Acknowledging the invaluable role of spreadsheets in managing Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) tasks over the years is like tipping our hats to a steadfast companion. These trusty tools have been the go-to for many organizations, embedded so deeply that a 2020 Forrester Research study revealed that 82 percent still rely on spreadsheets for handling third-party risk.

And undeniably, they’ve served their purpose to a certain point.

The challenge lies in the perpetual nature of managing risk and compliance. It’s akin to an endless game of dodgeball, constantly maneuvering to dodge the risks while keeping an unwavering eye on the next set of mandates and looming deadlines. This defensive stance often impedes progress, hindering the evolution and maturity of GRC programs essential for keeping pace with company growth.

Spreadsheets, despite their utility, only compound these challenges.

If you’re pondering a better, faster, and frankly, far less exhausting approach to managing risk and meeting compliance requirements, that’s a clear sign your GRC program has outgrown spreadsheets. It might just be the opportune moment to explore a dedicated GRC tool designed explicitly to tackle the multifaceted components of GRC with precision and efficiency.

What are the Benefits of Implementing a GRC Program?

Diving into the world of GRC unfolds a tapestry of advantages spanning various business landscapes. GRC programs act as vigilant guardians, effectively navigating companies through regulatory hoops and fortifying their defenses against potential risks.

  1. Improved Compliance: A robust GRC program simplifies compliance management by integrating regulatory requirements seamlessly into daily workflows. It’s like having a compass guiding businesses through the complex maze of rules.
  2. Risk Mitigation: Implementing a GRC program is akin to a real-time risk assessment tool. It proactively identifies vulnerabilities and security risks, enabling swift remediation to shield against potential threats.
  3. Enhanced Decision-Making: GRC tools provide stakeholders with informed decision-making capabilities. Dashboards offer real-time metrics, empowering stakeholders to make strategic choices based on data-driven insights.
  4. Increased Efficiency: By streamlining GRC processes and automating manual tasks, businesses can bid farewell to siloed efforts. This unified approach across business units enhances workflows and ensures a more efficient operational roadmap.

How to Create a Strong GRC Program

Crafting a robust GRC program involves a strategic amalgamation of various elements. It’s like piecing together a puzzle where each component plays a crucial role, from compliance teams to cybersecurity initiatives.

1. Assess Your Needs

Understand your company’s unique risk management program. Identify potential risks, especially in data privacy or compliance, to tailor the GRC strategy to your business.

2. Set Clear Goals

Define measurable objectives aligned with industry standards. Develop a roadmap for implementing a GRC system that caters to business continuity while meeting regulatory compliance requirements.

3. Assemble Your Dream Team

Collaborate with stakeholders across business units, including the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), to ensure a comprehensive GRC strategy. Their insights are invaluable in building a strong GRC foundation.

4. Implement Efficient Tools

Invest in advanced GRC software that supports third-party and vendor risk management. Automation reduces reliance on manual processes and enhances internal audit capabilities.

5. Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation

Conduct regular audits and assessments, embracing a culture of continuous improvement. Leverage webinars or internal training initiatives to keep stakeholders informed and updated on the evolving GRC landscape.

Ramping and scaling your GRC program

Here are five ways to drive GRC efficiencies with less effort, elevating your program to address new and evolving regulations:

Step 1: Be ready to move

Once you deploy a GRC platform, you want to be up and running fast. Time is of the essence when you’re on the hook to scale GRC activities while continuing to satisfy existing compliance requirements. A solution that can be deployed quickly delivers fast time-to-value, helping you rapidly generate Return on Investment (ROI) and ramp operations.

Step 2: Start with one framework map to many

The beauty of an integrated and automated GRC platform is its ability to meet requirements for multiple frameworks, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Service Organization Control (SOC), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with unified control mapping. This allows you to standardize a standard control set applied across compliance objectives and programs and backed by continuous monitoring to quickly satisfy new requirements with existing control frameworks.

Step 3: Automate audits

Build a comprehensive compliance and risk system to import external information, like vendor questionnaires and audits, and export internal data, like regulatory reports. Leverage the same one-to-many mapping capabilities to identify control overlaps between compliance programs and quickly audit and test once, applying the results repeatedly.

Step 4: Think about the future

Turn to a platform that will scale as your organization grows, built to ramp beyond today’s compliance requirements, ideally able to support Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and cybersecurity risk for improved information security. With one unified platform accessed via a single interface, you gain a future-proofed foundation to manage comprehensive GRC.

Step 5: Partner with the pros

To deploy quickly, maximize your investment, and build a more efficient and agile GRC program, lean on outside expertise where needed. Advice, support, and analysis tied to specific regulations and frameworks can help take your program to the next stage of maturity.

But don’t just take our word for it. Take the word of one of our customers. 

Choosing the best GRC solution for your company

Selecting the ideal GRC solution for your company is like finding the right tool in a toolbox – it needs to fit perfectly to get the job done effectively. With numerous options available, pinpointing the one that aligns seamlessly with your company’s needs can be a game-changer.

The chosen GRC solution should be scalable to adapt as the company grows over time. An easily scalable solution can remain effective in the long term.

Ease of use and a user-friendly interface for the GRC solution is important for smoother adoption across different internal teams. Widespread adoption leads to better compliance and risk practices company-wide.

Reliable customer support from the GRC provider, especially during implementation and troubleshooting, is key. Good support enables the company to maximize the benefits of the GRC solution.

ZenGRC is The Best GRC Option for Your Needs

Datto, a leading technology solutions provider, sought to move beyond spreadsheets’ limitations for compliance and risk management. They transitioned to ZenGRC’s integrated platform to transform their program.

The outcomes were remarkable – ZenGRC delivered significant efficiency gains, cost savings, and time reductions. Datto streamlined efforts by prioritizing actions based on control maturity and risk posture, enabling precision optimization. They reduced external audit costs by 35%, showcasing ZenGRC’s cost-efficiency. Most strikingly, SOC 2 gap assessments that previously took 8 months were accelerated to just 45 minutes.

Datto’s Director of Information Security affirmed: “We literally built our company’s compliance program around ZenGRC. The more we use the platform, the more benefit we see.” For any company seeking to enhance GRC management beyond spreadsheets, Datto’s success signals the transformative potential of transitioning to ZenGRC.

The platform establishes a foundation to ramp and scale compliance and risk standards confidently. See the power of ZenGRC yourself – schedule a demo today.

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