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Blog > What to ask a vendor when looking for a GRC tool?

What to ask a vendor when looking for a GRC tool?

VComply Editorial Team
November 11, 2022
3 minutes

Are you still using spreadsheets for risk assessment, managing compliance, compliance audits, and tracking incidents? Probably, it’s time to switch to a GRC tool that can help you streamline compliance processes and support your compliance framework, risk management, analyze the gaps for corrective action plans, automate follow-ups and reporting, and do much more

An intuitive GRC platform can help you gain visibility across your organization’s risk profile and monitor compliance platform and governance. A GRC platform serves as a single source of truth for your organization, where you can get status updates, view action plans, and take a peek at the audit trail. It encourages a unified workspace where you collaborate with your teams. A GRC tool also offers flexibility, it’s easy to use, and the intuitive workflows align with your business processes. But with so many good GRC platforms available, how do you choose the best fit? Or how do you even shortlist a GRC tool vendor? Also know why you need a GRC program in your Org.

15 Must-ask questions before investing in a GRC tool

1. Is it a zero-coding tool?

No matter how good a tool is, your team will not use it unless it’s easy and flexible. So ask your vendor if any coding is needed to utilize all the features of the tool. Know that most teams prefer a no-code tool that has easy drag-and-drop options. 

2. Is it a cloud-based solution?

Choosing a cloud-based GRC platform means you don’t need dedicated hardware to be installed and maintained on-site. This can significantly reduce the cost and free up the bandwidth of your IT team. A cloud-based solution means your storage, database, and servers are all stored on the cloud. The vendor regularly updates the cloud-based GRC platform, so you can just relax and keep using the services. You can know more about the elements of an effective GRC program.

3. Deployment options

Whether you are going for a SaaS or private cloud, or on-premise deployment, ask your vendor which option is most suited for you.

4. How secure is it?

Your GRC platform will store critical and confidential information about your organization, including vulnerable data like risk data and classification, compliance regulations, and governance practices. So ask your vendor how strong the security system is because a breach in the platform can cause damage to your credibility, financial loss, license cancellation, etc. 

5. Ask about the customer support

Implementing a GRC platform is not a one-time activity. You will need support throughout your journey. So ask the vendor about their customer support system. Find out how quickly they respond to queries and troubleshoot should there be a need. If you are implementing a GRC system for the first time, you will also need initial handholding from the vendor until your employees are trained to use the platform comfortably. Ask the vendor if they offer initial training. For example, VComply offers robust customer support with a quick turnaround time. 

6. How is the onboarding process?

Ask your vendor about the overall onboarding process. Understand the total time needed from implementation to start using the tool across the organization. For example, VComply needs five days to completely onboard a new client. Also, ask the vendor about the involvement of the implementation team in configuration, holding workshops, and setting up your team. 

7. Does your selected tool offer an integrated GRC? 

A modern GRC tool should be an integrated platform that can help you predict and mitigate risks, streamline your compliance program, and establish a smooth governance workflow in the organization. So, ask your vendor if the tool has an integrated approach to governance, risk, and compliance. For example, VComply offers a holistic view of risks, internal controls, compliance, and governance processes from a centralized platform. 

8. How is it to share documents with team members and external auditors?

Your GRC platform should be the single source of truth to refer to all the documents and policy updates and share documents among team members and external auditors. So ask your vendor what the process would be for sharing documents with team members and external auditors. With VComply you can get rid of all your paper trails and leverage the centralized and streamlined policy and incident management system. 

9. Ask about the reporting process

Reporting is an essential feature of any GRC tool. So, ask your vendor if reporting is included in the tool. If yes, is it customizable? Does it come with pre-built templates? For example, VComply offers a vast array of prebuilt, customizable templates to help its customers get started with reporting. What are the different reporting options you have? Are they in-depth? Knowing the answer to all these questions can help you find the right tool.

10. My company is growing. Can I easily scale with the GRC platform?

Ideally, a GRC tool should allow you to change and adapt to your changing data structure at any time. So look for a tool that makes the process simple. You should be able to work with your present data structure and scale in the future as your program evolve. Choose a platform that allows you to create new applications from one place. 

11. Do I need a dedicated team to manage the GRC tool?

Your GRC tool should be built with you in mind. So, it should be a no-code, drag-and-drop process builder and easy-to-navigate dashboard so anyone in the team can use it. The tool should have a simple workflow process and automated notification to keep everyone in the loop updated. So, in short, look for a tool that doesn’t need to hire IT consultants to manage the tool, nor do you need to teach yourself coding or have a dedicated IT team. 

12. What is the cost involved?

Subscribing for a GRC tool may look like a one-time activity, but it is not. You need to implement the tool to carry out your GRC program smoothly throughout. So ask about the costs you need to incur to retain the subscription. Also, look out if there are any hidden charges. What are the features that are available in the price plan? If you are buying a subscription plan that doesn’t cover the features you need, the investment will not help. So ensure you clearly understand the cost involved while investing in a GRC tool. 

13. Does the platform offer all the information you need to run the business?

A GRC platform can be a powerful tool for running your business. Look for a tool with powerful reporting and a holistic view of your entire GRC system from a single platform. It should offer you an in-depth insight into the risks, mitigations, status of your governance program, productivity, and detail analytics at your fingertips.

14. Ask about the benefits and features

It may sound trivial, but you want to invest in a tool with maximum features that can benefit your business. For example, you might want a visual workflow builder, custom fields, and assigned user roles, so ask for what features the tool offers. 

15. How frequently do you need to update the tool?

Technology is evolving, so what you have today may become obsolete tomorrow. Or there may be some new features available in the future. So ask if you need to go for a paid upgrade. If yes, how frequently do you need to do that? Or does the vendor offers free upgrades with your subscription? Take all of these into account while investing in the tool.

While there are several GRC tools, if you are looking for an intuitive and integrated cloud-based GRC platform, try out VComply today. The tool works great in compliance management, policy management, risk management, and audit and assurance. Book a demo today to know more about it.