What Is GRC – Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance and Why Do I Need It?

Different departments deal with various aspects of your company’s risk and compliance capabilities.

While your security team is handling cyber risks, HR managers are maintaining compliance, and upper management is focusing more on business goals and the big picture.

Everyone plays their role and does it well. However, when no IT GRC strategy is in place, there is a level of disconnect. The type of disconnect that will make it challenging for your company to respond quickly and efficiently when faced with risk and uncertainty.

That is why you must invest in an effective GRC culture — one that connects all the dots.

What Is GRC? (Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance)

Let’s start with the basics — what does GRC stand for?

GRC is an acronym that stands for governance, risk management, and compliance. However, some organizations favor “control” over compliance.

GRC is a strategy used to manage an organization’s governance, risk management, and compliance, broken down into the following three areas:

  • Governance — This ensures that all organizational activities are aligned with your business goals, including IT operations.
  • Risk Management— This involves making sure that risks associated with business activities are identified and addressed so that your business can thrive. For example, developing a comprehensive IT risk management process.
  • Compliance — This requires you to make sure all activities are conducted in a way that meets laws and regulations. For example, storing and using data correctly.

According to Gartner, the concept of “GRC” first came to light in the early 2000s. There was an increasing need for better internal control and governance within large enterprises — much of which was driven by the requirements associated with the U.S. Sarbanes Oxley Act. Since then, this concept has evolved.

Why Should You Adopt This Way of Thinking?

At a MetricStream GRC Summit in Washington DC, one speaker said, “It is no longer just one or two risks that are keeping business leaders up at night — it’s all of them.” Risks are growing more complex and are now highly interconnected.

The goal of a GRC strategy is to help your organization align business objectives while effectively managing risk and ensuring regulatory compliance. IT GRC focuses on compliance and risk management associated with cybersecurity and technology. By taking a proactive approach that includes IT in your GRC strategy, cyber risks will no longer be siloed from other risks within your company, particularly financial risks.

Initially, the importance of GRC was recognized by large enterprises, but today, GRC can be implemented by any organization. Whether you’re small or large, public or private, if you want to align your IT activities and business goals, stay on top of compliance, and effectively manage risk, you will benefit from GRC.

A well-planned, thorough GRC strategy will allow you to:

  • Improve decision-making and performance
  • Benefit from more optimal IT investments
  • Eliminate silos
  • Reduce costs
  • Reduce fragmentation from one department to the next

Bottom line – A GRC strategy helps pull everything together within your organization, addressing risk, compliance, and governance so that you can make more informed, quick decisions about the risks that threaten your company’s growth and success. Risks can no longer be managed in isolation. For example, risks in your legal department threaten your IT and internal audit departments, and vice versa.

How Does GRC Work?

“GRC is about collaboration and harmony.” — Pearl Zhu, Corporate Global Executive

Although leveraging tools and software will support your GRC strategy, this isn’t enough to ensure effective GRC. Implementing an effective GRC strategy is more than a set of software tools — that is why you should develop a framework for guidance.

Technology doesn’t take ethics into consideration, but people do. That is why you must address GRC from a people and process perspective. Research shows that many businesses have GRC software solutions in place, yet 65% struggle to manage IT risks. 

Many of the respondents also said that getting through everyday management and compliance tasks is challenging. Worst of all, 61% reported that their organization experienced a data or privacy breach in the last three years.

That is why it’s important that you have the right people in the right places.

Related: How to Hire an IT Professional in 4 Steps

When you have a strong team, using the latest software, you will gain access to the data you need to understand all risks in real-time. This creates a domino effect throughout your organization. Your organization’s C-suite will obtain all the necessary documentation to prove governance over your risk management program so that you can meet all compliance requirements.

How Hiring Affects GRC Implementation

An effective GRC program isn’t built overnight. However, being aware that changes need to be made within your organization is the first step towards sustained success. Whether you have a head start on your GRC journey, or you’re just starting out, it’s important to look at the big picture.

Who you hire matters.

The first step in doing so is to define your organization’s GRC vision, goals, success criteria, roles and responsibilities, the types of solutions that can be implemented, and milestones for success. Remember, effective GRC is an enterprise-wide activity. Each team member must effectively manage their tasks independently while working in tandem, leveraging your risk-control framework. Everyone needs to speak the same language and work in harmony, functioning like a well-oiled machine.

So, how do you start to close the gaps? To connect the dots between risks, compliance, and other elements of your GRC strategy, it’s recommended that you consult with industry experts. Whether you seek advice or are ready to hire a GRC executive, Locus Recruiting can help.

Contact Locus Recruiting Today

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