How to holistically manage governance, risk, and compliance

Managing governance, risk and compliance in a holistic way is extremely challenging but very beneficial for forward thinking, complex organizations.

A holistic approach analyzes processes not in isolation, but as a whole. Consequently, your conclusions come not from isolated data, but from all connected activities. By adopting this approach, you could save your organization from making wrong, misguided decisions.

This short article will explore three approaches:

  • GRC as a holistic approach
  • Using an integrated process for internal controls
  • Integrated Risk Management (IRM) as framework

GRC as a holistic approach

Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) is a compliance driven approach that manages all organizational activities holistically.

Managing Governance, Risk and Compliance as a single complex set of activities is a relatively recent evolution. It is a response to increased demand for organizations to provide clear evidence of how they comply with regulations, manage risk, and implement a robust governance structure to oversee all activities, in all areas of an organization.

Note that compliance works to ensure that internal and external processes adhere to both internal standards, and relevant external regulations.

Using an integrated process for internal controls

GRC is by nature very complex. We recommend a dedicated technology platform to run an integrated process for internal controls. For instance, our technology platform, AdaptiveGRC builds and maintains a single source of truth, and manages all activities, processes, and workstreams around this single source of truth.

There are numerous benefits of an integrated process:

  • First, the platform records all activities to prevent any errors, omissions, or duplications.
  • Second, all risk management and controls link back to the single source of truth, so no key activities are missed.
  • Third, an appropriate platform will allow you to manage all risk and control assessments with consistent methodology.
  • Finally, the single source of truth, combined with workflow management tools dramatically reduces duplicated effort, wasted time and unnecessary costs.

Integrated Risk Management (IRM) as framework

While GRC is seen as primarily compliance led, an Integrated Risk Management (IRM) approach can be seen as the next evolutionary step and focuses on bringing all risk management activities together.

This is important as many organizations still conduct risk management activities separately. The result can be an uncoordinated, inefficient and error prone approach to risk.

Bringing activities such as Business Continuity Management, Supplier Risk Management and IT security together into one place will uncover synergies between these activities and holistic solutions that minimize, rather than duplicate, risks.

By harnessing synergies and creating a transparent system IRM brings the following benefits:

  • One view of all complex and fast changing risks faced by an organizations
  • A centralized, formalized approach to categorize and manage all risks in all corners of an organization without having to reinvent the wheel
  • Reduced costs thanks to no duplicated effort and less chance of errors
  • A centralized approach that creates a nimble business even for global organizations.
  • A robust approach to risk management even in organizations with fragmented structures

Our technology platform, AdaptiveGRC runs an Integrated Risk Management (IRM) framework. If you’d like to find out more, please contact us.