GRC technology has now matured and it is common to see GRC technologies being implemented and used in organizations. Most organizations that are known for their GRC usage are, however, large organizations. Smaller organizations have not been as welcoming towards GRC as their larger counterparts and there are a lot of factors at play causing this hesitance. Small organizations need GRC technology even more than large organizations do.
Major nationwide organizations have thousands of employees and fully staffed risk and compliance departments. They have always been able to manage compliance and risk even before they had GRC technology. Since their budgets are so much larger than the budgets of small organizations, large organizations can easily hire more GRC professionals to make up for a lack of technology. Small organizations do not have the same luxury. Personnel costs are the biggest cost of compliance – they alone are seven times larger than all other compliance costs combined. Hiring more experienced professionals is not feasible for small organizations.
Why do small organizations hesitate when it comes to GRC?
Talk to a small business owner and their first response is usually that their company is too small for an expensive technology like GRC. There is a perception that GRC software is simply too expensive for small organizations and this perception is formed when GRC technology was still new. Every technology is expensive when it is new. Information technology was expensive in the beginning – only the biggest organizations in the world could afford digital systems. Slowly the costs went down to the point where IT solutions are now an integral part of even the smallest businesses.
The same is true for GRC. GRC technology was indeed very expensive when it was first launched but this is no longer true. Small businesses need to realize that they can now easily afford GRC solutions without going over their budgets – no matter how small the budget is. This reduction in costs is largely due to cloud based GRC solution. Previously organizations had to implement GRC systems within the organization. This was a long and costly process which disrupted work. Cloud based systems can be easily implemented in a few days without causing any major disruptions in business processes.
Choosing a starting point for GRC
If your organization is similarly intimidated by GRC solutions, there is no need to worry. There is a very simple solution – start small with a cloud based GRC solution. No major investments or implementations are needed when you start with a small solution or tool. We would recommend that you pick a modular GRC solution. There are GRC tools which target only one area of GRC and there are all-encompassing GRC solutions which control everything. Choosing just a tool will limit your GRC implementation – the tools are only made for a specific purpose. Choosing a full GRC implementation will require a bigger investment.
Modular solutions are those which can be expanded as needed. A modular GRC solution will have different modules for different departments and factors. They usually have a compliance management module, a risk management module, a policy management module, and so on. Your organization can start by choosing the module it needs the most and getting access for one user. Purchasing access for one user for a single module will be a very low cost decision – the cost will be in three figures, maybe four figures for a month.
There are several advantages to this approach. The most obvious one is the low cost attached but it is not the only advantage. The biggest advantage is that you get to assess the true benefits and ROI of the GRC solution before making an investment in it. Every solution provider claims that their solution is the best and will solve all your problems – that is just marketing. If you want to see the real capabilities of a GRC solution you need to test it within your organization so you can judge how it will perform for your organization.
Small organizations definitely need GRC and the good news is that GRC solutions are now very easy for small businesses to purchase and implement. If you want to start using a GRC solution we would recommend contacting cloud based GRC solution providers and starting free trials. Most providers offer free trials for a month. This will allow you to test GRC solutions without any costs.