BusinessGRC Buyer’s Guide: Find the Right Solution for Your Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) Program

While the core elements of a GRC program – risk management, compliance, and audits – have been mainstays of business for decades, the past few years have necessitated a shift in the way these processes are managed. Traditionally siloed and ad hoc GRC processes are now giving way to a more connected, data-driven, and agile GRC program. 

This shift has been driven, in part, by a gradual but steady rise in regulatory activity. Governments around the world are issuing more rules and guidelines around a wider range of issues – from pay equity and climate change, to crypto assets. At the same time, risk events – systemic, economic, financial, cybersecurity, social, and geopolitical – are growing in velocity, volume, and severity. 

COVID-19 was perhaps the most significant of these risk events – and a test of business resilience. For many organizations, it wasn’t the pandemic itself that threatened their survival, but rather the knock-on effects of supply chain disruptions, remote workforces, and increasing dependencies on digital communication. Each of these shifts created new risks and challenges that traditional GRC systems weren’t built to tackle. 

It's time to take a good hard look at these systems. Do they provide the holistic and real-time risk view that your organization needs to navigate today’s uncertainties? Or are they outdated, siloed, and insufficient? Tools that once worked for your business may no longer be sustainable – not in a world where risks and regulations are constantly evolving. GRC is now critical to business survival – and when supported by the right solutions, it can be exceptionally advantageous to business success. 

This guide explores why a well-designed and well-run GRC program is important, what kinds of GRC solutions are out there, and how to select one that works best for you.

What is GRC?

Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) is a familiar term to most businesses. However, in the past, they have often been managed as separate functions. A GRC approach seeks to unify them into one coordinated model that allows organizations to better understand and manage their complete risk universe, strengthen compliance, and in doing so, gain a competitive advantage.

An integrated GRC approach provides the backbone for a successful GRC program. By cutting across organizational siloes it enables a collaborative and streamlined approach to GRC. Risk, compliance, audit, and third-party data and insights are unified into a single source of truth. This empowers stakeholders to make faster, better-informed strategic decisions that elevate business confidence.

Key Capabilities of a Best Practice GRC Solution

Key Capability of Business GRC

Why Invest in a GRC Solution?

The past few years have amplified the pressure on GRC professionals to communicate the true scale and impact of risk events faster – be it a supply chain disruption like the Suez Canal blockage, or an extreme weather event like the California wildfires, or even a new regulation like the EU’s proposed Digital Services Act (DSA). 

Meanwhile, the points of intersection among risks – reputational, operational, social, third-party, cybersecurity – are multiplying. A risk event like the Russia-Ukraine conflict isn’t just a humanitarian or geopolitical crisis – it’s also a risk to trade, energy security, commodity prices, and investor confidence. 

Disparate GRC systems and data cannot illuminate the true realities of these risks to enable decisive action. Even periodic risk assessments and audits that provide only a point-in-time view of risks are hardly sufficient in an ever-changing world. 

Conditions are ripe for a rethink of traditional GRC programs and technologies. An integrated, best-practice GRC solution offers you a big picture view of risk and compliance across the enterprise, so that you’re better prepared for risk events, and more easily able to bounce back from disruptions. 

With such a solution, you can also automate and streamline compliance assessments, internal audits, and continuous risk monitoring. Advanced analytics and AI-based recommendations serve up real-time risk intelligence to help you power business resilience and agility.

Taking stock

Where do you face challenges in your existing GRC process and systems? Perhaps you still manage risk data through cumbersome spreadsheets and manual methods. Perhaps your risk, compliance, and audit teams operate in silos, using separate systems and taxonomies. This can result in unstructured and inconsistent GRC data that’s difficult to analyze at an enterprise level. But imagine if your teams could talk the same GRC language, share data seamlessly, and understand risk and regulatory impacts faster. Imagine if GRC data could be aggregated and rolled up in real time to spot both issues and growth opportunities proactively. That’s what an integrated GRC solution can help you do.    

Which Software Should I Choose for GRC?

With GRC software, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The solution you choose will depend on your business objectives. Perhaps, you’re a fledgling company that’s just starting out on its GRC journey. In this case, a basic risk assessment software may be the right fit for your business. But remember to factor in your future needs. As your organization grows and scales, so too will your risk data, regulatory obligations, third parties, and audit requirements. Investing in a scalable solution that can grow and evolve with your business is the more sustainable choice. On the other hand, if your organization is mature in its GRC program, then an integrated GRC platform that unifies data, provides a common taxonomy, and supports advanced reporting and analytics will help you accelerate your GRC journey.

Here are three broad categories of GRC technologies you can invest in:

Office productivity software, like spreadsheets can be useful in documenting and reporting a few simple risks and compliance requirements. But when you’re managing multiple data sets across business functions and locations, spreadsheets can pose more of a problem than a solution. GRC teams can end up spending hours manually entering and organizing data, only to realize much later a significant error in their calculations or formatting. Building a unified risk view across multiple spreadsheets can also be extremely complicated. 

Point solutions may be the right choice if you have just one specific GRC need – say, SOX compliance. These solutions can help you automate workflows and gain real-time intelligence. However, they don’t typically provide an integrated view across risk management, compliance, and audits. Each function ends up with their own separate solutions, unable to share data. And even though the cost of each point solution might seem low at first, the total cost of multiple point solutions adds up quickly.

A comprehensive GRC solution serves as the central hub for all your risk, compliance, and audit activities. It simplifies cross-functional collaboration, unifies all your GRC data in one place, and automates manual workflows. With instant access to information, you can strategically manage risk, compliance, and audits across your organization without ever having to leave the platform.

What Questions Should I Ask Before Buying a GRC Solution?

The decision to invest in GRC software is not a small one. You want a solution that’s well-suited to your specific requirements. So, make sure to ask the right questions of your GRC technology vendor to get what you need.

Top questions you should consider:

  • How will this solution help me identify, manage, and mitigate risks faster, more so in an increasingly interconnected world? 
  • How will the solution help me stay ahead of regulatory changes? 
  • Can the solution help me streamline and automate audit planning, scheduling, and execution across distributed teams? 
  • Does it support third and fourth-party risk management? 
  • If issues are identified during risk assessments or audits, how will the solution help me resolve them faster? 
  • Does the system support automation of our GRC processes? 
  • Is it intuitive enough to be adopted quickly and easy enough to be configured? 
  • Is the solution designed to scale and adapteasily to changes in my risk, compliance, and business environment? 
  • Can it be integrated with other enterprise systems to provide a more holistic view of risks? 
  • Does the software come with standard report templates that I can use to generate board-level reports? 
  • What analytics capabilities does the solution provide?

Getting Buy-In from the Top Management

For a GRC solution to be successfully rolled out, it first has to be endorsed by the C-suite and board. They need to understand the importance of an integrated GRC approach and the risks of failing to automate or streamline risk and compliance processes. 

Focus on its business value. How will it improve the organization’s resilience and agility? How will it help the business detect and respond to risks faster? How will it help the management team make smarter strategic decisions? Supplement these benefits with concrete examples. 

Understand their key concerns about the new software and find ways to show them that better GRC isn’t just about fortifying business defenses – it’s also about strengthening business success. 

The top focus areas for business leaders should be defensibility against risks and compliance concerns and creating strategic opportunity through improved risk insights that provides an ability to pivot before competitors take advantage of a risk event. 

Finally, ensure that executives are not only on board with the GRC solution, but will be active participants in the adoption process. Only when they set the tone for GRC transformation and ensure that its value is communicated through all layers of the organization, will the rest of the enterprise fall in line. 

At the end of the day, GRC isn’t just the prerogative of the risk, compliance, or audit team – it’s a collective team effort. HR, Legal, IT, finance, operations, and multiple other teams are accountable for their risks and compliance obligations. Having an integrated GRC solution helps establish a culture of better risk awareness and compliance.

MetricStream BusinessGRC

Power business performance and resilience through a connected and scalable GRC approach.

MetricStream BusinessGRC is an integrated collection of products that helps you establish a connected, intuitive, and holistic approach to GRC based on industry best practices. With BusinessGRC, you can effectively manage enterprise risks, streamline compliance, improve internal auditing, and keep both third- and fourth-party risks in check. 

BusinessGRC breaks down organizational silos, strengthening GRC communication across business functions. It also helps you aggregate and transform risk, compliance, audit, and third-party vendor data from across the enterprise into actionable business intelligence. 

With support for mobility, AI, advanced risk analytics, and curated regulatory notifications, BusinessGRC delivers what GRC professionals need today – with the capacity and adaptability to be the last GRC software solution they’ll ever need to buy.

With MetricStream BusinessGRC, you can:

MetricStream BusinessGRC

Here are a few case studies of how leading organizations are using MetricStream BusinessGRC to strengthen risk awareness, simplify compliance, and future-proof their business.

Global Bank Enhances Business Decision-Making with an Integrated GRC Solution 

As a leading multi-national financial services company, this bank is expected to be well-fortified against adverse macroeconomic risks and systematic shocks. Previous approaches to risk management and business continuity were largely siloed and difficult to scale or sustain.

To strengthen business resilience, the bank needed a single source of risk truth across its operations in 70+ countries. That’s when they turned to MetricStream. Today, 85,000 employees across 1,200 branches are using MetricStream BusinessGRC—directly impacting 100+ million customers in wealth management, banking, and insurance. 

With BusinessGRC, the bank has a precise and complete picture of their risk profile that helps them proactively focus on the most critical areas of concern. They’ve also adopted a standardized, enterprise-wide approach to policy and procedure management in compliance with the refreshed Operational Risk Type Framework (ORTF) Policy and Standards, as well as the expectations set by the internal audit group. 

By streamlining operational risk processes, the bank has reduced the cycle time and costs of risk assessments. Risks can now be aggregated and tracked at any level of the bank’s hierarchy, thanks to Multi-Dimensional Organization Structure (MDOS) mapping. 

Control tests are systematically planned and executed to identify gaps and deficiencies. In addition, a coordinated and agile strategy for business continuity and disaster recovery has boosted business resilience.

Oil and Gas Giant Strengthens Stakeholder Trust with a Holistic Approach to Assurance 

A top multinational energy company wanted to replace manual and fragmented GRC processes with a more integrated and automated approach. Using MetricStream BusinessGRC, the company has united risk management, compliance, and assurance processes on a common platform, facilitating easy and immediate access to information. 

Over 4,000 users can now manage their GRC requirements in a holistic manner. The cloud-based platform automates risk assessments and control testing, improving the speed and efficiency of decision-making. It also standardizes risk, compliance, and control taxonomies, making risk reporting much more consistent. 

For the first time, the company has the ability to map regulatory obligations to policies, risks, and controls. Regulatory changes are captured through a simplified front-end form. 

The solution also supports a risk-based approach to auditing, so that teams can prioritize audit resources based on the areas of highest risk. Since auditing has been integrated with SOX compliance, teams across both functions can effectively coordinate control testing to minimize redundancies. SOX documentation and certifications have also been simplified through systematic workflows.

Non-Profit with 3,000 Employees Sets Up a Centralized GRC System, Enhances Risk Awareness 

A government non-profit, which provides financial support to students, was struggling with outdated GRC tools, multiple versions of data, and inconsistent GRC nomenclatures. Teams spent a lot of time and effort collating GRC data, rather than analyzing it for risk intelligence. 

With MetricStream, the organization has consolidated all GRC processes onto an integrated platform and established a centralized risk repository. Teams now have a clear understanding of the relationships between risks, controls, functions, processes, and more. They’re also speaking a common risk language. 

To ensure that the huge volumes of student data collected are compliant with security standards, the organization uses MetricStream to conduct data checks and control testing on all information assets. Gaps or loopholes in data processing activities are quickly identified and addressed.


Whichever solution you decide to go with, the bottom-line is that it should be the right fit for your organization, regardless of size or complexity. You should feel confident that with the solution in hand, you’ll be able to navigate the risks and uncertainties ahead with aplomb. 

MetricStream has been a leading GRC solution partner for multiple industries for over two decades. We’re here to help you succeed on your GRC journey. Please feel free to reach out to us for any questions or concerns you might have.


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