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The best GRC platforms make it easier for the three lines of defense (operational/technology/business line management, risk/compliance, and internal audit) to coordinate activities, map assurance functions and perform independent validation. This
piece lists the main features to look for when evaluating GRC tools.
A GRC platform serves as a mechanism to enable the three lines of defense (operational/technology/ business line management, risk/compliance, and internal audit) to coordinate activities, map assurance functions and perform independent validation. To
get value from a GRC platform, organizations must first overcome common barriers associated with integrating these three, including:
GRC technology cannot overcome all the integration barriers by itself. An enterprise risk management steering committee comprised of multiple stakeholders, along with standardized policies, underlying infrastructure and a rolled-up risk assessment process
are all required. Then, the GRC technology can help bring everything together to meet the enterprise objectives.
READ: How to Set Up a Strong GRC Program
GRC solutions typically cover three domains: enterprise risk management (ERM), compliance management and IT governance.
ERM platforms help companies execute their business strategies while managing enterprise and operational risks. They are designed to support management’s articulation of business objectives, key strategies and risk appetite. The platform should
enable a clear linkage of risks to performance objectives and facilitate communication between leadership and the lines of business regarding their risk exposures.
The ERM part of the GRC tool should be able to help organizations:
Compliance platforms help companies incorporate compliance with external laws and regulations, as well as internal policies into their enterprise risk profile. Platforms typically combine content and policy management with external regulatory and compliance
feeds, along with internal controls companies should consider.
The compliance part of the GRC tool should help organizations:
IT governance platforms help companies align IT strategy with the needs of the business by establishing IT-centric risk and compliance processes that allow for effective management of business risks and external regulations. They serve as a central repository
of the IT environment and allow organizations to prioritize and manage IT projects while optimizing resource allocation, effectively balancing strategic initiatives with equally necessary compliance requirements.
The IT governance part of the tool should help organizations:
READ: How to Establish Data Ownership and Governance Roles
A successful GRC platform can serve as a mechanism to pull the three lines of defense (operational/ technology/business line management, risk and compliance functions, and internal audit) together at an aggregated level. To do this, it must have the requisite
features in place to enable those three lines of defense to coordinate activities, map assurance functions and perform independent validation. In addition, collaborative features, such as central dashboard reporting, automated workflows and user management,
are table stakes for an effective GRC platform.
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