01 December 2017

Tips to securing your GRC software budget for 2018

For many organisations, December is a month where budgets for IT and software can often get overlooked to say the least. And GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) solutions are no exception.  The thing we hear a lot is that everyone needs a firewall but not that they need a GRC solution – however if you are reading this then you’ll be aware of how important a GRC solution can be to significantly uplift your organisation’s security posture. That’s why getting the money, time and resource behind you is so important. But as a costly investment and something that needs proper controls and processes to make it work effectively, it’s going to take someconvincing to your board.

Luckily below, we have some tips for helping the argument for a GRC software budget in 2018.

#1 Understand your company goals – The first step is to understand what your organisation’s GRC goals are for the year – you may well already sit on the board or have a major say in the plan and budgets but if you don’t then you need to map your GRC software strategy (and spend) to those GRC objectives. Are you trying to get on top of GDPR? Are you aiming to get all your vendors compliant by a certain time next year? Do you want to map out and categorise your company’s data assets and controls?

Once you know what is important to the board or the C-suite, you can craft a narrative of how a GRC solution can help accomplish those GRC objectives. For example – highlighting the immediate benefits you will see after purchasing such a solution would be useful (i.e. instant reports on KPI’s and complete visibility of compliance status).

#2 Show immediate/short term success – A dedicated GRC solution can provide strategic risk insights that no other manual solution can because a GRC solution collects intelligent data and works out intricate calculations providing a trusted source of reporting data that no spreadsheet or SharePoint system (working in silos) could ever do.

So with the right GRC software platform it will immediately connect to your existing endpoint security solutions, provide compliance trends/spot patterns of risk, give instant access to KPI charts, reports and much more.

#3 Showing the value of automation vs manual processes

It is becoming a commonly accepted truth that the manual process of using spreadsheets to manage compliance and risk is dead (or dying). Each time you pay contractual staff to carry out compliance assessments, you could double the amount of assessments (maybe more) by using an automated approach. Why waste money on paying people to do jobs they weren’t hired to do in the first place and instead invest in a GRC solution that can relieve them of those tasks and best put their skills to use elsewhere. Automation doesn’t mean replacing people, it means empowering them. GRC software should be centre stage by providing automated workflows that take arduous tasks away from your staff, freeing them up to concentrate on more important work.

So it’s strange to see that many organisations are still sending questionnaires out via email and tracking them on spreadsheets when they could shift their money to something that can produce faster results and better productivity from their teams.

#4 Partner with other departments – It’s not just information security or IT that would benefit from a GRC solution. Collaborating with other business functions such as audit, business continuity, operational risk, HR and supply chain management/procurement can help build a strong business case for the CEO or board level Executives. A business case that can identify cost and benefit projections for over three years might be best as well as outlining the qualitative benefits such as time savings mentioned above.

Also it’s crucial to ensure that other than the solution’s technical capabilities, it also needs to be a positive, seamless and non-disruptive process for every department using it, as you look to change the way your organisation manages compliance and risk.

#5 Realising GRC is not a silver bullet – This might be obvious but implementation pitfalls are something you want to avoid so ensure you choose a software provider that understands the importance of having a dedicated contact who can help you create effective system operations and management tasks that need to be established once your contract has been agreed and finalised.  A good software provider will always make sure the client has the best resources available and is involved right the way through the implementation process so that the main user remains confident in taking ownership and accountability in the product throughout the entire journey.

Integrating a new solution isn’t just a buy it, set it and forget it experience. GRC solutions require a degree of effort, maintenance and due diligence from various stakeholders  in order to get the best results.

#6 Highlight flexibility benefits

Being strategic when deploying GRC modules is a key part of the implementation process. With some GRC solutions you can purchase and roll out individual modules of governance, risk and compliance rather than all of them at once. Focus on your highest priority needs, then gradually introduce new components to not over pressure your plans.

GRC solutions are flexible because you can use them for operational risk but you could also purchase add ons from the same provider for business continuity functionality at less of a cost than buying individual software for each. Usually a good GRC solution will be very flexible in terms of what the business needs and wants are, meaning that this is also crucial when presenting the business case.

And remember: Your success doesn’t stop once you get the buy-in and budget. You’ll need a way to bolster your momentum and continue to deliver on the results you promised.

Turn your plans into action after your budget is secured. Request a demo today to see how SYNERGi can take your GRC software strategy to the next level. 

Learn More?

Want to learn more about Automating your third party risk management? Then download our useful guide to the subject by clicking here.

IRM (Information Risk Management) was established in 1998 and is now a leading cyber security company based in Cheltenham. Our award winning GRC platform – SYNERGi is a cyber GRC software platform that has five dedicated modules including governance, risk, compliance, incident management and vendor management/third party risk management.