Governance risk and compliance (GRC) is a multi-disciplined concept that holds the potential to affect nearly every aspect of a company’s operations. This includes compliance and regulatory matters, enterprise risk management, along with policies and procedures.
A robust, well-thought-out GRC strategy is essential for success in today’s ever-evolving business world. But regardless of how much time, effort, and expertise goes into developing that strategy, you are going to fall short if you fail to leverage the right governance risk and compliance tools. This leaves one key question: how do you know which governance risk and compliance tools are right for your business? It all begins with understanding your GRC landscape.
What is GRC and How Does it Impact Your Company?
At its core, governance risk and compliance encompasses numerous policies, procedures, and processes. The overarching objectives of GRC are intended to implement and maintain business practices that will minimize risk, maintain regulatory compliance, and ultimately, grow the business in an ethical, sustainable manner.
The concept of GRC is not a new one. Governance refers to the process of aligning procedures, policies, and operations so that they align with the company’s mission and objectives. The risk part of the equation encompasses security and privacy risks, in addition to the risks associated with failure to maintain compliance and regulations.
Compliance is an issue that affects some business sectors more than others. Some companies such as those in the healthcare industry and financial space have regulatory bodies that will hand down fines totaling millions of dollars. Others, such as law firms, are guided by the law and industry-imposed ethical standards. Whatever the case, business leaders are tasked with identifying potential problem areas and maintaining compliance.
Governance risk and compliance measures have become a more mainstream concern in recent years as regulatory/compliance requirements and potential threats have seemingly grown in complexity and number. Consider these points.
- Regulatory compliance is becoming a more prominent focal point for businesses. The coronavirus pandemic, the EU’s GDPR, the ever-increasing prominence of social media, the emergence of new technologies — are just a few factors that have led to the creation of new laws and regulations. Companies and organizations often find themselves struggling to achieve and maintain compliance in response to new requirements, lest they face significant fines and penalties.
- Technology has transformed the risk management landscape. Subsequently, company leaders are confronting more vulnerabilities and risks that must be addressed in a GRC strategy. Cloud platforms. Internet of things (IoT) devices. Remote work platforms. Each represents a new vulnerability that needs to be considered when preparing to select GRC tools.
- A plethora of governance risk and compliance tools have emerged in the marketplace. This is good news, of course, but it can leave business leaders feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about which tools are right for their needs.Today’s analytics are one technology that is driving enterprise governance risk and compliance decisions — among many others. The newest analytics engines are driven by powerful platforms with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities. This empowers business leaders to make more informed, data-driven decisions, including those that concern their GRC tools.
The best enterprise governance risk and compliance strategies are developed with help from stakeholders and leaders from all of the organization’s divisions or sectors. This ensures that you achieve a balanced, accurate understanding of risks and regulations alike.
Understanding Your Company’s Governance Risk and Compliance Needs — Before Selecting GRC Tools
To select the right governance risk and compliance tools for your business, you must have a firm grasp of your unique needs. It’s usually best to start by articulating the facts such as:
- What are your most significant risks?
- What regulations require your compliance?
- Have any measures been put into place to minimize risk?
- What tools (if any) are your company currently using?As business leaders answer these questions, a list of GRC pain points should emerge. Then, it’s a matter of finding tools that address and resolve those pain points — a task that is much easier said than done due to the sheer number of available options.
At this stage in the process, many companies opt to pull in a governance risk and compliance consultant to help guide their GRC tool selection. A GRC consultant will be extremely helpful, helping companies avoid pitfalls such as:
- Over-engineered solutions – Bigger is not always better. Bloated solutions and unnecessary complexities cloud the GRC landscape. This results in overspending and challenges that just don’t need to exist.
- Less-than-effective solutions – Ideally, your GRC toolset should address all of your needs. A messy, cobbled-together approach is difficult to manage in the long term, particularly if your industry sees a lot of evolution in compliance requirements or regulations. The best GRC consultants manage governance risk and compliance as an interconnected concept. If each discipline is addressed independently, there is a good chance you’ll see problematic overlaps and unnecessary redundancies.
- GRC tools that lack scalability – The best governance risk and compliance tools will support your growth and evolution as a business. You don’t want to be forced to perform a complete overhaul of the company’s governance risk and compliance measures just a year or two down the road.
For most companies, governance risk and compliance strategy — and the GRC tools that you decide to utilize — can be revisited on an annual basis. Industries that see rapid evolution in technology and regulations may require more frequent revisits, while more stable business sectors can get away with biannual strategy sessions.
These periodic strategy sessions serve as a wonderful opportunity to pull in a GRC consultant. Your consultant will guide stakeholders through the process of identifying the company’s governance risk and compliance needs, evaluating the efficacy of your existing GRC toolset, and pointing you toward new GRC tools that may be more effective in meeting your needs as a business.
At iTech, we understand the many regulations and risks that today’s enterprises face. We are well-positioned to provide comprehensive governance risk and compliance solutions to clients in all business sectors. Contact us today to learn more about how iTech will help your company select the perfect GRC tools and develop a strategy that will allow you to maintain full compliance while simultaneously reducing risk.