The Business Benefits of GRC Integration

  • January 8, 2020
  • Quantivate

Governance, risk, and compliance management is not a new concept. Whether organizations call it GRC, integrated risk management (IRM), enterprise risk management (ERM), or something else, the necessity and strategic advantage of an effective management program is widely recognized.

However, what a successful GRC program looks like is changing, and must change, to reflect an evolving business environment. Organizations can no longer get by with manual, disconnected management methods. Spreadsheets, differing data and processes in every department, and even many tools and solutions designed for the purpose can’t provide an enterprise-wide view of risks, opportunities, and their impact on business outcomes.

“Keeping business strategy, performance, uncertainty, complexity and change in sync is a significant challenge for boards and executives, as well as management professionals throughout all levels of the business,” said Michael Rasmussen, founder of GRC 20/20 Research, in a recent issue of Enterprise Risk Magazine. “This challenge is even greater when risk management is buried in the depths of departments and approached from a compliance or audit angle, and not as an integrated discipline of decision-making that has a symbiotic relationship on performance and strategy.”’

Businesses are increasingly coming to this same conclusion. The Risk Management Society’s 2019 Excellence in Risk Management Report found that C-level executives identified “integration with strategic planning” as the biggest performance gap in their organization’s risk management function, with less than half of the organizations surveyed (38%) using risk data to make long-term adjustments to risk management strategy and only 29% supplying data for strategic planning.

Towards Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) Integration

When it comes to strategic risk management, integration is a deeply underutilized step toward maturity. Without “connecting the dots” between their governance, risk, and compliance management activities, businesses miss opportunities to make significant improvements in organizational performance, decision-making, risk awareness, and digital transformation.

An integrated approach to GRC, supported by consistent processes and a technology platform that enables data integration, can…

  • Equip leadership with the data and insights needed to make informed, risk-based decisions that align with organizational objectives
  • Unlock powerful data-sharing and automation that reduces duplication and breaks down silos
  • Create a centralized hub for task management, data and documentation, assessment, and reporting

In the next section, we’ll explore some specific benefits that organizations can expect to start seeing when they invest in GRC integration.

The Benefits of GRC Integration

More Strategic Decision-Making

Technology-enabled GRC integration helps risk and compliance management teams analyze and share their data for a 360-degree view of the organization’s risk landscape. In turn, this holistic perspective helps boards and executives make decisions that align management activities with business strategy and performance.

No More Data Silos

Sharing data across business units, departments, and risk and compliance functions is not only more cost efficient, but also enables better visibility, an interconnected understanding of risks and controls, and improved access to data and reporting. Siloed data breeds duplication and inaccuracy and may even conceal potential risks, while integrated data highlights critical connections and dependencies across the enterprise and improves executive oversight.

Improved Cross-Functional Communication

An additional benefit of data-sharing between departments is enhanced communication and collaboration. When all teams share a single system for risk data, documentation, and task management, they’ll also share a common language for defining and discussing risk. This encourages departments to share relevant information — the business continuity team can share business impact analysis results with ERM, or the compliance team can share pertinent regulatory or legal changes with policy management — helping individual business units work together effectively toward organizational objectives.

Streamlined Management

Tracking down important information across multiple documents, computers, and/or storage methods is time-consuming and makes data and task management a bigger challenge than it has to be. Automating manual activities and developing repeatable processes and workflows, on the other hand, simplifies day-to-day GRC management tasks, reducing time and resource requirements and minimizing human error.

Greater Agility

Many organizations struggle with a lack of visibility into their business processes, vendor relationships, risk exposure, and other critical considerations for integrated risk management. Uniting analytics and reporting for these and other areas under one platform enables organizations to quickly analyze risks and opportunities and develop data-driven action plans. As a result, launching a new product or service, contracting with a new vendor, or responding to market changes becomes faster and more efficient.

The Takeaway

Even though organizations may have different teams or managers handling ERM, vendor management, compliance, or business continuity, their management processes and data don’t have to be siloed.

However, the benefits of GRC integration are only possible with a two-pronged approach of 1) strong policies and procedures for governance, risk, and compliance management, and 2) a flexible technology architecture that supports and enhances your GRC initiatives.

If your organization is looking for ways to tie those two pieces together, Quantivate can help. The Quantivate GRC Software Suite was designed to help businesses quickly implement a holistic, integrated GRC program using built-in best practices.

Quantivate’s platform supports management solutions across eight different GRC categories, equipping organizations to both meet their current needs and expand as they grow. With integration between all our products, data points including processes, controls, action items, laws and regulations, and other information can flow between user groups in your organization. This flexible data architecture enables:

  • Data-sharing between business units and departments
  • Greater risk and compliance oversight and governance visibility
  • Security and access controls
  • Automated workflows
  • Configurable reports and analytics

Explore the Full Quantivate GRC Software Suite:

Used separately or in combination, each software module features centralized processes and data storage, task management, and flexible workflows to enhance oversight and reduce the time and resources allocated to management activities. Organizations that implement multiple products unlock even deeper integration and greater efficiencies.

Learn more about each GRC solution:

Or browse our software bundles designed to help fast-track GRC integration: