Erwin Boeren 270002C43V ERWIN.BOEREN@NL.IBM.COM | | Tags:  compliance enterprise egrc iii management grc software solvency audit selection openpages risk tooling governance ii basel and | 0 Comments | 2,496 Visits
Governance, Risk and Compliance software selection process
A client of mine recently asked me about what I have seen as the most effective way to run a selection process. Now I know this may seems a conflict of interest, a GRC solution vendor writing on the GRC software selection process and the need for a GRC platform. Still I think I can give you some dos and donts on a GRC software selection process since I have been there many times.
Let’s start with the need for a GRC software platform. Why do you need such?
Of course investing in a solution needs a compelling event. Either the cost for risk management and compliance becomes very high, or the process takes too long to be responsive to stakeholders or the 'in control' statement cannot be guaranteed any longer. Also external regulators can advise you to implement software.
Before you start thinking about a GRC platform carefully review the risk and compliance maturity level of your organization and the scope of the problem. This will help you make the judgment between 2 approaches. First approach is what we call 'point solution', second approach is 'enterprise solution'.
The first approach, Point Solution, is best when the compelling event is there but the scope is limited to one area. On a single point of your GRC activities you have a pain that must be resolved in a fairly short term. In this case you can search for specific capabilities with specific knowledge. You can make a selection of vendors that operate in the area where you have the pain and select the partner that understands your area. Of course you might want to consider your ambition on the long term. If your long term ambition is Enterprise wide GRC integration you might still look at enterprise vendors and use the specific area as a 'pilot' for further extension.
The second approach, Enterprise Solution, is best when the compelling event is on the integration of Governance, Risk and Compliance. The term risk and control convergence often comes up here. This approach requires a lot more work than the point solution and may have cultural impact. You might consider a second party to help you go through this project. A second party (consulting firm) can help you in making critical decisions and in reviewing your current (silo based) approach to GRC. They can keep the holistic view for you. Every silo needs to be reviewed and mapped to the enterprise approach. This will not come without discussions and sacrifices!
So the need is there, now how to make your selection?
In the first point solution approach there are just two considerations, short term or long term? In case of the short term do NOT select an enterprise vendor and go for the right point solution. Advantages are lower cost and shorter implementation time. Second consideration, long term, means a selection between enterprise GRC software vendors and consider the first phase as a pilot for the enterprise approach. Still you might want to involve a consulting firm with specific knowledge.
In the second enterprise approach you will go for an enterprise vendor. This is where you want to be careful in setting up your selection. I personally have seen many of these selection processes since I have been in such selections. And this is where I want to give you some guidance to save you a lot of time and money.
First do NOT expect the enterprise vendors to differentiate on functionality. The GRC software market has made an evolution in the last 10 years that have resulted in a fairly high mature software market. So a 'beauty contest' is a waste of money and resources. Outcome will be equal for all vendors and you will be stuck between your user community and the vendors in the process. You might get questions from your management team why you spend so much time and resources without any outcome.
Secondly involve your end users in the selection process early, but do not expect 20 people working in silos to come to one single conclusion. Again you will end up in a long discussion with no outcome. Have a small group of people (3 preferably) to make the selection.
Thirdly make your selection criteria known upfront and make them measurable. Also involve the vendors in the process and be open to them. If you are open and honest you will get transparent, open and honest answers. If you hide, vendors will hide! Criteria should be based on experience in your market, understanding of your organization, size and financial stability, ability to deliver in time and within budget, alignment of implementation approach to your implementation methodology and the cultural fit.
Again this may look preaching to the choir but I hope I just saved you time and money that you can invest in your implementation.