How to Buy ERM Software

Steven Minsky | April 24, 2012

The goal of every ERM program is to assess material risk down to where the risk activity takes place, which typically means extending to front line management, and aggregate this information to an objective, accurate, and holistic picture applicable for each stakeholder, including the board. However without ERM software, risk management programs cannot reach this level.

With the high cost of traditional licensing for ERM/GRC software, combined with the skepticism among senior management on what the payback of ERM/GRC is, senior management is reluctant to approve any business case for an investment of this magnitude without evidence of effectiveness.

Here are the benefits of an ERM Software -as-a-Service (SaaS) approach:

  1. Evidence of effectiveness: With a SaaS approach to ERM, all consulting and training is included within your single simple monthly SaaS fee. If the advice you receive gets you more of your stakeholders engaged in the risk management process, you add more capacity. Your ERM SaaS vendor gets paid only if their advice gets you the results you need, at your organization, within your risk culture.
  2. No Upfront License Purchase Cost: If a product is really as good as the vendor suggests, you should be able to start with just one license. No minimum licensing term or minimum quantity of license requirements should tie you down. If the product is that good, customers will stay. Locking you up with minimum commitments or upfront traditional licensing is a red flag the product does not work.
  3. No IT Burden: Software-as-a-Service is a way of delivering applications over the Internet as a service. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you simply access it via the Internet, freeing your organization from complex software and hardware management. As a SaaS customer, you have no hardware or software to buy, install, maintain, or update. Access to applications is easy: You just need an Internet connection.
  4. Cross-functional collaboration: Concurrent licensing through SaaS allows anyone at your organization to use your ERM software when they need it. This contrasts with GRC-type “named-seats” licensing in which one license must be purchased for each and every individual user in advance regardless of the frequency they use the system.
  5. Engagement of management: The biggest fear of every senior management team is that ERM will be another added burden and will distract the front line from serving customers. Since full implementations of SaaS take only 45 days versus 18 months, evidence of effectiveness is immediate and attracts users to participate. You have a guarantee that it will work, as you can start with only 1 license and stop at any time.

With the risk removed from ERM software with Software-as-a-Service, it is a game changer in your ability to accelerate your ERM/GRC program. Click here to learn more about the flexibility and cross-functional efficiency that can be quickly achieved by ERM and GRC programs with a SaaS approach.

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