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Integrated Risk Management and the Role of Software

Software can play a significant role in supporting integrated risk management, or IRM. The extent of this support depends on your organizational approach, goals, and resources. Let’s explore this by taking a closer look.

What does Integrated Risk Management Mean?

Simply put, it is a systems approach to risk management. Think of it as pulling together independent silos of data and disjointed processes, and helping it make sense and work in harmony.

At ARMATURE, we help turn your risk and compliance management challenges into advantages. Turning cumbersome processes into well-organized data collection, management, and analysis tools.

Common Benefits:

Decreased Risk and Compliance Concerns

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

Capability to Predict, Prevent, or Mitigate Risks.

What is the Integrated Risk Management Framework?

The framework is the systematic approach to determining the best course of action for an organization. You achieve this by leveraging versatile, configurable software that brings your entire risk management system into a centralized ecosystem. 

At ARMATURE, we digitize your risk management system into a unique integrated risk management framework. By centralizing the data and workflows, you enhance visibility, take action quickly, improve performance, and minimize risk.

Factors to Consider

For the best reference materials on building an IRM or GRC program, we always recommend you look to organizations such as Gartner and OCEG, based on the vast research and knowledge base they have. In the meantime, here are four things to consider:

1. Business performance is more critical than ever

Our business environments continue to be driven by risk and opportunity. You have many risks to watch for including compliance and regulatory concerns. Then you have unique industry risks that need to be measured and controlled.

An integrated approach can help you prioritize what risks to address first.

The business landscape is more competitive than ever. By understanding and using data for risk management in new ways, you can increase productivity and build resilience.

2. Organizations are facing greater than normal risks

COVID-19 has shown us just how devastating external risks can be to an organization. You just have to read the daily headlines to see how many companies are struggling because of the pandemic. Consider how you put in the right controls within your business to limit the impact of such a pandemic, and other potential economic or political risks. This is especially important when operating across national borders.

There are also special compliance concerns that did not exist before 2020. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in March 2020 provided liquidity. Along with that comes an entirely new set of compliance concerns.

3. The cost of compliance and frequency of regulatory changes is on the rise

Not only is the cost of compliance rising, because of the introduction of new or enhanced industry regulations, but standards are being reviewed more frequently. This puts a burden on your audit and compliance staff across your business. While this will depend upon the context of your industry, these costs can often be significant.

It is possible to plan and deal with those more frequent risk challenges. Keeping up with the pace requires automation and a digital compliance approach.

4. Executive leadership is demanding better visibility of risk data

We can look back on a time when charting data with spreadsheets was viable. Now you must have real-time data management, and risk assessment. It is not reasonable to expect to stay current with old methods.

Our integrated risk management approach and systems design experience can help your organization.

You can achieve:

• Enhanced visibility into your risk and compliance data
• Continuous risk assessment and issues management
• Unparalleled communication and reporting functions

A Software Perspective

ARMATURE’s mission is to help organizations enhance their performance, resilience, ensure compliance, and manage risks.

We do so by providing highly configurable software solutions. How you handle and then use the data available determines the success of your organization. When you have better control over your data, you have the best control of your business.

Our experience over the last 20 years in accreditation, certification, audit and compliance industry has taught us many lessons. We use that experience to help your company manage risk and take advantage of unseen opportunities.

Those same opportunities would likely be missed if tracked through traditional methods. So, our software (packed with out-of-the-box functionality) can help you transform your business. Data collection and risk management give you a competitive advantage in your marketplace.

One thing we have learned when it comes to deploying software is that it is rare to meet all of an organization’s requirements with out-of-the-box functionality alone – although this is what we strive for. Instead, we work with clients to help them configure the bulk of their requirements with existing functionality and tailor other elements to meet specific use cases.

We know that each organization we work with has their own operational context–industry, standards, regulations, third parties, IRM or GRC maturity. By understanding this organizational context and specific business challenges we work with customers to determine the best path forward.

Sometimes, this will mean adopting a measured approach, implementing one module at a time, such as compliance or audit management. For others, it may involve focusing on an important area such as supplier management. And for some, it may involve bringing many functions together to develop a cohesive picture of performance, resilience, compliance, and risk.

Communication is the key to success in life and in business. How you deal with data and risk management will determine your future. Let us help you.

Where to Start?

Step 1: Define your IRM strategy

If you haven’t already, we recommend bringing your IT, audit, compliance, risk management, quality management, supplier management, procurement, and line leadership team together to identify your business risks and establish key goals, metrics, and KPIs for your IRM program. Consider the four factors outlined above–performance and resilience, risk, compliance, and data visibility.

Step 2: Identify your stakeholders and participants

Determine who from within and outside of your organization should play a role and define the roles they should play. These will vary depending on your organizational context and goals.

Step 3: Establish your technology strategy

Research the different software solutions on the market today, and review what you already have in place. Take into account your goals, metrics, KPI’s, and user personas. Check how many features are available as standard/out-of-the-box versus how many need to be customized and determine the best strategic and financial fit for you.

In Conclusion

Software can play a huge role in supporting your IRM or GRC strategy. Choosing the tools right for you will help you identify and manage risks early, streamline the way you work, and create a competitive advantage. Defining your IRM strategy, identifying participants, and selecting the right tool(s) can make the difference between a satisfactory program and an excellent program.

Want to talk more?

We would love the opportunity to learn about your risk and compliance challenges, as well as provide our perspective and insight. We invite you to schedule a conversation or take a tour of our IRM platform, ARMATURE Fabric™.

Like this Article?

We regularly publish interesting articles in the fields of Integrated Risk Management (IRM), Auditing, Supplier/Vendor Mgmt, Compliance, Accreditation, Certification, and Quality Management.

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