Governance, risk, and compliance — better known as GRC — are key components of an effective business risk management strategy. But putting those concepts to work for your organization can be a challenge. It entails the development of new GRC-friendly policies and protocols. There is the task of evaluating your compliance and identifying risk factors. Then there is the matter of resolving any issue that threatens your compliance. Oh, and don’t forget the prospect of monitoring for changes in the legal and regulatory landscape; you must ensure that your company establishes and maintains full compliance in light of these changes.
Governance efforts. Risk management strategy. Achieving and maintaining full legal and regulatory compliance. It’s a complex trio of tasks and most have no idea where to even begin. Enter: a GRC consulting company. An experienced GRC consultant will serve as a guide, leading you through the process of identifying risk factors, developing a governance and compliance plan, and modifying policies, procedures, and protocols to align with your risk management strategy. Once all of these issues are addressed, a good GRC consulting company will set you up with a good risk management and GRC software platform to help manage and monitor vulnerabilities and risk factors that threaten your legal and regulatory compliance.
But you may be left with one question: How do I know if I’ve chosen a good GRC consulting company? One that will guide me down the right path toward regulatory compliance and risk reduction? It’s a fair question since risk management overhauls — particularly those involving GRC — will impact virtually every aspect of your organization, its operations, its image in the eyes of the public, and even future profitability.
The Importance of Choosing a Good GRC Consulting Company
A top GRC consulting company will prove to be an extremely valuable partner as an organization pursues its risk management efforts. But an inexperienced or unprofessional GRC consultant can do far more harm than good. Just imagine: you sink a significant amount of time, effort, and money into changes that follow a consulting firm’s advice to the “t.” Then, you gradually come to realize that you’ve received bad advice and you’ve failed to gain any ground in the GRC and risk management realm.
A few may even discover that they got more than bad advice from a GRC consulting company; they got truly horrible advice that has caused significant damage across the entire organization. Not only are you tasked with correcting this damage, but you’ll also find yourself back at square one when it comes to your original goal of achieving regulatory compliance and reducing risk as part of a well-developed GRC and risk management strategy.
The best outcome for these GRC consulting fails is a “break even” type of scenario where you find that the consulting company failed to deliver, but that failure does not result in any irreparable harm. You’ve probably lost your consulting fee and you’ll need to start over when it comes to finding a reputable risk management and GRC consulting firm. But it is better than the above-mentioned alternatives.
Let’s be honest, though: none of the aforementioned outcomes are really acceptable, per se. Choosing a good GRC consulting company is something you need to get right the first time around so you can focus on what matters most: reducing risk, maintaining compliance, and working toward better efficiency and profitability as a business.
Choosing a good GRC consulting company — and finding true confidence in your selection — is the first and most important step for companies that are seeking to create a successful GRC strategy and execute fruitful risk mitigation and risk management efforts.
How to Spot a Bad GRC Consulting Company
Do you know what to look for as you interview and meet with representatives from prospective risk management and GRC consultants? There are a few red flags that should be on your radar as you consider consulting service providers.
Are they interviewing you? – Most business leaders go into a meeting with a prospective GRC consultant believing that they are interviewing the consultant. But really, the consultant should be interviewing you too! A good consultant will not take any and every prospective client who comes their way. The best consultants are selective, working only with organizations that align with their experience, skill set, working style, and professional objectives. A top consultant wants to deliver and they want their client to walk away satisfied at the end of the engagement. If they cannot achieve this, then they will walk away from the opportunity.
As you consider different consulting companies, you will quickly realize that some just aren’t a great fit, with a bad dynamic that simply isn’t conducive to a productive partnership. The consultant ought to realize this too; if they fail to realize this, then it may signal inexperience, a degree of “tone deafness” or even desperation.
They can’t provide good references – A good GRC consulting company will have lots of strong references, ideally from organizations that are operating within your industry. If a firm is unable or hesitant to provide references, this is a warning sign that is telling you to take your business elsewhere. Also, check out online reviews on third-party sites, but take these with a grain of salt because it is the unhappy clients who tend to publish these reviews. A large number of negative reviews is definitely another red flag.
They don’t have experience in your industry – The best GRC consulting company for business A may be a terrible choice for company B. The difference is often rooted in industry experience. GRC and risk management is an area where industry matters. The risk factors impacting company A may differ dramatically from company B. Sometimes, no amount of research can compensate for real-life experience due to the complexities that you will find in the financial sector or the healthcare space. Therefore, if your company is subject to strict regulatory oversight or has other unique risk factors at play, you will almost certainly need a GRC consulting company with industry experience.
Connecting with and choosing a good GRC consulting company can take time, as it requires a fair amount of screening and interviewing. But once you’ve found a top risk management and GRC consultant, your organization will be on its way toward an effective risk management solution.
The most successful risk management and GRC solutions involve the integration of the latest technology, such as GRC software. These risk management software platforms are highly effective in the identification, resolution, and long-term management of risk factors and vulnerabilities in the GRC realm and beyond. This is one area where iTech can assist. We specialize in the development of innovative risk management solutions, including for GRC-related efforts. We invite you to contact iTech today to discuss your organization’s governance, risk management, and compliance needs.