3 Advantages Agile GRC Solutions Offer Modern Companies
Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) is far from a new strategic concept. Coined by OCEG officially in 2007, GRC is defined as “the integrated collection of capabilities that enable an organization to reliably achieve objectives, address uncertainty, and act with integrity.” While GRC is addressed in all organizations, it’s typically a disparate approach of different processes and information siloed in departments.
Traditionally, GRC focuses on resiliency and how quickly and effectively a company can respond to risk events. While this is well and good, responding to risk events reactively means costly time and resources and, sometimes, a long-term impact on your business or brand. The modern organization needs to be agile, not just resilient. GRC, done properly, enables the enterprise to move quickly, seize opportunities, and outperform its competitors in today’s environment. In this article, we’ll explain how agile GRC solutions benefit your modern company through three key advantages.
(Learn more about traditional GRC versus agile GRC here.)
How do you accomplish Agile GRC?
The increasing interconnectedness of risk means teams need to move faster. Effectively building GRC agility as an organization means planning for risk that can come from anywhere and pivoting quickly into action as needed. To accomplish agile GRC, you first need to work towards three things.
1. Get organizational buy-in
Simply anticipating risk isn’t enough to adequately protect your company. Agile GRC reduces the frequency of risk events by putting preventative measures in place so you and your company can look forward to growth, experience fewer disruptions, and hit more objectives.
A risk-aware culture encourages better reporting by allowing users to identify risks and report observations in real-time, as well as discreetly and anonymously when it comes to sensitive issues. This allows every individual across the company to feel accountable and ensure the business is ahead of its emerging risks, near misses, and loss events. An intuitive and easy-to-use ERM solution will quickly get buy-in from the first line, improve risk reporting and assessments, and save the business from significant losses.
2. Use data to drive risk-based decisions
The challenge for a lot of people in the risk and compliance space, explains Amanda Cohen, VP of GRC Products for Resolver, is that they typically ask questions across the organization and then begin to extrapolate insights in a silo. But the context and value of what’s being asked for don’t always make it to requestees. “But if I could present that information back to you and say, ‘Look, across the business, we have people defaulting on loans in different parts. Is there a correlation?’ When that kind of communication starts to happen, then the hypothetical becomes something that needs to be discussed at an executive level,” Cohen explains.
Unifying your technology solutions to centralize your data capture and reporting means different disciplines can input data and analyze it from a central source of truth, creating more impactful action plans. This also limits time spent chasing information and reports, empowering teams to make risk-based decisions with speed, accuracy, and efficiency.
3. Improve GRC processes with technology
Anyone who has managed GRC through spreadsheets knows it is time-consuming, inefficient, and error-prone. How many weeks does it take your team to get your quarterly board reports prepared? Modern GRC software solutions use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to automate workflows, create touch-of-a-button reporting, deliver up-to-date regulatory change notifications, and reduce duplication.
Theresa Cody of Bangor Savings Bank needed a solution that would crosslink “controls to activities and risks, automate follow-up with risk owners, and easily produce high-level summaries of where we stand on risk to our objectives.” After implementing GRC software, the team drastically improved processes, freeing up resources that were then redeployed to focus on uncovering deeper insights.
“Before Resolver, it took 10-16 hours to create a board report package. Now we can easily produce reports for them in the click of a button. This facilitates better discussion and saves my team up to five weeks of work per year.” ~ Theresa Cody of Bangor Savings Bank
(Read the full case study here.)
3 benefits to adopting agile GRC solutions
Here are three specific ways agile GRC solutions better protect your modern business.
1. Agile GRC helps preempt risks
Too often, disparate, siloed teams manage governance, risk, and compliance via emails and spreadsheets. Centralizing your data has the benefit of offering better visibility of risk across your entire business. This builds risk awareness from top down and bottom up, helping to mature your risk function faster by creating a proactive risk culture.
Using agile GRC tools, organizations can centralize and connect data, workflows, and processes across various GRC functions like risk, compliance, internal audit, controls, and more. By having information in one place, GRC teams can quickly respond to a rapidly changing risk environment and mitigate identified risks. Tying risks to objectives helps your organizational culture shift, so the entire workforce understands the value of your programs in achieving results.
2. Agile GRC improves efficiency, accuracy, and response
GRC Agility requires both a top-down and bottom-up approach. The first, second, and third lines all need to align on your risk culture, maturing it over time to deepen insights and programs that mitigate risk to deliver on your business objectives.
Agile GRC uses automation, machine learning, and AI to enhance business processes — like updating and notifying key stakeholders of relevant regulatory updates. It can also help improve response times. The faster you have comprehensive and accurate information about a risk event, the better you can communicate and work with your team members toward a solution. Agile GRC makes quick, flexible collaboration possible by removing the silos.
As for efficiency, an ERM Operations executive for a U.S. community bank recently shared how moving to Resolver replaced five tools with one, citing cost efficiency as a key benefit to getting buy-in from the board on a massive digital transformation project. Having one flexible, central GRC software solution that many teams can plug into can help grow your organization’s maturity along with providing agility.
3. Agile GRC helps risk become a strategic partner
Information on risks, assessments, regulations, and controls is often siloed across systems and functions and typically disconnected from strategy. Further, a weak analytical toolset makes it challenging to pull insights from the data that teams can access. As a result, GRC activities fail to influence organizational strategy and tend to validate a perception that GRC teams are a nuisance rather than a business driver.
In an agile GRC context, teams have the ability to connect risks to incidents and issues so that assessments of what could happen are linked to what did happen. They can then share data-driven insights with senior leadership and the board — often through the click of a button. Finally, they can customize reports to show risk reduction, testing coverage, track assessment completion, and more. As you show leadership how your risk intelligence drives organizational results and objectives, your GRC team and programs will begin to be seen as a strategic asset that builds business value and gives your business a competitive advantage.
Implement your agile GRC solution more quickly with Resolver
How can you use GRC software to increase GRC agility, collaboration, and problem-solving on your team? Look for software built on a highly flexible or customizable platform as you consider various GRC platforms. A configurable solution lets you centralize a unique dashboard view and offers access control so your product owner can decide what risk- or incident-related information to share with specific teams.
Resolver helps teams collect insights and then bring them to the business for analysis. Successful teams using GRC software solutions, like Resolver, understand and recognize where their highest risk areas are across their enterprise, says Cohen, “And then really work to rectify that, really highlight that through some powerful analytics and visuals.” Resolver’s GRC software combines a risk-centric GRC architecture with visuals and analytics that help you understand your data in context. This allows GRC teams to find insights in their data to inform organizational strategy.
Resolver’s end-to-end Enterprise Risk Management solution provides the foundation for the modernization of your entire GRC program. Designed by industry experts based on the latest best practices, Resolver enables GRC teams to connect their activities to business value and transform from “check-the-box” functions to trusted strategic advisors.
With solutions that address enterprise risk management, compliance management, internal audit, vendor risk, and >internal controls over financial reporting, Resolver has everything you need to turn risk data into business value.