Cloud versus on premise GRC software: a CIO’s dilemma? Well, maybe, and maybe not. Cloud based software solutions or cloud based computing is provides the CIO, CISO, CEO, CFO, and director an agile business process.

IDG in its 2014 study shows that 69% of enterprises had applications and infrastructure running in the cloud. Looking at such statistics, you are forgiven for thinking that everyone is moving to the cloud: after all, if something is in the cloud it is better, right?

The truth is there are those who are sticking to on premise software. In as much as this on premise vs. cloud debate is raging, I would like to be the moderator and say the cloud is winning. Here are six reasons why buying SaaS GRC software is a safe decision (ignore those who mention crowd mentality).

Definition of terms


SaaS is short for software as a service. Gartner defines SaaS as remotely managed software that is owned and delivered by one or more providers. Software delivery is done on a shared code, and data definition. It is then consumed in a one-to-many model by contracted customers on a pay-for-use or subscription basis.

GRC software solutions

GRC stands for governance, risk management, and compliance which allows for integration and management of IT operations. The software combines GRC solutions into a single package.

Why SaaS GRC software?

Lower cost of entry

SaaS is considered an operational expense and not a capital one. That is: you pay only for what you need without necessarily having to acquire hardware to host your applications. This is not the case for on premise solutions. You do not need to appropriate internal resources either for software installation; the provider does much of the work and provides you with an API (application program interface). The low cost makes a huge reduction in your budget if you are on one, which you should be.

Reduced time to benefit

A working solution in SaaS GRC software can even be in a matter of hours. Compared to the traditional model, the software is already installed and configured. A ready to use application lowers the time it takes to benefit from the investment and even allows for quick demonstrations or prototyping that helps give business partners more confidence. Many SaaS companies offer free trials which eliminate learning curves and whatnots to prove the concept.

Predictable costs

SaaS GRC software is a kind of pay-as-you-go solution. You can very well predict subscription and administrative expenses you are likely to incur. Good news directors and CIOs? You bet it is. As you plan to scale your operations upwards or even downwards, you will be able to more accurately budget for a cloud solution. Internal IT solutions may develop unexpected issues which make it hard to predict their cost.

Upgrades, uptime, and security responsibilities belong to the provider

While on premise IT people worry about security outside of their walls, you can afford to smile and only worry about underutilization of your cloud solution. As it is the vendor who hosts the software, he takes maintenance and upgrades responsibility. As a result, your GRC software is reliable, data and applications are secure, as well as meets agreed upon service agreements. Automatic data backup should give you peace of mind, high return on investment, and disaster recovery in case stuff hits the fan (very unlikely). Save your IT staff time and let the provider manage the rest for you as he worries about his competency.

Integration and scalability

Most SaaS GRC software is designed to take in some amount of flexibility or customization to your business. Providers have come up with software solutions that can connect to other SaaS providers as opposed to internal applications only. Such design eliminates the need for increased server capacity or software licenses as is the case for hosting software on the premise. You just need to adjust your subscription.

Works anywhere

This software is hosted on a cloud accessed via the internet. You can access it with a mobile device wherever you are connected to. For sales people, this means you can check your customers’ order histories, make an order in real time, and receive instant feedback. For executives always on the move, the ability to access data wherever you are is important for that successful business trip.


Gartner says that the global public cloud service market will grow by 18% in 2017 reflecting the potential for SaaS solutions. Major technology firms like Google and Oracle have emphasized the benefits of storing data, running applications and platforms as well as infrastructure on the cloud. In the end, it is the financial executive’s call to make after focusing on organization needs/ requirements. When it is all said and done, buying Saas GRC software is a safe decision.

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