What is GRC? An Introduction to Governance, Risk & Compliance Management

  • July 10, 2019
  • Quantivate

What is GRC and why is it important?

GRC – shorthand for governance, risk, and compliance — is an umbrella term for the processes and practices that organizations implement to meet business objectives through:

  • Monitoring and mitigating risks
  • Tracking regulatory change and verifying compliance
  • Aligning policies and processes to organizational goals

An effective GRC program enables enterprise-wide coordination in the following areas:



Ensuring your organization’s activities are aligned with strategic objectives; encompasses the processes, policies, and structures implemented to communicate, manage, and monitor organizational activities


Risk Management

Developing sustainable processes for 1) addressing potential risks and threats, 2) developing and maintaining controls to mitigate those risks, and 3) providing reasonable assurance that significant risks are managed in accordance with relevant and documented policies; encompasses risk identification, measurement, assessment, mitigation, retention, monitoring, and reporting



Conforming with laws, rules, regulations, prescribed practices, internal policies and procedures, or ethical standards

Within those categories, a GRC program typically covers activities like enterprise risk management, vendor and third-party risk management, business continuity management and planning, IT risk management, audit management, compliance management, and policy management.

Did you know? Quantivate’s GRC platform covers all these management categories and more.
Learn about our software suite: Download the Datasheet →

Next-Generation GRC

GRC management has come a long way from binders full of documentation, unwieldy spreadsheets, and other manual processes. Rather than just a catchall term for unconnected management activities, truly integrated GRC — sometimes referred to as integrated risk management — takes a holistic, enterprise-wide approach to understanding risks and opportunities to better support organizational strategy.

For GRC management to be successful in today’s business landscape, it must be technology-enabled to adapt to changing needs and equip teams to manage, monitor, and act on risk in real time. In short, effective GRC should be strategic, integrated, and digitized…

GRC is strategic when it in equips leadership to make informed, risk-based decisions that align with business objectives.

GRC is integrated when data is shared across business units and departments, reducing duplication and breaking down silos. This allows a better understanding of your organization’s risks and their impact on business outcomes.

GRC is digitized when all governance, risk, and compliance activities are united in a single system or platform that enables automation of manual processes, simplifies workflows, and stores data and documentation, creating a standardized framework and “single source of truth” for your organization.

The Benefits of GRC Software

GRC technology is only helpful inasmuch as it is used in conjunction with good processes. Once organizations have strong policies and procedures in place, investing in a GRC solution can assist in making significant improvements in organizational performance, decision-making, risk awareness, and digital transformation.

Enhances Agility: Launching a new product or service, contracting with a new vendor, or reacting to market changes becomes faster and more efficient when you have the data you need to analyze risks and opportunities.

Eliminates Fragmentation and Data Silos: Sharing data across business units, departments, and risk and compliance functions is not only more cost efficient, but also enables more accurate risk assessment.

Streamlines Risk & Compliance Activities: Through automating manual activities and developing repeatable processes, GRC initiatives can be implemented in days or weeks rather than months or years. A consistent GRC framework also simplifies day-to-day management tasks, reducing time and labor requirements and minimizing human error.

Increases Access to Risk Information: As part of the enhanced, cross-functional communication and analytics made possible by risk integration, leadership and stakeholders have access to the information they need to make informed decisions through real-time dashboards and executive reports.

Empowers Strategic Decision-Making: Technology-enabled risk integration helps the “three lines of defense” in risk management — operational management, risk and compliance functions, and internal audit — analyze and share their data, enabling a 360-degree view of your organization’s risk landscape, which in turn empowers strategic decision-making that leads to better business performance.

Read more: GRC Technology’s Role in the “3 Lines of Defense” Risk Management Model →

Promotes Proactive Preparation: Through continual risk oversight and compliance monitoring, organizations can be proactively prepared for the future, primed to act, and have peace of mind that their GRC program is aligned with business strategy and meeting regulatory requirements. A secure GRC platform also inventories and safeguards critical business data by managing user and third-party access.

Quantivate’s Comprehensive GRC Platform

The Quantivate GRC Software Suite was designed to help organizations quickly implement a holistic, integrated GRC program. Our software products are robust on their own but even better together, sharing processes and controls through built-in integration that provides powerful data-sharing and automation capabilities. Learn more about how it works: Request a free, personalized demo.

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