Drive Employee Engagement in GRC with a Great User Interface

Jon Siegler | August 8, 2016
Person using touchscreen device

In order to reduce your organization’s exposure to damaging fines, executives must make compliance and security programs as simple as possible for their employees. Corporations are expected to meet thousands of obligations, both internally imposed and through multiple regulatory agencies. Unfortunately, traditional software solutions to help manage compliance and risk are often built like relics of the past– they are big, bulky, inflexible, and difficult to use. They often require redundant work that can result in mistakes – particularly when the focus is only on one of the standard industry frameworks for compliance that average employees do not understand.

The single biggest thing missing in risk management and compliance software is a great user experience.

Below are the first three results on google image search for GRC Software. I certainly don't want to use any of these applications.

The answer lies in easy-to-use governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) software to help automate and simplify risk and compliance tasks. The investment in a user friendly GRC solution can save organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars in efficiency gains alone – not to mention the reduction in potential fines and reputational damage.

What does User Experience Mean?

Also called UX, this is defined by how an end user feels when interacting with the software. There are many factors involved that can go beyond the control of designers and developers. Some facets include:

  • Utility
  • Marketing
  • Performance
  • Accessibility
  • Usability
  • Aesthetics

To clear any confusion, UX is not necessarily the same thing as usability. Instead, it is related to usability, in addition to intuition, connection, emotion and experience. Usability is a critical component of the overall user experience, but is not the only thing that matters.

According to ISO 9241-210, UX is the “overall experience, in general or specifics, a user, customer, or audience member has with a product, service, or an event. In the Usability field, this experience is usually defined in terms of ease-of-use. However, the experience encompasses more than merely function and flow, but the understanding compiled through all of the senses.”

Why UX Matters for Enterprise GRC software

Whether there are issues with account creation, problematic site navigation features, unplanned outages or overloaded servers--the last thing you want is a negative emotional connection with users. This is why the experience of a user needs to be a significant part of the software design process.

This is often called user-centered design. Why does it matter? Because end users need to enjoy the interaction, especially when it comes to GRC software, which can often be a boring topic to the average employee and has a direct impact on regulatory compliance. Preventing risk is what makes UX even more important. When UX is ignored, people will not return and decide not to use the software. With GRC software, the objective is to help your line of business employees and their business units and create efficient GRC workflows with technology. The following are the benefits of easy to use GRC software:

  • Comply with multiple regulations and standards
  • Save time, money and effort
  • Make compliance more efficient

So, it is imperative to ease any potential frustration with GRC software.

Enterprise software products are typically complex tools. For businesses to realize their expected return on investment, they need to have a great UX to engage with more users across the organiztion and increase ROI. At the time of deployment, users are expected to learn the new system and make it part of their current work processes. How many times have enterprise employees found new systems difficult to use and learn? If there is poor usability, it can cause:

  • A decrease in productivity.
  • Lack of user adoption rates.
  • Reduced employee morale.
  • Increased employee turnover.

Not to mention, if a business mandates a process change that has a low UX, users may even resort to resistance. Some employees may become so disgruntled that they end up leaving the company. Then, if compliance isn't met, the company can face exorbitant fines and a loss of trust with loyal customers and future prospects. That sounds like the perfect storm for creating a certifiable mess.

Benefits of a great user experience

First and foremost, one of the most favorable aspects of a good UX is increased productivity. Labor cost can be a drain on company resources. Businesses are always looking for avenues that allow them to do more with less. This relates directly to productivity.

When a user can engage in a GRC software product immediately, and happily, this results in a boon for the business. In fact, it can create the momentum that pushes the business forward. It only takes a few seconds for your end users to decide if your application is worth their time and effort. Here are a few more benefits:

  • Better adoption. It has been shown that a great UX drives software adoption.
  • Improved engagement. The goal is to keep your end users engaged.
  • Increased customer satisfaction. When your customers know that you meet all regulatory requirements, they are apt to trust your business more.
  • Stand out from other companies. Your reputation gets better when employees feel comfortable utilizing mandated software.

Enterprise GRC software needs to have a design that lets it perform core business functions well. In addition, it needs to have a great UX to increase adoption and productivity. With these factors, your business can immediately ease fears of not meeting compliance regulations and move forward seamlessly.


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