The GRC Software Buyer's Guide:

Types of GRC Software

Generic Compliance Management System (CMS)

The simplest solution is generic compliance management software, which offers a centralized place to organize and visualize frameworks, controls, evidence, and processes through modules such as policy management, evidence management, audit management, and some asset management. Providing reminders for routine activities, the CMS operates much like a project management solution by reminding compliance teams to perform the manual work required. This type of application is ideal for companies operating within standardized control frameworks such as ISO 27001, SOC-2, or GDPR/CCPA with out-of-the-box controls and policies. Generic compliance management systems generally don’t offer much customization of your content or adapt to how your team actually works. 

Industry-Specific CMS

Sometimes a data-rich industry such as healthcare or payment cards relies on specific frameworks of its own. These specific needs have brought industry-specific compliance management systems to market. Unlike a generic CMS, an industry-specific solution trades breadth for depth, offering both the standard modules above and more robust ones such as risk management (for example, automatically redacting personal credit card numbers from documents). This type of application is a good solution with some customization if you’re working within these specific frameworks, but it offers less ability to capture compliance across different areas of your business or across multiple frameworks. 

So what do you do if you need customized and automated solutions across multiple frameworks? What if you need the wide applicability of a compliance management system but with the depth of an industry-specific solution?

All-in-One GRC Platform

Unlike the two types of software above, an all-in-one GRC platform provides both breadth and depth, along with customizations, workflows, and automations that can actually perform compliance work for companies needing to mature their GRC program. A smart GRC platform enables compliance teams to stay lean and agile, automate compliance management, create and schedule proactive processes, and even expedite sales cycles. Fully integrated modules that manage assets, vendors, evidence, policies, risks, audits, and more allow for automations and customized workflows to fit the needs of your team. Some platforms also incorporate unique modules such as trust management to streamline building customer trust. Deep connections like those between trust and vendor management and evidence and audit management create powerful new use cases that automate and simplify the most complex compliance tasks.

Compliance saves
The average total cost of a data breach for a U.S. company is an astounding $8.19 million, and a business falls victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds.

All three types of GRC software offer a significant improvement over manual processes; however, it’s common that traditional CMS and industry-specific systems require acquiring additional solutions to fully execute compliance programs. An all-in-one GRC platform serves as a single point of truth, allowing you to be more proactive and save time on actual execution of tasks as everything you need to do compliance exists in one place.

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