What to look for in risk management software

Sword GRC Blog

What to look for in risk management software

With an overwhelming range of tools available on the market today, it can be difficult to make the right choice when it comes to investing in a risk management platform for your organization. In this blog post, David Emanuel, VP of North America Operations at Sword GRC highlights what he believes should be the key considerations when researching and comparing risk management solutions.

“There are many options available from a wide range of vendors, but choosing the right technology platform needn’t be an onerous process,” says Emanuel. “The following points may provide a useful guide for those in the position of sourcing or procuring a risk management platform that will add value, aid decision making and support business key performance objectives.”

1. ENSURE ALIGNMENT WITH BUSINESS OR PROCESS REQUIREMENTS

“This sounds obvious, but make sure that your choice of platform meets the ‘operational’ requirements that may be specific to your business and your sector. Get it right, and risk management software can be incredibly valuable. It’s worth thinking beyond the most immediate project concerns of cost and scheduling because risk comes in many shapes and forms: health and safety risks, project risks, reputational risks, third party vendor risks, to name but a few. A holistic view of risk will enable risk managers to identify, assess and quantify all the risks and opportunities that your business is exposed to while benefitting from ‘a single view of risk’, to reach better-informed decisions.

“Our customers are assured that Sword GRC works with others in their sector, understands their industry’s risk management challenges and legislative or regulatory demands and has developed software specifically to underpin governance, risk and compliance best practice.”

2. MAKE IT PERSONAL

“Risk can mean different things to different teams or individuals within a business and often it’s not just risk managers who are involved in the risk management process. It’s important that people can access the appropriate information relevant to their roles, at the time that it’s needed and in a format they can easily work with.”

“Let the software present the individual with the data that they need, without them having to search for it. For instance, in a single organization, there may be a group of people concentrating on qualitative risk analysis or scoring and at the same time, another team who may drill deeper into data, requiring quantitative techniques such Monte Carlo analysis to model the effects of risk and uncertainty on project attainment. You need a tool that can cater for all risk management functionality, and all within the same application. Accurate, reliable, real-time information made available to the user, whatever part of the risk management process they are involved .”

3. PRIORITIZE EASE-OF-USE

“Hand-in-hand with making risk management personal for the user, for optimum engagement, your risk management solution should be easy to use and accessible – whether on a mobile device or at the desk. If the interface is intuitive, people can access, slice and dice the information they need to undertake key tasks and spend less time tracking down and formatting data for reporting. Features such as workflow automation provide immediate notifications of when actions need to be taken. Once people have used best-in-class risk management software, they will never want to go back to time-consuming and admin’ heavy manual processes again!”

4. LOOK FOR RAPID TIME TO VALUE

“Some vendors try to be ‘all things to all people’ with multi-faceted project or enterprise management tools, within which risk is a bolt-on, an after-thought. We feel that this approach dilutes the functional power of the software. For swift time to value we would always recommend an out-of-the-box, ready-to-go application that’s built around risk.

“Take Active Risk Manager, Sword GRC’s world-class platform specifically developed for risk management best practice and with a clear product roadmap of technical innovation with risk management at its core.

“ARM also has the capability to meet changing risk management processes as they mature over time – all self-configurational and requiring no costly development or downtime.”

5. CONSIDER THE COSTS OF NOT MANAGING RISK EFFECTIVELY

“Cost will of course be a factor in the decision-making process, but the real question that businesses should be asking is ‘What’s the cost of not managing risk?’ Organizations are often managing $billion-dollar risks. Events or incidents can have far-reaching consequences; customer and stakeholder confidence, business reputation, corporate social responsibility -there’s often a great deal at stake. That’s why investing in cost-effective risk management software that identifies threats, helps risk teams mitigate risks, and highlights opportunities. Tto me this is a ‘no-brainer’.”

Read more about the ‘Business case for Enterprise Risk Management’ or see why Active Risk Manager is the leading risk management software package for some of the world’s most respected organizations.