Every business consists of the fundamental components of people, assets, finances, and time. These collaborate together to produce information, and that information needs governance – the final constituent of the PAFTCIG paradigm we use at ContinuSys. Information governance refers to the overall strategy of managing information by balancing the risk that it presents with its potential value to the business.
As the adage goes, knowledge is power. Today, at least in a business context, that knowledge exists in the form of data, and it can be either a force of good or a source of risk. It can serve businesses across the full range of domains, such as research and development, performance optimisation, and customer experience personalisation. On the other hand, some types of data are subject to strict regulatory regimes or exists as confidential intellectual property.
This is why, to manage the various risks and opportunities data presents, we need governance and risk management.
What is GRC software?
GRC stands for governance, risk management, and compliance – a unified strategy to manage an organisations information assets in a way that optimally balances risk and opportunity. With a carefully planned GRC strategy, enterprises can more effectively manage risk and meet their compliance obligations while enabling improved decision-making.
GRC software combines the functions required to manage governance, risk, and compliance at scale with extensive integration and automation. Here’s a breakdown of the core functions:
- Governance: Information governance is a framework for managing information at the organisational level to eliminate siloes and align business with IT strategy.
- Risk: Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and mitigating threats, such as cyber threats or accidental data loss, to your information environment.
- Compliance: Compliance is about making sure that governance and risk management align with industry standards and regulations, as well as internal policies.
Here are some ways GRC software can help your business better manage governance, risk, and compliance:
1. Achieve alignment between IT and business
A lack of alignment between IT and business is one of the most pervasive problems in today’s enterprises. It is most often born of the fact that many IT teams still exist in a bubble, without having a clear picture of business goals. In other words, technology leaders are often not seen as business leaders, resulting in both parties having very different ideas about how to conduct their operations. This challenge is often exacerbated by rapid technological advancement and a constantly evolving threat landscape.
GRC software helps achieve closer alignment between business and IT by implementing a standardised approach to information management. This helps eliminate siloes, in which each department operates in a bubble with its own rules and is either unwilling or unable to share information.
2. Meet the demands of regulatory compliance
The sheer complexity of the global regulatory landscape isn’t getting any easier to manage as new legislation comes into force to tackle constantly evolving threats to privacy and security. However, you can’t expect to protect what you don’t know about, which is why CRG software is essential for achieving visibility into and control over your data environment.
When formulating your CRG strategy, you need to determine which data you have, which risks it faces, and which laws apply to it. For example, personally identifiable data pertaining to EU citizens is subject to the general data protection regulation (GDPR), which gives subjects the right to request access to their data and to demand its deletion in certain cases. There are also export and customs laws, hazardous materials requirements, and more to think about, hence the clear need for a consolidated approach.
3. Gain complete visibility into your data assets
Data visibility, or the lack thereof, is a new but already very common concern among business leaders. It is an inevitable result of the widespread adoption of increasingly complex software environments and different data sources. In some cases, businesses don’t even know where all their data lives, especially if they have a multi-cloud strategy with data stored in third-party and internal data centers all over the world.
Regulatory compliance and risk management cannot be adequately addressed unless you have complete visibility into your operational and information environment. CRG solutions help provide a consolidated view of your data and which policies, procedures, and systems are in place to protect it. Moreover, by incorporating automated evidence requests and customisable workflows, you can more easily adopt a standardised, business-wide auditing process.
4. Facilitate better interdepartmental communication
In many enterprises, each department has their own auditing, risk, and compliance processes. On the surface, this might seem like a simpler approach when compared to managing complex operational environments holistically. In reality, however, it often leads to organisational siloes in which it is much harder to determine how particular risks affect the broader business.
CRG software facilitates transparency and cooperation between employees and stakeholders by streamlining document management, issue remediation, and reporting. For example, if one of your stakeholders or a representative from a regulatory body asks you for evidence of your compliance and risk-management efforts, CRG software makes it easy to provide the reports.
5. Reduce business risk and boost remediation
Every business needs to innovate, for the risks of stagnating almost invariably translate into their becoming irrelevant in today’s rapidly evolving market. Yet, while change is vital, every change comes with both risks and opportunities. For example, deploying new technology may greatly enhance employee productivity or allow you to reach more customers but, at the same time, there are likely to be a lot of things that can go wrong.
CRG helps you quantify and qualify the risks and opportunities and proactively mitigate risks. Ultimately, the goal is achieve high business agility and adaptability, and that requires rapid innovation – albeit without adding risk. With CRG software, you can develop and deploy a risk management plan that protects your company’s resources, brand image, and its customers – all while staying on the right side of the law.
C-GRC helps organisations meet the demands of information governance, risk management, and compliance as part of the ContinuSys integrated business management platform. Sign up today to start your free trial.