Let’s give credit where credit is due. Spreadsheets have earned their keep, helping organizations manage GRC-related tasks for years. The use is so embedded within enterprises that, according to a 2020 Forrester Research study, 82 percent of organizations continue to use spreadsheets today to manage third-party risk.

And it has worked — to a point.

The challenge is that managing risk and compliance can feel like a never-ending game of dodgeball, constantly ducking and swerving, while keeping an eye on the next mandate and deadline looming around the corner. Operating on the defensive makes it nearly impossible to get ahead, hindering the ability to mature and evolve GRC programs to keep pace with company growth.

Using spreadsheets only makes it harder.

If you’re wondering if there is a better and faster (and much less exhausting) way to manage risk and meet compliance requirements, that’s a sure-fire sign your GRC program has outpaced spreadsheets. It may be time to investigate an alternative.

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 decide to 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 generate ROI and ramp operations quickly.

Step 2: Start with one framework, map to many.

The beauty of an integrated and automated GRC platform is the ability to meet requirements for multiple frameworks, such as ISO, SOC and NIST, with unified control mapping. This allows you to standardize a common control set that is applied across compliance objectives and programs and backed by continuous monitoring to quickly satisfy new requirements with existing controls frameworks.

Step 3: Automate audits.

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

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, get the most of 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. 

Case in point: Datto, a provider of cloud-based software and technology solutions, was ready to make a move (remember Step 1 above?) — shifting from spreadsheets to a single system of record for compliance and risk management. Once the company had our fully integrated and automated ZenGRC platform in place, Datto put steps two through five in motion, building its compliance program from the ground up.

The results? Goodbye spreadsheets, hello greater efficiencies, fewer costs and less time. 

  • Efficiency gains: Prioritized efforts based on existing control maturity and compliance and risk posture
  • Cost savings: Immediate ROI with 35% reduction in external audit costs
  • Time savings: Expedited gap assessments for SOC 2 from 8 months — to 45 minutes!

“We literally built our company’s compliance program around ZenGRC,” said Datto Director of Information Security Christopher Henderson. “And the more we use the platform, the more benefit we see.”

If you’re using spreadsheets to manage risk and compliance, you’re not alone. And if you’re looking for an alternative to make GRC management easier, faster and more efficient, you’re in good company. Uplevel your company’s compliance and risk management with a comprehensive GRC platform, establishing a foundation to ramp and scale with confidence.

To learn more about how Reciprocity powered greater GRC efficiencies for Datto, read our case study Datto Builds Compliance Department Around ZenGRC.

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