Why the Business of GRC is Moving toward CRM

By George Usi, Co-CEO, Omnistruct

At a time of increasingly complex regulatory guidelines and data governance needs, the market for GRC solutions is booming. And with GRC now a standard component in every enterprise-level business plan, the companies that provide those solutions are finding that their own success lies in adopting the same customer-centric focus that’s dominated other industries from retail and technology to finance and healthcare.

What does it mean for GRC providers to adopt the principles of customer relationship management (CRM)? Designed to increase sales and build loyalty by better serving customers, CRM focuses on delivering personalized services that are informed by a client’s unique data.

Seizing the power of real‐time data collection and targeted, interactive communications, CRM is designed to give clients more of what they want and less of what they don’t — a benefit that works to everyone’s advantage.

Adopting a CRM mindset isn’t just a smart way to differentiate GRC solutions in the marketplace, but a chance to offer real added value to current partners and prospective clients.

Just as Salesforce boosts productivity by offering clients direct access to detailed tools and data, GRC providers can enhance client buy-in and engagement with more proactive sharing of key data, trends, and other important information.

In addition, successfully meeting the complex needs of data governance, risk management and regulatory compliance increasingly requires being embedded in every aspect of an organization’s operations, including third parties and external stakeholders. Taking a CRM approach can provide a better way to manage that close relationship in a way that doesn’t interfere with a client’s operations and relationships, but reinforces and supports them.

In addition, the CRM approach can serve as a tool to avoid failed implementations, meet the need for continuous consultation, and help bolster security through advanced data forensics.

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Avoiding failed implementations. A successful GRC strategy tackles a variety of complex issues, each of which requires careful coordination and advanced understanding of ever-changing data. Because of the difficulty in understanding and adapting that data in a practical sense, implementations often stumble out of the gate or fail outright.

By adopting an immersive approach that gives clients a voice and stake in all aspects of their GRC plan, companies can significantly reduce failed implementations. Better, more relevant data is being gathered and used, which helps anticipate and avoid potential hiccups. In addition, businesses are giving clients access to the staff needed to put out fires or make any necessary course corrections.

Meeting the need for continuous consultation. A major challenge of managing governance, risk and compliance is keeping up with rapidly changing laws and regulations. These can change on a yearly or even quarterly basis, and across a dizzying number of jurisdictions, from new state laws in California, New York and Massachusetts to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Governance Act (DGA).

Keeping up with these changes requires real expertise. An effective GRC solutions provider should not only be available to inform and consult their partners on these changes, but proactively work to make sure they’re prepared well in advance. And that requires a close partnership built on constant access and availability, and oriented around the client’s preferences and convenience.

A key advantage in a crowded marketplace. Given the number of software-based solutions available today, businesses that successfully integrate customer relationship management could gain a valuable competitive advantage. Furthermore, approaching GRC as an ongoing, embedded partnership rather than the planning and implementation of a single static plan helps to ensure not only program success but operational sustainability, while opening the door to new referrals and relationships.

Bolstering security with digital forensics. As the prevalence of cybercrime grows, so do efforts to combat it. Digital forensics, or the recovery and analysis of data and devices subjected to cybercrime, is in the forefront of that battle, and can offer an extra level of protection — a valuable commodity at a time when attacks are not a matter of if but when.

Companies that offer GRC services should make it clear to partners that ongoing collaboration builds a richer understanding of their data footprint, helping to improve their ability to preserve, identify, investigate and document digital evidence in the event of an attack. The data gained can further bolster security by improving understanding of vulnerabilities, and help to discourage future attacks from hackers who may prefer easier prey.

There’s no shortage of companies offering GRC services. For that reason alone, customers have become more discerning than ever. For businesses looking to preserve their niche — or grow into new ones — taking a CRM approach isn’t just a good idea, but a mandate for future viability and growth.

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