GRC technology can boost your confidence, but only when it’s tailored for you

Gayle Woodbury
1/11/2021
GRC technology can boost your confidence, but only when it’s tailored for you

For risk and compliance professionals in the financial services industry, GRC technology is like a nice suit – it can make you feel like a million dollars, but only when it fits just right. Too small, and you can barely move; too big and you’re drowning in it.

One of the biggest reasons banks, credit unions, and financial services companies put off purchasing GRC technology is that they fear they’ll get a system that’s too big for their needs. Most often, this issue happens because firms buy GRC platforms that aren’t designed for their industry or with their needs in mind.

And a too-big system is a legitimate problem: It can overwhelm your employees and keep you from realizing the full benefits of GRC technology. But for a long time, these firms didn’t have much choice, because right-sized, industry-specific solutions weren’t even available. The only options for smaller and mid-sized firms were to buy a stock platform or stick with a hodgepodge of spreadsheets, homegrown tools, and stand-alone tech.

“One-size-fits-all” GRC platforms rarely work well for firms in the financial services industry.

Right-sized GRC and relevant content can help your first and second lines understand each other.

The financial services industry is one of the most highly regulated, and banks must comply with complicated, ever-changing laws and regulations. Thus, a GRC platform that works for a big-box retail store might not work well for a bank.

As banks grow and try to move toward risk management maturity, they sometimes try to adopt standard GRC platforms that weren’t designed to meet their unique needs. Some banks adopt these platforms with the goal of customizing them over time. However, customizing a big GRC platform takes a lot of time and money. Not only that, but when you’re finished, you end up with a highly modified, specific build that’s difficult to upgrade or move away from.

Crowe professionals regularly talk with risk and compliance professionals at firms who have invested in standard, enterprise-scale GRC platforms. Typically, they purchase these platforms for a term of a few years. Often, at the end of that term, they haven’t even fully turned on the platform.

When you’ve sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into a solution that doesn’t fit your needs, you’re going to be wary about future purchases, and with good reason. Not only is getting minimal utility out of an expensive platform frustrating, but it makes future budget requests more difficult to justify.

Right-sized GRC and relevant content can help your first and second lines understand each other.

Your risk and compliance program needs to reflect your business.

A right-sized GRC platform with carefully curated content can also strengthen the relationship between your business team and your risk and compliance professionals. A business team can get exasperated with risk and compliance functions if they feel like they’re dealing with risks and controls that aren’t even relevant. This frustration can make it hard to achieve mature, integrated risk management. 

When interacting with the first line, your risk and compliance professionals need the ability to drill down to what’s most important and relevant. If you can identify the real risks and then trim away the irrelevant content, your business will start giving your risk and compliance people more credit. And if you get a right-sized GRC, your first and second lines can even begin working together as a legitimate tandem.

Your risk and compliance program needs to reflect your business.

Recently, Crowe introduced a new offering: Crowe IRM-as-a-Service. This integrated risk management (IRM) platform is specifically designed for the needs of small and mid-sized firms in the financial services industry. Not only is the platform right-sized for your needs, but it’s fully scalable and designed to grow with you.

Crowe IRM-as-a-Service has several distinctive features and benefits that add up to create a unique offering:

  • Populated with the content you need. Using our extensive experience in the financial services industry, we created a solution that can apply information about your firm to generate a working library of GRC content within days.
  • Designed around the use cases that small and mid-sized firms need. You get a platform that’s built for your industry and created to address the unique risk and compliance challenges that growing financial services firms face.
  • Intuitive, business-oriented views of risks and controls. Your risk and compliance team can look at content in terms of products and services to focus on what’s relevant and frame the information in a context the business team can understand. 
  • Fully hosted and managed platform, ready for you to adopt right away. There’s no long customization process – you’ll be able to use your platform and see the efficiency improvements in a matter of weeks, not months or years.
  • Fast, direct access to Crowe risk specialists. With a few simple clicks in the platform, you can call on our highly experienced risk management professionals for help.
Learn more about Crowe IRM-as-a-Service or schedule a demo

No matter which direction you decide to go, the bottom line is that your risk and compliance program should work for your firm, regardless of its size and complexity. Your GRC technology should help you achieve that right-sized relationship on every level: the complexity and cost of the platform as well as the number and nature of the risks and controls you’re using.

If you can find a GRC platform that fits you perfectly, you’ll have the confidence to continue growing your business – just like the confidence you get when you put on a perfectly tailored power suit.

Let's talk

We're happy to connect one-on-one to learn about your specific needs and talk about how to mature risk and compliance.
Gayle Woodbury
Gayle Woodbury
Principal, Consulting