“Why do cars have breaks?”

An opening question that was once posed to me when explaining corporate risk management.

“So the driver can stop the car” was my correct, although rather obvious answer.

“But the breaks also allow the driver to accelerate and drive relatively fast. The bottom line: cars have breaks so they can go fast and companies have risk management programmes so they can take risks.”

I liked the analogy it changed my perspective. Risk didn’t have to be viewed as purely negative it had a positive aspect too- a more creative standpoint with untapped opportunities.

The tendency to view risk with negative connotations is understandable. But if organisations choose to approach risk management as nothing more than an expenditure of time, money or resources-better-spent-elsewhere, they shut down a more innovative approach to managing risk. Academic research has found that organisations with a good handle on compliance and risk management, can not only avoid the punitive costs and reputational damage but gain a competitive advantage over their peers, outperforming them by an additional 4-5% ROE.

Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software give risk managers the infrastructure to link risk with strategy and uncover new opportunities for taking calculated risks. Here are three ways risk managers can leverage GRC software to their advantage:

1: Automation Saves Time

GRC software streamlines processes and automates routine tasks, workflows and follow-ups.  This drastically reduces the number of hours employees typically spend on data collection, reporting, and other tedious and time-consuming projects.

With the time saved risk teams can focus on interpreting data, trends and sharing these insights with stakeholders. Talent can be redirected to initiatives that provide real strategic value.

In short, GRC software solutions can provide the opportunity to reduce costs and operational losses whilst freeing up time and resources.

2: Cross-Functional Synergy

Having all risk-related data in a single platform enables users to see risk relationships across the enterprise.  Without the right technology, it is impossible to have transparency and see the bigger picture.

Effective company-wide information sharing is vital for business growth and this is another opportunity GRC software can provide- by dissolving siloes and centralising risk and compliance data

3: Decisive Action

Businesses must take on some risk to grow. The trick is to know what risks – and how much – will lead to opportunity instead of failure.  Organisations do not want to miss out on the opportunity and so they must accelerate decision making and capitalise on real-time opportunities.

With GRC software providing real-time data and built-in analytics, risk teams can easily and quickly create and share insightful reports that enable data-driven decisions and action. Executives can use the insight to make informed decisions around how to leverage risk to drive organisational performance and growth – such as entering a new market or developing a new product line.  Opportunities that don’t want to be missed!

Strategic risk management is about much more than addressing what might go wrong. The real value comes from seizing opportunities to take calculated risks that will enrich business performance.

Contact 1RS today to learn more about cutting edge GRC.