Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) is an approach to combining the three critical functions of business. When managed separately, these activities often produce duplicative data and waste valuable resources – from human labor to time spent untangling spreadsheets. A strong GRC strategy enables businesses to achieve their objectives reliably, address uncertainty, and meet regulatory requirements. Here’s how to do it.
What is GRC?
Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) manages policies, procedures, and controls to promote business success and reduce risks to your organization. It considers laws, regulations, standards, culture, people, and stakeholders to identify potential issues and ensure your organization’s activities align with business goals.
GRC includes the following disciplines:
Often, siloed processes make it impossible to see how one activity or control impacts another. This causes duplication of efforts and wastes time. It also leaves your organization vulnerable to damaging risks that may go unrecognized until it’s too late. The best way to avoid these problems is with a GRC software solution that enables you to manage governance, compliance, and risk as a single, integrated process. A good GRC tool can help you align your organization’s goals, policies, and controls, prevent and remediate undesired risks and detect when something goes wrong — all while keeping employees focused on creating value for the company.
For instance, an SAP GRC access control can streamline and automate governance processes, third-party risk management, internal audit, and enterprise risk management. This allows you to gain a single, accurate picture of your total risk so that you can take action to minimize it. An integrated solution can also use artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to accelerate the performance of GRC functions and deliver more valuable information more quickly.
Governance, risk management, and compliance are relatively new corporate management systems that combine three traditionally distinct activities into one discipline. It helps companies to achieve goals and act with integrity, even in uncertain and complex environments. This model breaks down the silo mentality that can prevent departments from sharing information, leading to a lack of coordination and communication across departments.
Integrated GRC software can help reduce those issues by allowing users to access data that shows how risk and compliance processes are performing, where their weaknesses are, and what needs to be done to improve the process. It can also allow for easier, more efficient reporting and dashboards so that everyone from the risk and compliance team to senior leadership can keep their finger on the pulse of the most important metrics and indicators in real time. Choosing an integrated GRC platform that supports your organization’s specific business needs and requirements is crucial when looking for a solution. It should include a robust auditing and report generation function for all types of regulatory submissions, a centralized database that allows you to store your policies, procedures, processes, and controls in an easily accessible location, and the ability to customize dashboards so that everyone can get the key data they need quickly and accurately.
In addition to reducing the risk of legal disputes, fines, and reputational damage by identifying and assessing risks that could impact a business, implementing GRC ensures that all operations and departments are up to speed with laws, regulations, and compliance standards. It combines all these processes under one discipline and creates a common language for stakeholders.
Often, the three disciplines of Governance, Risk, and Compliance overlap and affect the same technologies, people, and information. For example, a company may need to comply with new data privacy rules (compliance) and enforce internal data protection controls for its benefit (governance). These activities are traditionally managed separately, which can create duplication of effort and a lack of integrated information that would help the business understand its risks and performance. When you implement an integrated GRC solution, your business can automate many of these tasks and have hard data on the status of your GRC program at any time. Using this data, you can identify your weak points and make informed decisions for improvement.
GRC requires that organizations stay on top of new laws, regulations, and policies. It also means avoiding non-compliance penalties, reputational damage, and costly legal disputes. A well-structured and integrated GRC framework allows organizations to monitor risk levels, enforce corporate policies, and prevent internal or external threats. It also provides the ability to identify and address issues before they become problematic. AI technology, such as advanced or augmented analytics, can help make the process faster and more efficient by automating routine tasks and providing real-time insights.
All three governance, risk management, and compliance areas must be considered equally, as they have significant dependencies and interactions. Failure to consider one of the areas could result in a solution that is inefficient, ineffective, or even illegal. GRC software can clearly show how each area operates and where gaps exist by centralizing processes and analyzing them across teams and departments. Taking stock of current processes will highlight any similarities between areas, such as risk assessment and compliance so that the different approaches can be unified to improve the effectiveness of your GRC system. This will also improve collaboration across departments and reduce data siloes.