How to Build a Business Case for GRC Software

Steven Minsky | Jan. 5, 2016

The role of today’s risk managers is clear: to close the gap between strategic imperatives and the operational risks faced at the activity level.

To do this, many organizations are adopting risk-based GRC reporting programs – both at the request of senior management and to meet the expectations of regulators. A large number of these programs rely on spreadsheets and shared drives to manage information collected across departments and levels. But today’s GRC software solutions are proven to unlock value beyond what spreadsheets ever could.

GRC software that follows a risk-based approach are able to relate information across departments and levels in order to uncover inefficiencies or gaps in the program before catastrophe strikes. In other words, they help you prepare for surprises.

Without a risk-based GRC solution, it’s simply not realistic for any risk manager to gather all the necessary data, relate it across departments, and aggregate it into the actionable reports required by the board of directors and external regulators. At the very least, it’s unrealistic to expect these steps to be accomplished before the information becomes outdated.

Did you know risk managers often spend 62% of their time on tactical activities alone? In a 40 hour week, that’s more than 24 hours spend manipulating spreadsheets, mining data, and building GRC reports! How can GRC professionals be strategic if they are committing more than half their time to finding out which risks they need to manage?

The question is, what can you do to help build the business case for GRC software at your company?

7 Arguments that Help Build the Business Case for GRC Software:
  1. A risk-based software’s taxonomy will link individual risks and activities to strategic goals.

Spreadsheets and shared drives offer endlessly customizable applications, which causes many companies to lose the standardization required to share and measure risks at an enterprise scale. When each department uses disaggregated spreadsheets and assessments, along with their own risk language, you’re left with a limited understanding of their exposure and the effectiveness of mitigation activities. Risk-based GRC tools solve this problem by leveraging a risk taxonomy to relate all risk information across departments and to high-level goals and objectives.

  1. GRC platforms are dynamic, and enable your program to evolve as priorities change.

When organizations build and document the dynamic relationships that exist within data, they’re able to create a vastly more robust and valuable program that stays current with changes in strategic goals and concerns.

  1. eGRC software quickly creates all the reports you need, based on the most recent data.

The reporting capabilities within a software solution eliminate, firstly, the chance of important reports breaking due to spreadsheet errors, and secondly, any complexity or confusion in your reporting processes. The best solutions offer advanced business intelligence engines to help you build custom reports, and save them in an interactive risk dashboard that can be shared with senior leaders.

  1. Risk-based GRC software is designed to work alongside your Audit and Compliance teams.

A GRC solution should support not only business process owners and risk management, but also Audit, the third line of defense. Enterprise GRC systems helps companies become compliant by instilling in your processes industry best practices and regulatory content. Additionally, a software’s risk taxonomy is able to link the work your risk management, audit, and compliance management teams to one centralized location, accelerating problem solving and reducing rework.

  1. GRC software ensures your data is error-free, comparable across silos, and accurate.

A recent study by the University of Hawaii on the corporate use of spreadsheets found that a staggering 94% of spreadsheets contain errors, and that on average, there’s an error in 1 out of every 20 cells within each. Because spreadsheets lack controls, it’s often too easy to change a formula or value, even if by accident, and forget to apply the change in the other important Excel documents.

  1. The best eGRC vendors will provide your team with dedicated, unlimited support.

The best solutions will provide you with dedicated, unlimited support and professional services, without additional charges, to help get your program running, build custom reports, deploy new capabilities to your environment, and provide additional mentorship and guidance. Analysts should act as another member of your team, not an inefficient customer-support line or high-cost professional services.

  1. Adopting mature ERM programs is proven to add 25% to your bottom line.

In an independent study conducted by Queens University, researchers found that companies with mature Enterprise Risk Management programs, a synonym for risk-based GRC, realize a valuation premium that’s 25% higher than those without such processes– regardless of their industry or governance structure. Find out more about these findings, and benchmark your organization’s ERM maturity level with the free RMM assessment offered by the Risk and Insurance Management Society.

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