Governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) is a framework for managing these three practices across an organization. It’s increasingly important for businesses that want to better manage risk, ensure compliance, and coordinate security with a unified and integrated platform.
This is why GRC has become so critical. Here’s how managers and IT teams can leverage the right tools for their organizations.
Compare Top GRC Vendors
1 ManageEngine ADAudit Plus
ManageEngine ADAudit Plus is an IT security and compliance solution. With over 200 reports and real-time alerts, it provides complete visibility into all the activities across your Active Directory (AD), Azure AD, file servers (Windows, NetApp, EMC, Synology, Hitachi, and Huawei), Windows servers, and workstations. ADAudit Plus helps you track user logon and logoff activity; analyze account lockouts; audit ADFS, ADLDS; monitor privileged user activities and much more. Try free for 30 days!
Build a modern business, driven by data. Connect to any data source to bring your data together into one unified view, then make analytics available to drive insight-based actions—all while maintaining security and control. Domo serves enterprise customers in all industries looking to manage their entire organization from a single platform.
RSA Archer removes silos from the risk management process so that all efforts are streamlined and the information is accurate, consolidated, and comprehensive. The platform’s configurability enables users to quickly make changes with no coding or database development required. Archer was named a Leader in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for IT risk management and IT vendor risk management tools. Additionally, Forrester named it a Contender in its Q1 2020 GRC Wave.
StandardFusion is a cloud-based GRC platform designed for information security teams at any sized organization, large or small, to easily manage risk, compliance, audits, & vendors with an intuitive user experience and top-ranked customer service. Their mission is to make GRC simple and approachable for any sized company.
5 SAP GRC
SAP’s in-memory data access will give you top-of-the-line big data and predictive analytics capabilities tied to risk management. SAP was not recognized in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for IT risk management, but Forrester did name it a Contender in its Q1 2020 GRC Wave. Additionally, SAP was given the number two spot in the 2020 GRC Emotional Footprint Awards by Software Reviews for delivering outstanding customer service.
Read more: Best Risk Management Software for 2022
What Is Governance, Risk, and Compliance?
The GRC acronym was first formalized in 2007 by the OCEG, originally called the Open Compliance and Ethics Group, a nonprofit think tank. However, the term has been in use since around 2003.
Software and IT solutions help teams automate GRC activities, streamline work, and reduce implementation complexity.
According to the OCEG website, GRC is a “shorthand reference to the critical capabilities that must work together to achieve Principled Performance — the capabilities that integrate the governance, management, and assurance of performance, risk, and compliance activities.”
GRC often refers to specific practices and tools that help businesses perform and integrate their governance, risk management, and compliance processes more effectively. For example, software and IT solutions help teams automate GRC activities, streamline work, and reduce implementation complexity.
GRC tools can help larger organizations streamline the development of GRC processes and manage them in day-to-day operations. More advanced tools may leverage technology like artificial technology (AI) or machine learning (ML) to improve risk management or compliance.
Top GRC Tools & Software
The GRC software market is large, and a wide variety of tools are available. Different feature sets, price points and interoperability capabilities mean organizations should choose their solution carefully.
These are six of the most popular GRC tools, the features they offer, and the organizations they will benefit the most.
Fusion Framework System
Fusion Risk Management is a cloud-based GRC tool designed to work in conjunction with the Salesforce platform. The tool allows end users to more easily visualize products from a customer perspective. It focuses on current risks, dependencies, and relationships between risks, business processes, and third-party business partners.
Key features include dashboards, reporting, incident tracking, and high levels of customizability. Users can configure the software without coding, meaning it’s highly user-friendly — even for those without technical backgrounds.
This tool will work best for businesses that rely on Salesforce and want a GRC solution that integrates directly with their e-commerce and CRM technology. Companies that use other CRM platforms may find that Fusion provides limited value and requires a complicated adoption process.
Built with integration of the IBM AI engine Watson, OpenPages is the GRC tool from IBM. It is used for GRC by major companies like Nationwide and General Motors.
The software’s core functionalities include services to streamline management of financial controls, IT governance, and regulatory initiatives. Included tools also support internal audits related to GRC operations. Flexible pricing and AI integration-by-default make it a good fit for teams of all sizes, especially businesses that want to adopt ML and GRC software simultaneously.
A free demo of the software is available for businesses that want to experiment with OpenPages before committing to a plan.
ServiceNow offers a GRC tool with powerful governance, risk, and compliance automation features. The service is cloud-based and built to provide a unified data environment with easy-access tools, such as portals and mobile apps.
The software’s reporting and analytics capabilities make it easy for a business to track and measure GRC-relevant metrics based on unique organizational needs. Additional features — like real-time monitoring, predictive intelligence, and automation tools — can help organizations extract better insights from their data and further streamline GRC operations.
Custom pricing for the service is available upon request. Like many other GRC solutions, ServiceNow offers a demo of the service for interested businesses.
LogicManager is a cloud-based GRC solution built for businesses wanting to aggregate, manage, and analyze data relevant to risk management operations. The tool helps businesses create a unified risk management platform, streamline reporting, and take advantage of real-time data to identify and respond to potential threats more effectively.
A dedicated company adviser will provide support to end users after adoption, walking them through the process of adopting the tool and building a GRC program with the software.
Quotes for service pricing are available through the LogicManager website. A free demo is also available.
Powered by BWise, the GRC offering originally developed by Nasdaq, SAI360 is offered by business services provider SAI Global. It’s a bundle of compliance, auditing, and risk management tools that streamline the process of gathering, maintaining, and analyzing GRC data.
The software’s customization options allow enterprises to configure the tool based on unique organizational needs. However, some end users may find the solution less flexible than other GRC offerings.
As with most other GRC tools, pricing for SAI360 is available on request via the SAI360 website. A free demo is also available for interested businesses.
Riskonnect is a cloud-based governance program that offers strong risk management and user training features. The tool pulls data from multiple sources and leverages powerful automation features to provide a unified solution for GRC data collection and analysis.
Organizations can use the platform to develop audit plans and manage document storage. It focuses on developing working practices that reduce risk by improving user awareness.
Tool pricing is available on request. Interested organizations can also test a free demo of the software before committing to a subscription.
Why Is GRC Important for Businesses?
Governance, risk management, and compliance processes are increasingly important to effective business practices. Companies face more risk than ever. Major crises like COVID-19, volatile supply chains, and cybersecurity threats have exposed many potential weaknesses in current practices. Risk management can help organizations identify and mitigate these issues.
GRC tools may be especially beneficial for businesses that face regularly changing industry regulations.
GRC ensures organizations can fully leverage information from across the organization and effectively implement risk management strategies companywide. GRC software can also provide similar benefits for business compliance practices. Changing regulations and standards regarding logistics, infrastructure, or cybersecurity can be easier to handle with the right solution in place.
GRC tools may be especially beneficial for businesses that face regularly changing industry regulations, like organizations that must meet DOE efficiency standards on building transformers.
What Industries Typically Use GRC Software?
Almost any organization can benefit from a GRC solution, regardless of industry. Larger organizations — which may have governance, risk management, and compliance responsibilities distributed across multiple departments — may benefit more from adopting a unified methodology.
Businesses in industries where compliance is especially important for success may also benefit from adopting a GRC tool.
Using GRC Software to Streamline Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance
Governance, risk management, and compliance are becoming increasingly important for organizations of all sizes. Emerging threats like supply chain volatility, cybercrime, and changing regulatory landscapes mean businesses must take action to protect their assets.
At the same time, innovations from the tech world — like AI, ML, and predictive analytics — have provided businesses with a range of new tools for managing and predicting risk more effectively.
Innovations from the tech world have provided businesses with a range of new tools for managing and predicting risk more effectively.
GRC tools like those offered by Fusion Risk Management, IBM OpenPages, and SAI360 have features that help businesses take advantage of these new developments and streamline GRC operations. These solutions allow companies to reach their full potential without worrying about meeting requirements.
Read next: Best Predictive Analytics Software for 2021