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October 24, 2023

Roadmap for implementing GRC (Governance Risk and Compliance)

Taking a siloed approach within an organization is one of the first steps in putting the organization’s cyber security at risk. When risk is separated from business functions, or when decision-making and risk management are separated from IT, the risk of inefficiencies and potential attacks grows.

This is why risk management, governance, and compliance have become an integral part of any organization’s business operations. Hence, GRC tools and platforms have become critical in addressing today’s market benefits. We look at their functions, their benefits, and how to implement this type of strategy.

What is the GRC approach?

GRC is an organizational strategy that aims to align the entire organization’s focus on achieving business objectives, risk management, and compliance.

A GRC strategy is optimal for managing the interactions between corporate governance policies, compliance, and enterprise risk management programs.

Governance Risk and compliance strategies, therefore, help organizations to coordinate processes, technologies, and people better to ensure they act ethically.

This strategy strengthens corporate governance, minimizes enterprise risk, and enforces regulatory compliance. It also establishes operating principles and a system for preventing and combating business risks based on three main pillars:

  • Governance: ensuring that organizations follow corporate policies and business processes (corporate, strategy, and policy management).
  • Risk: recognizing potential areas of risk and developing strategies to mitigate them (risk identification, assessment, and management).
  • Compliance: the ability to comply with regulatory and legal obligations (internal and external audit, reporting, procedure and security controls).

What are the standard GRC tools?

GRC tools are software applications available to companies to manage policies, assess risks, control user access, and optimize compliance. They include:

GRC Software

It helps to automate GRC frameworks through the use of computer systems. It is very useful for:

  • Monitor policies, manage risks, and ensure compliance.
  • Keep abreast of regulatory changes.
  • Empower different business units to work together on a single platform.
  • Simplify and increase the accuracy of internal audits.

Manage the users

To control which users can access specific company resources, you can use user management software to authorize or deny them.

This ensures everyone can securely access the resources they need to work without compromising the company.

Event management and security information

This SIEM-based tool is handy for detecting potential cybersecurity threats. IT teams can use this software to address security gaps and comply with privacy regulations.

Internal audits

Audit tools are handy in assessing the results of integrated GRC activities in the company.

By conducting these audits, actual performance against objectives can be compared, which will allow you to decide whether the Governance Risk and compliance framework is effective and/or whether improvements can be made.

GRC Use Cases

A good GRC framework helps companies establish policies and practices to minimize compliance risk. As mentioned above, a good GRC program improves efficiency, reduces risk, increases performance, and also increases ROI (Return of Investment).

We have compiled some examples below.

Risk assessment and mitigation

One of the most common uses of this strategy is to establish, automate, and manage risk assessments and risk mitigation. Data from these platforms allows for more informed decisions and the allocation of resources to mitigate risks.

When departments must maintain and protect sensitive details (invoices, personnel records, or financial reports) and be prepared for audits, an effective GRC platform can be handy for companies that have experienced compliance or risk failure.

On the other hand, companies that lack confidence in their compliance or financial reporting and visibility can turn to a GRC model to help correct and monitor redundant sets of controls and ineffective frameworks.

Strategic support to improve performance and ROI

It is complicated to manage resources, resolve conflicts, and evaluate achievements. This is due to the challenges of managing the increasing costs of addressing risks and requirements while managing increasing relationships and risks with third parties.

However, clear objectives can be set and monitored with metrics generated by a GRC platform. The results will be reflected in increased performance and improved ROI.

Improved efficiency

Tasks related to risk assessment, compliance management, or internal audits can be time-consuming and resource-intensive if performed without a GRC platform. It can help break down silos in processes and data, comply with regulations, and monitor, measure, and predict losses and risk events.

It can also help manage the lifecycle of AI-based financial models, improving compliance and IT controls. In fact, it can measure the impact of regulatory and business requirements on the policy framework and support automated measurement and IT controls. 

Why companies need a GRC strategy

If your company does not have a GRC strategy or framework, your compliance and risk management capabilities are likely to exist in silos. This results in more complicated processes, an incomplete understanding of the organizational risk landscape, duplication of effort, and misalignment.

When the three disciplines (governance, risk, and compliance) are managed separately, multiple teams may spend hours collecting the same data or analyzing documents just to start an analysis. This leads to a loss of agility and a potential failure to meet changing compliance requirements and new regulations.

Risk factors can also change rapidly, requiring quick decision-making, which can be difficult if visibility is limited or isolated.

A good GRC strategy brings a more structured approach to managing these risks, as well as compliance and governance, by creating a clear outline for leadership and operation of the IT infrastructure, as well as ensuring alignment with strategic business objectives.

Businesses will have access to processes and systems that facilitate collaborative and risk-aware decision-making at all levels. It will also improve connectivity between processes and increase transparency to prevent an organization from overlooking risks and being able to identify gaps promptly.

How to efficiently implement GRC?

In an ever-evolving digital world, companies should abandon outdated GRC procedures for updated strategies to ensure success.

This process is not immediate and can be complicated at first. That’s why we have listed the steps to implement an effective GRC strategy:

  1. Assess the value added by implementing GRC: Making such an important decision is easier if the benefits are analyzed in advance. The assessment should consider redundant data, which technologies can be eliminated, and where to store critical data inventories. They will also help you identify your company’s most valuable assets to help you prioritize and focus on the most crucial areas.
  2. Review the current GRC framework: after collecting the necessary data related to existing GRC procedures, you should assess the quality of your existing GRC procedures, analyze the maturity of each process, and identify any gaps in operations.
  3. Select the right solution and partner: This is one of the most critical steps in ensuring successful GRC strategy implementation. The answer you choose should include all the features necessary to achieve your company’s specific objectives, and the solution provider should be an expert in the implementation of GRC strategies and should be sensitive to your particular needs.
  4. Start planning with your partner: here, you will begin to create a detailed implementation strategy, where your partner will work with you to learn more about current business procedures and internal policies. They can then conduct a risk assessment of the business, determine which areas require more attention, and tailor the strategy to your needs.
  5. Implement GRC practices: Once the plan is in place, the next step is to formally implement these practices, which should be automated and hosted in the cloud. This process should include the following: IT risk management, operational risk management, corporate compliance, and policy management.
  6. Monitor the new framework and identify areas for ongoing improvement: A company’s operations and processes, as well as regulations and markets, are dynamic. These can affect business strategies and the GRC approach. This platform will continue to expand and mature with the business. This is why it is so essential to build in potential future enhancements while monitoring the implementation progress.


Proper implementation of GRC is critical to ensuring that your company’s operations remain efficient, as well as improving processes by providing the information needed for better decision-making.

Getting it right requires a partner who understands the market’s and your business’s needs. At Plain Concepts, we will guide you through a strategic transformation that optimizes your operational efficiency. Contact us!

Elena Canorea
Elena Canorea
Communications Lead