GRC, shorthand for governance, risk and compliance, is a comprehensive strategy implemented by businesses and organizations around the world to help them better manage risk and regulatory compliance efforts. The idea behind this approach is that when you align your governance, risk and compliance activities with your business objectives, you will be able to achieve more stability and greater performance at every level of your business.
Clear as mud, right?
If you think that wrapping your head around a GRC strategy is difficult, implementing such a strategy is usually no easier. For many years, companies have managed GRC with antiquated methods such as spreadsheets, three-inch ring binders stuffed with policies and other in-house programs. While the development of widely-available cloud technology and automation have made GRC easier to manage, many businesses are slow to come around to these modern systems, mainly due to the time, costs and energy they need to invest in implementation.
That’s why ComplianceBridge has put together a comprehensive guide for a technology-driven GRC implementation roadmap. The key is to help you develop a clear strategy for moving forward and moving steadily from one step to the next.
Understanding the Components of GRC
The G, R and C in the name all define and describe different components of your business activities. Before you begin thinking about how technology can better manage them, make sure everyone has the same working definition for each area.
Governance: deals with organizational activities and standardizing business processes and corporate policies across an organization.
Risk management: deals with defining risks associated with activities and addressing them so they can’t interfere with your goals.
Compliance: deals with making sure that organizational activities are carried out in a way that meets the laws and regulations impacting those systems.
When these three areas are able to work seamlessly together, it benefits your company as a whole. You have greater visibility into all people, processes and information for which your performance is built on, and you’re able to make better decisions on the future with these improved insights.
A Modern GRC Implementation Roadmap is Powered by Technology
1. Start With Your GRC Framework
The first step of your GRC implementation roadmap begins with your current GRC framework (if you have one). Obviously, if you plan on implementing a new strategy for your company, that will involve taking a hard look at your entire organization, evaluating all the people and processes that will be affected by establishing or rethinking your GRC framework.
Take a close look at your working GRC framework. What are your current business goals, and does everyone have a clear idea of what they are? Does the framework you have in place reflect these goals? Next, take stock of your key processes. Is your current framework neglecting any areas? At this stage, you should also assess your risks and the controls your business has in place to combat them. Are these controls actually working to reduce your risk? What controls are needed, and how can technology improve the way you manage risk? By the end of your assessment, you should be able to determine where the gaps in your current GRC framework are, and how technology will be able to fill them. This will be important in determining the direction of your GRC implementation roadmap.
The goal in evaluating and potentially restructuring your GRC framework is to ensure you’re adopting the right GRC technology and creating policies and procedures that support your business as it exists today and in the future.
2. Choose Your Technology
GRC is more than just a software application, but when you have the right technology tools on your side, it makes managing GRC efforts across your company much easier. There are a lot of different GRC tools on the market, each offering slightly different capabilities at varying price points. In this day and age, most GRC software is cloud-based, an especially helpful tool for more dispersed working environments.
To help narrow down your search for the right software, consider the specific areas technology can be the most helpful for you. Do you need GRC software that helps you manage policies better? For risk management, does your business put an emphasis on IT, legal or operational controls? Do you need to be able to perform internal audits? How important is mobile accessibility for you?
When you’re shopping around, don’t try to piecemeal a system together. The point of software is to reduce redundancies, streamline processes and improve efficiency. That won’t be achieved when you’re dividing activities between several different platforms and environments. Instead, aim for a software that meets all of your needs, an application that enables you to manage policies, assess risk and connect your efforts to regulatory and internal compliance requirements. And of course, don’t overlook pricing. A good GRC software does not come cheap, and you don’t want to break your budget.
3. Plan for the Adoption of Tech-Driven Solutions
Once you’ve chosen your software, it’s time to integrate it with your existing processes and policies. The first thing you need to do is demo your new technology with everyone who will be using it. The vendor should be able to help you with this part as they’ll have extensive knowledge on how the product works and how to best use its features to get the most out of it.
At this time, you also need to assign roles and responsibilities for implementation. Who will lead implementation in each department? Who will help onboard employees? Who will manage the migration of policies and procedures? How will you manage employee training on a new system? Again, a vendor should be able to help give you guidance in these areas to ensure your progress along your GRC implementation roadmap won’t be stalled. .
As you map out exactly how you’ll implement GRC software, you’ll realize the tasks quickly pile up. It’s smart to create a timeline to accompany your plan so you can allot time and resources appropriately.
4. Day-to-Day Monitoring of Your GRC Strategy
Your GRC implementation roadmap doesn’t end at a firm destination, more like a general state of enhanced productivity. That’s because GRC is not something you implement and then forget about. It’s a continual activity that should be carried out everyday in the processes performed everyday across all areas of an enterprise. Since the business world is highly dynamic, you must constantly modernize your GRC strategy.
That means regularly assessing risks, reevaluating controls, updating, adding and retiring policies and procedures, and staying up to date on regulatory compliance requirements. Luckily, by taking the time to implement technology now, you will make all of these activities much easier on your business down the line.
TotalCompliance GRC software
TotalCompliance, from ComplianceBridge, is a GRC software package that simplifies the way you manage governance, risk and compliance. By utilizing a cloud-based repository accessible by everyone in your organization, you’re able to create customized risk assessments, collaborate on and disseminate vital documentation, assess your organization’s risk posture and use auditing and reporting tools to ensure compliance.
TotalCompliance can be accessed by anyone in your organization who has been granted access, or even by third-party consultants you bring on board. Once each document passes through the appropriate approval workflows, it only takes a few minutes to publish and notify specific people in the organization about its existence. Customizable quizzes can be added to ensure new information has been effectively shared and comprehended.
Finally, the metrics and reporting tools enable you to quickly gauge compliance and spot areas that need your attention. You can even create your own detailed risk assessments and audits to evaluate risks and make better decisions regarding your mitigation strategies.
If your GRC implementation roadmap doesn’t include ComplianceBridge, where are you really going? Request a demo today to learn how TotalCompliance brings governance, risk management and compliance activities into one powerful software application.