Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) platforms play a critical role in helping organizations optimize their governance strategies, streamline their risk management processes, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. By consolidating and streamlining these key functions, GRC platforms enable organizations to effectively monitor, assess, and address risks, manage compliance planning and reporting, and ensure that they’re achieving their business goals successfully and ethically.
GRC platforms typically offer an integrated suite of tools and capabilities that cover areas such as risk management, policy management, audit management, compliance management, internal control management, and incident management. They provide a centralized and holistic view of a company’s risks, controls, and compliance status, enabling organizations to make data-driven decisions and prioritize resources more effectively.
The GRC platform market is thriving, with multiple vendors offering solutions that cater to various industries, company sizes, and risk management needs. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 GRC platforms. We’ll highlight the key use cases and features of each solution, including compliance templates, policy mapping, risk management, continuous monitoring, and in-depth reporting.
Everything You Need To Know About Governance, Risk, & Compliance Tools (FAQs)
What Are Governance, Risk, & Compliance Tools?
Before we can understand governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) tools, we need to talk about what GRC actually is. GRC is the collective term for aligning IT and business goals, whilst managing risks and ensuring adherence to industry and federal compliance requirements. Implementing a GRC strategy can help organizations to achieve their business goals successfully and ethically, remove uncertainty when it comes to decision-making, and achieve compliance.
As the name suggests, there are three key components of GRC:
- Governance is the process of ensuring that business activities are managed ethically and are aligned with approved business goals and strategies. This includes creating policies, rules, or frameworks that an organization uses to: achieve its business goals; create conflict resolution policies; ensure accountability by defining the responsibilities of stakeholders; share information transparently; and securely manage resources.
- Risk management is the process of identifying, categorizing, assessing, and remediating risks that might hinder operations. This includes financial, legal, strategic, and security risks. Risk management helps organizations to predict potential problems and damages, whilst maximizing potential value and opportunity.
- Compliance is the act of adhering to rules, standards, or regulations set by federal or industrial bodies, or by the business for internal activities. To be compliant, organizations must implement management processes that identify relevant regulations, assess the current state of compliance across the organization, evaluate the risk of non-compliance, and implement measures that will help achieve compliance.
For example, an organization in the healthcare industry must comply with HIPAA, a regulation that protects patients’ privacy. To be non-compliant could result in heavy fines and litigation, so the organization would need to implement measures to ensure patient data is handled and stored securely.
GRC software helps organizations implement and manage their GRC programs; businesses can keep track of their policies, manage risk, and ensure compliance, all via a single platform. This enables organizations to carry out GRC processes with more accuracy and efficiency by allowing them to replace time-consuming and potentially inaccurate manual processes.
Today, most GRC solutions are cloud-based and offer lots of automation to make GRC processes easier to carry out, and more accessible. However, it’s important to remember that an effective GRC program doesn’t just rely on the technology; it also involves implementing an organization-wide GRC strategy that also considers the roles and people involved.
What Are The Benefits Of Governance, Risk & Compliance Software?
There are a few key benefits to implementing GRC tools:
- Improved decision making. GRC software often offers powerful reporting capabilities that enable organizations to make informed, data-driven decisions.
- Responsible operations. GRC promotes ethical values and activities within an organization, helping to ensure that the business is operating responsibly and sustainably.
- Improved cybersecurity. GRC can help business improve their cybersecurity by helping them to assess cyber risk and ensuring that they’re implementing measures that will help them comply with data protection and privacy standards.
- Improved efficiency and accuracy. By offering a central, unified view of governance, risk, and compliance processes and data, GRC software can help organization eliminate siloes to make activities such as risk assessment, compliance management, and internal audits more efficient and accurate. Some solutions also use automation and AI-driven models to help monitor and improve IT controls.
- Easier, more effective risk assessment. GRC solutions enable organizations to establish, manage, and automate their risk assessment process, as well as make data-driven decision to more effectively allocate resources for risk mitigation. They also allow organizations to monitor and fix redundant or ineffective control sets and frameworks, to help make their risk assessments more effective.
What Features Should You Look For In Governance, Risk & Compliance Tools?
There are a lot of GRC tools on the market, each designed to help organizations meet specific governance, risk, or compliance goals. As such, each tool is likely to offer a slightly different feature set. However, there are some features that you should look for in any GRC software:
- A central dashboard where admins can monitor high-level key performance indicators and objectives in real-time and dig deeper into risk assessment and compliance reports.
- Risk analytics that measure and quantify current risks and help you to predict future risk. The best tools also offer guidance on how to remediate risk.
- Policy and control mapping that enables you to assess how effectively controls are functioning, and quickly identify areas of non-compliance.
- Workflow management and automation to help you establish and streamline your GRC workflows.
- Audit management tools that help simplify the process of carrying out internal audits and help improve the accuracy of those audits. These should include robust reporting tools.
- A document management system that enables you to track and store digital content, thereby helping to streamline risk assessments and audits.