GRC Platforms: What You Need To Know Before You Buy

Businesses always need to adapt their operations to changing circumstances, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the need to rethink risk management strategies. COVID-19 has simultaneously highlighted the necessity of risk management and exposed the gaps that exist in many governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) programs today. The pandemic also accelerated digital strategy and transformation efforts across all sectors, however, and the demand for the ability to track and monitor risk is at an all-time high.

Making Sense Of The GRC Platform Market

2021’s GRC platform market consists of vendors that vary in size, functionality, geographic focus, and domain expertise. This means that risk and compliance pros must differentiate critical capabilities from “nice to have” features.

Equally important when shopping for GRC platforms is for risk and compliance pros to take a realistic view of their process maturity, available resources, and budgetary constraints, because when it comes to GRC platforms, one size doesn’t fit most — finding the right fit from a technology and relationship standpoint can make all the difference between a successful rollout and a painful experience.

Finding The Best Fit For Your Program

In the new “Now Tech: Governance, Risk, And Compliance Platforms, Q2 2021” report, we looked at 22 technologies, assessing their market presence as well as their functionality.

The report divides vendors into three functionality segments:

  1. Full-service platforms. These are robust, integrated platforms with a wide range of solutions spanning many areas of risk and compliance and that support very diverse use cases. They have a deep bench of expertise in the form of implementation, consulting, and/or managed services and are more mature in their use of advanced capabilities such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing.
  2. Purpose-built technologies. These technologies have the depth but not breadth of full-service providers and originally supported specific use cases such as audit, IT risk, operational risk, and third-party risk before expanding their capabilities for the broader market. They offer deep domain expertise for use cases that are native to their platform.
  3. Emerging solutions. These solutions deliver on most of, but not all, the use cases supported by the other platforms. Despite often giving up depth for breadth, these platforms provide out-of-the-box features, more standardized workflow, and offer quicker deployment options.

Each segment is a good fit for a specific type of buyer and will require varying levels of internal resources, financial commitment, and executive support. Risk and compliance professionals should use this report to understand what functionality and business value they can expect from different GRC platform providers to help them take the right risks to support growth and differentiation, protect stakeholders and the brand from systemic risk, and navigate through uncertainty.

Read the full report for a closer look at the three functionality segments and more insight into the GRC market.

Also, look out for a more detailed evaluation of the leading GRC platforms in the upcoming Forrester Wave™ evaluation for governance, risk, and compliance platforms, publishing this fall.

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