3 Steps to Choosing the Right Compliance Management Solution

Compliance management is a core need of every organization’s management, which is why compliance management software applications are quickly becoming such a common sight in organizations across the globe. While all organizations report vastly improved compliance management after a compliance technology implementation, there is a difference in the ROI provided to different organizations.

The most important factor which many businesses overlook is that organizations need to choose the right software for their needs. When you look at compliance solutions available in the market you will quickly realize that there is a lot of variety. There are multi-million dollar applications which take months to implement, there are small GRC tools which require no implementation at all, there are cloud-based solutions, and more. Their pricing, implementation period, features, and capabilities differ. Some work well in small organizations but cannot handle workloads of large organizations, while others are so colossal that only organizations with thousands of employees and hundreds of locations can hope to generate a return on investment.

Here are the 4 steps to follow for organizations that want to maximize the ROI on their GRC implementations.

Step 1: Determine the right solutions based on the size of your organization

One of the most important factors is getting a solution that is ‘right-sized’ for your organization. Note that we are not talking about asset size or revenue. Many local organizations (such as community banks) have impressive asset sizes but their compliance management workload is low. Compliance depends not just on asset size but also on how many locations and employees you have along with the scope of your business. Look at the actual workload and then determine what solution will work well. Getting a solution that is too small for the workload will result low efficiency and productivity. Getting a solution that is too big for the workload will result in financial losses as there will not be any satisfactory return on investment.

When talking to the GRC software vendors ask them about their existing clients. If the existing clients are the same size as your organization and are satisfied with the solution, then you will know that the solution may be right for your organization.

Step 2: Determine the features that you need in the GRC software

There are general purpose ERM applications and there are specialized applications devoted to an industry, region, or feature. There may be some unique features that you need which will mean you will need a specialized solution, which may cost a bit more than the general purpose applications. The compliance management software will only work for you if it can satisfy the needs of your compliance department. You should involve as many stakeholders as you can in the initial pitches and demos of the solution. If there is any issue in the solution, any functionality that is missing, the compliance managers and officers will immediately identify it.

Step 3: Practice makes perfect

You do not need to commit to a full implementation to find out whether the compliance solution is right for your organization – you can also do a practice run with a trial. Once you have narrowed the choices down to 3-4 solutions that are the right size and have the functionality you need, you should test the solutions to see how they actually perform within your organization. If the solutions are too difficult to implement the vendor will not be able to give you a trial period – this itself will tell you about what to expect when you go for a full implementation. Cloud solutions can be easily used on a trial-run basis without requiring any extensive implementations.

This is the last step, but this is crucial – the 30 days you get to use the solution will be invaluable. It will give all the users ample opportunity and time to do an in-depth investigation of the solution and find out any needed features that are missing in the solution. You will also be able to see the impact that the solution has on your compliance department. Did they productivity go up? Are they happy with the solution? Once the answer to these questions is yes you will know that you have picked the right compliance solution.

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