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Blog > How Do Organizations Build an Effective Integrated Risk Management Framework?

How Do Organizations Build an Effective Integrated Risk Management Framework?

Devi Narayanan
August 18, 2022
4 minutes

Integrated Risk Management (IRM) Framework views and analyzes risks that are unique to the organization and utilizes technology and effective procedures and practices in order to produce the most effective outcome. It is important to remember that improper risk management can be detrimental. The business may sink if it arranges its resources in a manner that has not fully prepared for every possibility.


Organizations must rely on appropriate assessments and trials of the risks they may be facing. Furthermore, Integrated Risk Management Framework should not just be focused on reducing risk. It can be a very expensive and time-consuming series of procedures. However, if done correctly, it can save money for the organization long term and can create positive outcomes that go beyond merely mitigating the risk. The positive outcomes should be seen as the goal for these procedures as they lead to a more successful organization. Before, we dig deeper into the Integrated Risk Management (IRM) Framework, let’s explore IRM first.

What is Integrated Risk Management?

Integrated Risk Management (IRM) is a business-wide approach to addressing risk. It involves input from all teams and centers risk as a fundamental part of business strategy. It improves decision making and performance through an integrated view of how well an organization manages its unique set of risks. Any business activity carries inherent risk, so IRM folds risk assessments and mitigation strategies into all aspects of the company. The framework includes technology/cyber risk, operational risk, and enterprise/strategic risk. It requires vocal and consistent support from senior management and relies on good communication between teams in order to be successful.

Why is Integrated Risk Management (IRM) important?

A risk management framework applied to day-to-day business operations can have a profound impact on your organization’s ability to operate efficiently and effectively while minimizing the chances of encountering risks not yet identified. The benefits of an integrated risk management approach are numerous, including improved day-to-day operations, as well as more comprehensive long-range planning; you’ll find that you’re far less likely to be surprised by unforeseen risks due to the thorough advance planning and scenario building in the risk assessment and mitigation processes. Some of the other benefits are

i. Disaster Preparedness- The IRM approach helps organizations to be always prepared for any unforeseen incident and also gives them the resilience to bounce back.

ii. Cost Savings- The IRM process helps identify opportunities for cost savings during the risk identification, analysis, and assessment exercise

iii. Task Prioritization- The IRM process ensures that high-priority projects are properly resourced and positioned first by the business and that significant risks are well-managed.

What are the elements of the Integrated Risk Management framework?

Here are several elements to consider when trying to build the best framework:

i. Structure: There should be a plan to outline the entire structure and design the most impactful improvements through strong management. A team of qualified members should be selected to perform this outline.

ii. Identify Risks: Prioritize the most threatening risks and work through those first. This is imperative as these risks emerge and the assessments should be frequently checked upon and updated.

iii. Approach: Have a tactful approach in order to tackle the most crucial risks. Technology plays a large role in the way organizations approach risk management. Having proper automation and mechanisms will save time that can be used to make improvements in more demanding areas.

iv. Goals and Objectives: Make sure correct processes are being utilized that will help determine the solution for the pending risks and to attain the goals set in place. This includes the monitoring of risk accountability and the proper management of the
practices and procedures. Make the goals known to everyone involved, as this is a team effort and everyone is working towards the same outcome.

v. Clear Documentation: The tasks of everyone involved should be clearly established and communicated. Nobody should be unsure of what is occurring, clarity is essential. The policies for managing the risks should be clear as well from the guidelines that were established.

vi. Preparation: Be prepared for every possible outcome. The strengths and weaknesses of these outcomes should be considered when performing the evaluations of the possible results. Preparation allows the members to approach the issue with confidence and
knowledgeable certainty. This will prevent any surprises and create an understanding of how to approach the risk if or when it is presented.

Creating an integrated approach can broaden the governance of management and focus on threats beyond the immediate ones. This can redesign the entire framework into one that leads to long lasting positive effects. Whatever project is being worked on should always address the needs of the organization. Addressing the needs of the organization early on will create opportunities to prevent any future risks. These opportunities will sort through issues in advance and will save time and resources and will l reduce waste. Moving away from a narrow perspective for facing risk management is needed to move forward.

If done properly, an effective IRM framework can offer valuable business advantages:

  • Systems for integrated risk management depend on reliable and consistent information. With the information that can be verified, the systems will improve on a broader scale. Broader scale possibilities create a space for the improvement of the organization as a whole.
  • Organizations gain access to secure data which helps to fulfill any requirements they are dealing with. Secure data helps to maintain a consistency of improvement.
  • Organizations will also maintain improved strategies when assessing future predicaments. Every issue that arises will become easier to work through.

There will be a stronger understanding among leadership, management, and governance of the effects of risk for the organization. As stated previously, clarity throughout the entire organization helps build the strongest team for risk assessment.

A strong risk assessment team will improve the efficiency overall of the workers in the business. The benefits of hiring qualified members to the organization go far and wide. Developing an effective framework should always include the satisfaction of the workers. And the satisfaction of the workers guarantees high morale. High morale in the workplace often leads to stronger results and will push the organization ahead of its competitors. It is important to have a sense of community within the business to allow innovation and the possibility of new ideas.

With this, it will allow the workers to perform their tasks in unison and establish standards for risk management that are utilized effectively. The success of the business should involve management working through risk operatives which will lead to the workers functioning in a manner that is consistent with it.

An effective IRM framework should also prioritize automation and algorithmic procedures as it is a great method of reducing the cost and saving time. These procedures should be able to detect the intensity and frequency of a risk. The risks with the highest intensity and frequency should be monitored more often than the ones that are less of a threat. Along with that, they should continue to be evaluated and the checks should have a planned update. This should all be agreed upon by management and the committees in charge of assessment.

In conclusion, it is crucial to accommodate certain attributes for building an effective IRM Framework There are endless possibilities for approaching methods of creating effective integrated risk management but there are some that are proven to be more helpful. Such include structure, identifying risks, proper approach, laying out the goals and objectives of the organization, clear documentation, and prepared strategies for possible risks along with the mechanisms for how to utilize them. An organization should always be updating its evaluations and assessments of risk. While building effective integrated risk management may seem complex and having the need to be approached from many different angles, it will always lead to better outcomes and promises the prosperity of the organization.

Organizations need to consider an integrated risk management framework as a strategic initiative. VComply allows you to build an integrated risk management framework (IRM Framework) and allows for risk assessment implementation of successful  risk management strategies.

It is essential for organizations to develop an integrated, agile, and collaborative compliance program and frameworks like VComply – built on common information architecture and framework. VComply allows for compliance, risk management, audit management, and assessment activities to be coordinated and built as a holistic function breaking silos.

See why VComply stands out as a G2 high performer in Compliance and Risk Management. Request your demo to see how it can drive your compliance initiatives.