growth in the GRC platform market, as companies move forward with their plans for integrated risk management, despite the uncertainty.

2) Better Collaboration with the Business

Surveys have shown that only 40 percent of respondents find the importance of risk management to be widely understood throughout the company, suggesting that more needs to be done to embed risk culture and risk thinking more deeply in the institution.

Incorporating risk management into everyday business processes will enable executives to focus on those elements of their risk activity that have the greatest positive impact on the organization. Business managers can spend less time on assessments and more time on proactively managing risk and processes to meet company objectives.