Risk management software has evolved into an increasingly-important and rapidly-growing component of today’s modern business strategy. Integrated risk management — also termed IRM — is one aspect of an organization’s broader risk management strategy. Yet it’s rather difficult to formulate and initiate IRM initiatives due to the very broad and comprehensive nature of integrated risk management. Enter: integrated risk management software. These platforms hold the potential to simplify and streamline a company’s risk management efforts, allowing for maximum benefit with minimal effort.
What is Integrated Risk Management?
Integrated risk management strategies are becoming more and more commonplace as companies recognize the importance of effective risk management and mitigation. IRM strategies involve technology, processes, practices, protocols and policies that promote a risk-aware culture within an organization.
Integrated risk management also strives to improve productivity, profitability and overall company culture through better decision-making and greater awareness of the risks and vulnerabilities that are confronting the business.
A majority of today’s integrated risk management strategies are technology-focused in some way, shape or form. In fact, it is increased technology adoption that has, in large part, given rise to the increased emphasis on integrated risk management and risk mitigation in general. While these risk management strategies may have a tech-centric focus, IRM-related efforts can certainly extend beyond the technological realm to include other aspects of a company’s operations.
What is an Integrated Risk Management Software System?
Integrated risk management software platforms can bring tremendous benefits to an organization because they provide a structured framework and tools that can be used to develop and execute IRM-related initiatives. It’s even possible to automate many processes that aid in a company’s risk mitigation efforts.
A majority of today’s IRM software platforms are SaaS cloud-based solutions. There are a small number of vendors that still offer traditional software platforms, but many will only guarantee ongoing updates and platform support for just a couple years down the road. Many software vendors are moving away from traditional software licensing in favor of cloud-based solutions and this includes integrated risk management software.
As a concept, IRM is inherently a bit nebulous in scope. Subsequently, company leaders are often left feeling uncertain about where or how to begin their risk mitigation and risk management efforts. A well-developed integrated risk management software system addresses this challenge by providing a structured system for identifying vulnerabilities, formulating a response, implementing new processes and initiatives, and monitoring those efforts over the long-term. Here is a look at the precise functions of an integrated risk management software system.
Risk Evaluation Toolset – Risk assessment and risk evaluation are key components of any integrated risk management effort. An IRM software system will include tools and checklists that can be used to evaluate your organization’s processes and technology and identify risks and vulnerabilities. That’s the first step toward implementing a solution or action plan.
Response Planning Tools – Once risks are identified, it’s time to plan a risk mitigation response. The best integrated risk management software systems include project management-type features that allow an organization to map out a response plan with a list of action items. Then, this toolset is used to track the company’s response efforts from start to finish.
Monitoring Capabilities – The best IRM software systems feature easy-to-use monitoring tools that allow stakeholders to track efforts, processes and risks even after the risk mitigation efforts have been implemented. These long-term monitoring tools are really critical for maintaining the wins that have been achieved as a result of the company’s risk mitigation efforts. This brand of governance is critical for accurately evaluating the efficacy of the controls and risk mitigation measures that have been put into place. There is a chance you could discover that an initiative that initially appeared to be effective has lost its efficacy over time, necessitating a revision of your response plan.
Long-Term IRM Strategy Development Framework – An IRM software platform will include a framework with tools that aid in the creation of an integrated risk management strategy. This strategy typically includes automated tech-based processes, policies and protocols for identifying vulnerabilities, addressing risks, minimizing future risks and developing an action plan for risk mitigation.
Feeds and Monitoring of External Third-Party Factors – For many companies, external, third-parties have a significant impact on their integrated risk management efforts. For example, regulatory changes can affect a company’s technology in some dramatic ways, necessitating immediate action in order to avoid non-compliance. Manually monitoring for these regulatory changes and other external third-party factors would be arduous and time-consuming. But a good IRM software system automates this process with feeds that allow you to easily monitor for changes that affect your business.
Benefits of Integrated Risk Management Software
One of the major advantages of an IRM software system is its ability to provide company leaders and other stakeholders with a complete eagle’s eye view of a company’s digital risk landscape — and the measures that are being implemented in an effort to mitigate those risks. This improved visibility and awareness gives way to an effective response that serves to guard an organization’s interests.
These risk management software systems — which may be found as a stand-alone platform or as a component of a larger risk management system — provide a centralized, structured system for implementing risk mitigation efforts.
Effective risk management requires a holistic approach that considers all factors that could potentially harm a company and its operations, reputation, its position within the marketplace and even its strategic growth in the future. By using IRM software as part of an integrated risk management strategy, you will be well-positioned to break down the silos and achieve a broad, all-encompassing view. This will lead to better, data-driven decisions and more efficient risk mitigation at all levels.
Formulating an effective integrated risk management strategy is no small feat, but the right IRM software can make a challenging initiative a bit less complex. A risk management specialist can take it a step further and that’s precisely where iTech can assist. Our risk management and compliance specialists provide comprehensive, cost-effective risk management solutions to clients in all sectors and industries. Contact iTech today to discuss your integrated risk management strategy.