Indepth guide to GRC toolGovernance, risk, and compliance, or GRC, is a systematic framework that helps you align your business goals, manage and mitigate risks, establish governance in your work process and stay on top of your compliance. But implementing a GRC program across an enterprise-level organization with uniformity is no easy job. That’s where a GRC tool comes in handy. An intuitive GRC tool can help in optimal decision-making, encourage team collaboration, eliminate fragmentation and establish a solid GRC program across your organization. If you’re ready to implement a GRC tool or still toying with the idea, this article will help you with all the necessary resources!
When to implement the GRC toolA GRC tool can help you streamline compliance processes and enable you to establish a strong governance, risk, and compliance management framework across the organization. A GRC tool is usually a cloud-based solution and helps you peek at your organization’s risk profile, analyze the gaps for corrective action plans, and monitor compliance platform and governance. It also helps introduce automation for various processes to increase efficiency, reduce complexity, and eliminate the risks of paying huge penalties for nonadherence to guidelines.
A GRC platform serves as a single source of truth for your organization, where you can get status updates, view action plans, and have visibility on 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.
The Governance Institute of Australia 2020 Risk Management Survey mentioned that in their survey, 393 respondents considered regulatory and legislative changes to be one of the top five risks for them in the next five years. Some of these risks are associated with damage to brand reputation, regulatory and legislative changes, and cybercrime.Regulatory and legislative changes and staff conduct were reported to be the most efficiently managed risk issues. As a result, talent management, disruption/inadequate innovation, environmental risks, and economic shock pose the most significant risk.The survey ultimately showed a substantial value for governance and risk professionals. Efforts are being made to focus on risk management and the tools and strategies used. If you are anticipating such risks for your organization and if you are still using spreadsheets for managing compliance programs, risk assessment, compliant audits, tracking incidents, and establishing a healthy government program in your organization, then an effective GRC tool like VComply can help you launch your GRC program under 30 minutes!
Top 4 benefits of a GRC toolThere are several benefits of having an intuitive GRC tool in your organization. However, the top benefits include:
- A GRC platform gives you better visibility across your organization's governance, risk, and compliance portfolio.
- A GRC tool can serve as a single source of truth. You can get status updates, compliance evidence, audit trails, and action plans all on a single platform.
- A GRC tool encourages collaboration between teams. If you think your teams are working in silos, implementing a GRC tool can help your organization works as a unified team. For example, VComply lets you effectively communicate between teams across locations, thus bringing transparency and accountability on board.
- GRC tools are flexible, so you need not wait for your IT team to configure workflows or setup compliance control.
How to implement a GRC toolNow that you are ready to implement your first GRC tool let’s understand how you should implement it.
Revisit your GRC frameworkIf you already have a GRC framework, we strongly recommend you revisit your GRC frameworks and identify the gaps. See how much you can fill those gaps with technology. Review your governance, risk, and compliance programs across the organization and see how you can streamline them. Understanding your GRC framework can help you pick the right GRC tool and redefine your GRC program.
Pick the GRC toolTo ensure your GRC program is running perfectly, choose the right GRC tool. While cloud-based GRC tools are most popular now, there are tons of cloud-based GRC tools. Asking your GRC tool vendor the right questions can help you make an informed decision. Pick a solution that has good functionality, is easy to use, offers all the features you need, is easy to implement, and has competitive pricing. Know the top 10 GRC tools.
Project planningOnce you have determined the GRC tool you want to implement, work on a detailed implementation plan. This usually includes a project manager appointed by the tool vendor who works with you to understand the business policies and processes that are in place and identifies the existing gaps. Based on your requirements, the project manager will suggest the plan that will be best suited for your business needs. A demo and a project timeline usually follow this.
Implement and monitorOnce your plan is ready, it’s time for the actual implementation. If you’re going for a cloud-based automated GRC tool like VComply, your implementation can be completed within 30 minutes. Implementation will include management of policy documents, IT risk management, compliance management, operational risk management, and setting the company-wide governance plan. But remember, implementation alone will not help in the acceptance of the tool. Once the tool is implemented, spread awareness among the employees, offer training, and conduct workshops for better adoption. However, implementing a GRC program is not a one-time activity. Your GRC program needs to be tracked and monitored to ensure it is followed closely and adhered to by all the departments. Externally, you must ensure your GRC program is updated based on the policy updates and changes in the regulatory requirements.
How to create a business case for GRCWhile each business is unique, you must do thorough research and communicate the facts to the decision-makers while presenting a business case for GRC. Here’s a step-by-step instruction to help you get started.
Look into your current approach and identify gapsTo begin your business case, look into your existing system. Create an outline of the existing system – what it involves, how the workflow looks like, who all are involved etc. Next, identify the gaps and present them in your business case. Emphasis on the consequences that can happen or have happened in the past due to the gaps. Were there any examples of tangible outcomes? Highlight them in your note.
Account the costConsider the costs involved in your present GRC program versus the cost for the proposed GRC platform. Instead of taking a siloed approach, look into it as an overall cost across the organization. Some of the costs to take into account are:
- Employee costs
- Technology costs
- Costs due to operational inefficiencies
Presenting your business caseIrrespective of what GRC tool you are proposing, your business case should highlight the current solution and its key problems, how it impacts the business, and how the newly proposed solution can help you improve the scenario. Before this, know the difference between GRC and IRM.
Factors to be considered while selecting a GRC platformThe three main components of a GRC platform are governance, risk, and compliance. Governance: The Governance module integration enables you to ensure that all the administrative support measures are in place that is in sync with your GRC strategy and overall business goals.
General considerationCost Even if it sounds cliche, you need to consider and compare costs for the GRC tool. Ideally, the tool you choose should be able to provide maximum benefits and protection for the best cost. A good way to go about it is to calculate the total cost of ownership and then calculate its return on investment.
Functional requirementWorkflow It needs to have a good workflow engine to get the most out of your GRC platform. Since a large team of employees will use the tool across departments, the tool needs to have a workflow system to manage and distribute work and keep track of it. So ensure you invest in a GRC tool that has developed a good workflow system.
|Cost||Is it cost-effective?||Yes/No|
|Product Scope||Does it have future product scope?||Yes/No|
|Interface||Does it have an easy-to-use interface?||Yes/No|
|Reputation||Is the vendor reputed?||Yes/No|
|Partnership||Can I enter into a strategic partnership with the vendor?||Yes/No|
|Security||Does the vendor has good security measures in place?||Yes/No|
|Scalability||Is the tool ready for future scalability?||Yes/No|
|Workflow||Does the tool have a good workflow?||Yes/No|
|Document management||Can I do document management in the tool?||Yes/No|
|Usability||Will my team find it easy to use the tool?||Yes/No|
|Customization||Does the tool support customization?||Yes/No|
ROI of implementing GRCImplementing a strong GRC program is no longer good but a must-have for companies globally. While risk and compliance professionals are strong advocators of implementing a GRC platform, the decision-makers need to weigh the return on investment of implementing a GRC system in the organization. To determine the ROI of implementing a GRC program in your organization, you need to consider both the qualitative and quantitative benefits of having a GRC tool. Here is a quick guide on determining tangible and intangible benefits, including a quantifiable ROI.
The tangible and intangible benefits of having a GRC programSome of the tangible benefits of having a GRC program are savings through operational efficiencies, staff costs, and long-term savings by IT cost reductions ( saying no to legacy tools). However, quantifying these benefits can be difficult. However, you may attempt to do so by
- Identifying the existing priority risk, compliance, and governance use cases that will be supported by implementing a new GRC tool.
- Note down the current activities performed at present for each of the use cases.
- Note down the people involved with these activities and how much time and effort they spend to accomplish them.
- Better transparency
- Integrated processes and platform
- Ability to proactively manage risk
- Greater reporting and data integrity
- Minimized legacy technology expenses
- Enhanced decision-making GRC convergence
- Efficient risk and control assessment activities
- Improved traceability of transactions
- Better reporting
- Better data integrity
- Minimized maintenance cost for legacy technology
- Technology: Reduced costs by removing isolated tools and replacing them with an integrated GRC tool
- Process: Implementation of GRC can reduce risks related to processes.
- People: A wholesome GRC tool can remove manual intervention and free up the workforce to focus on something else.
- Removing licensing costs by embracing a cloud-based GRC tool
ROI throughout the GRC lifecycleA successful GRC transformation depends on the six components throughout the GRC lifecycle. So you need to consider the individual ROI. The six stages include
- Vision and strategy At this stage, you are establishing your GRC business case. This may include considering the investments involved along with the benefits target. You will define and align ROI measures and metrics with your main strategies.
- Convergence and foundational elements An important metric to consider at this stage are identifying efficiencies gained via process and taxonomy alignment.
- Program management Important metrics to consider at this stage are actual project performance vs. targets, different research variances, and reporting requirements.
- People and change Education and employee awareness are important metrics to consider at this stage.
- Technology enablement In this stage, the ROI consideration can be implementation and testing metrics.
- Vendor selection The different ROI consideration in this stage includes vendor performance metrics, vendor management pre and during the implementation, etc.