GRC Allows You to Play Offense: The Benefits of an Effective GRC Program

A football game

Written by: Matt Kunkel

Reviewed by:
Updated: June 06, 2023

Table of contents

The best defense is a good offense, right? That philosophy applies to sports and combat, but it also works equally well in the business world — especially when considering a company’s risk management.

Choosing a proactive approach in lieu of a passive approach often leads to a strategic advantage. And as noted in the PwC report, Risk in Review: Managing Risks and Enabling Growth in the Age of Innovation, as the number and variety of risks a company faces increases exponentially, executives face difficult decisions about how best to protect their businesses.

Data breaches and cyberthreats have in many ways become even more aggressive according to the 2019 Cost of a Data Breach report published by IBM and the Ponemon Institute:

  • The YOY odds of experiencing a data breach rose from 2% to 29.6% in the year that ended April 2019.
  • Data breach costs to companies with 25K+ employees cost a staggering $5.1 million and for companies with 500 - 1,000 companies cost $2.65 million
  • The average post-breach customer turnover drains $1.4 million from companies

With these types of consequences, taking an offense approach to GRC in order to protect your company is a necessity. But adopting these strategies requires access, agility, and visibility — and the infrastructure to support them.

Benefits to Effective GRC

For many C-level executives, implementing an offensive approach to GRC connects directly to the bottom line. Proactively implementing a solid ERM program:

Saves money by ensuring compliance with regulations and avoiding noncompliance fines. Also, companies with GRC programs and software in place benefit from lower insurance premiums and qualify for lower rates. Centralizing GRC processes with a software solution means cross-functional visibility and less manual monitoring and management of risk.

Saves time when all parties involved have direct participation in ERM-related activities this increases efficiency and oversight.Operational efficiency driven from best-in-class GRC software enables employees to do more with less in the same amount of time. For example automating the tracking of ERM-related activities eliminates duplicate efforts for unearthing the same information.

Reduces remediation by implementing procedures including more automation, better communication and more efficient work allocation, and ensuring transparency company-wide into ERM activities.

Less Concrete — But Equally Important — Metrics

Driving employee engagement, communication, and Net Promoter scores from customer and employee surveys are softer metrics that should also be considered. Adoption of GRC offensive techniques can drive these and more. :

Offer better decision making and performance with greater oversight and fewer unexpected loss events leads to a more accurate view of a company’s risk and compliance posture. Leaders are able to make better informed decisions about investments, development, and procurement. Better decisions lead to more successful product launches, market expansions, technology implementations, and partner engagements.

Yield consistent compliance and accountability because GRC software helps identify, prevent, and communicate missed assessments or follow-ups. And automated processes remove the responsibility from employees and help managers keep on top of risk management and compliance tasks.

Ensure operational stability and reliable information because using GRC software to go on the offensive helps to document and centralize risk and compliance knowledge, develop a strong risk versus reward decision-making culture, and create third-partner risk visibility and accountability. GRC software also helps facilitate future forecasting because anyone who needs it has access to updated, accurate facts and figures. .

Create revenue because using GRC software and proactive approaches enables enhanced privacy and security, businesses are able to explore and onboard new profit-generating opportunities. For example, a company can facilitate the verification of compliance with third-parties more efficiently before they enter into agreements.

Improve communications within your GRC program by eliminating friction and fostering understanding across teams and among executives and other key stakeholders. A well-run program ensures continuity and helps yield auditable records of past performance so companies can gain insights that might otherwise have been lost.

No CEO wants to be in the news because of a data breach, fraud, or other GRC-related investigation. Some companies never recover from the negative press that results in a damaged reputation and decreased value. Tacking GRC with an offense approach ensures you don’t get caught on your heels.

Risk Management Programs Benefit from a Strong Offense

While thinking about cybersecurity threats may put most companies on the defensive, companies that employ an offensive approach will create a better balance between driving and sustaining growth while also protecting the business’s interests.

Companies that play offense align their risk management processes with strategic planning to drive growth priorities. They’re able to give some risk management activities back to the business units so each unit is better equipped to move and adjust more quickly and make risk-adjusted decisions.

Risk agility makes risk management processes more adaptable to changes in the business model and external changes that affect the company. Choosing the right GRC solution will drive a company’s growth agenda and help them be ready to tackle risks rather than waiting for what comes next.

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