What is GRC software? (Benefits, functionalities and tips)

Updated 9 July 2022

Governance, risk management and compliance software, also known as GRC software, allow companies to streamline processes of conforming to regulations, assessing risks and implementing enterprise policies. Using software of this type can also reduce costs and inspire business growth. Learning about key features of GRC software can help you decide which system to choose. In this article, we answer, 'What is GRC software?', list its key functionalities and outline steps to choosing the right GRC tool.

What is GRC software?

Learning the answer to, 'What is GRC software?' is essential if you want to manage IT operations for public enterprises. GRC (Government, Risk management, Compliance) systems are the most popular tools that public companies use to make sure they're meeting risk and compliance regulations and industry standards. Software of this type streamlines team communication and allows organisations to gain control over their risk and incident management strategies. They also simplify adopting various automation processes, which can help companies save valuable resources, most commonly, time and money.

Related: How to perform risk analysis (with tips)

Why use GRC software?

Using GRC software has become a standard for most publicly held companies thanks to the system's well-functioning functionalities. Depending on each company's primary goals and objectives, there are various GRC tools to consider. It's also possible to choose software that focuses on bringing a specific benefit to companies. Here's how business entities can benefit from using GRF software:

  • Better reporting: Through streamlining processes, companies can improve their reporting. It also helps them improve their decision-making.

  • Increase in company value: Through developing better risk and incident management strategies using a GRC tool, organisations strengthen their core. As a result, their value often increases.

  • Process automation: GRC software automates various processes within the company, which can help with shortening the audit cycles. As a result, organisations can become more efficient.

  • Real-time reporting: The primary purpose of GRC software is to help enterprises comply with important regulations and standards. Thanks to real-time reporting, systems can notify them when these regulations change.

  • Easy to customise: Many GRC tools give companies the options to configure certain settings and tools. As a result, entities can easily customise their systems to match their organisational goals.

Related: How to choose a fulfilling IT career path step-by-step

Key functionalities of GRC software

If you're responsible for selecting an effective GRC system for your employer, it's critical that you make sure it has all the important functionalities to help them automate and improve processes. For example, this can involve the possibility of streamlining work and improving communication between certain departments. Here's what to look for in a GRC tool:

Risk measurement and tracking

Most of the popular GRC systems make it possible for organisations to easily measure and score risk that these enterprises deal with on a daily basis. Having this information allows them to prioritise actions and use a highly tailored risk management strategy. This enables quick decision-making and better business management, which can inspire growth and help them identify better business opportunities.

Capture and identify data

An effective GRC tool gives you the option to capture and identify particular data points. Thanks to this functionality, you can ensure maximum transparency of existing databases and improve how your team stores data. Using this function allows you to gain a better understanding of the extent of risk exposure across the company's operations.

Mitigate third-party risk

Using a GRC system is essential for companies that want to reduce any third-party risk that could emerge from relying on third-party vendors to streamline their processes. This is possible because most GRC software gives business entities the option to engage external business partners and stakeholders without exposing sensitive databases to the public. GRC software can even help them automate the entire vendor onboarding and management process.

Collaboration across functions

An important functionality of GRC tools is the possibility to integrate different tools to maximise the system's data collection potential. As a result, organisations can fully understand any risks that they may face. It also allows them to map out the entire scope of the business and streamline or automate connections between different data points, departments or processes.

Related: What does collaboration mean in the workplace?


The most effective GRC tools have an easy to customise dashboard. They also allow you to adjust different reporting and collection functionalities, which creates an opportunity for them to deliver better data visualisations such as heat maps showcasing the extent to which the company approaches its organisational functions. As a result, you can gain insight into meaningful information and improve how you handle accomplishing objectives for the company.

Risk automation

Another important functionality of GRC software is risk automation. This allows you to gain full insight into all the accurate information about different risks and processes that can prevent them. Using a GRC system automates these processes and protects a company while making it more efficient.

AI incorporation

Thanks to the possibility to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into the GRC, it's easier for entities to keep up with modern technology. This also includes any evolving digital threats that use AI and machine learning (ML). Thanks to AI incorporation, it's easier to identify and monitor them. What's great is that a GRC system with AI integration can even recommend what to do about a threat it detects.

Related: 11 of the fastest-growing industries to break into


Scalability is important for rapidly growing companies whose needs continuously change. Choosing a GRC software that can adapt to these changes is essential, as it allows you to make sure all databases are safe, regardless of the extent to which the company approaches its processes. What's great about scalable GRCs is that they can also quickly adapt to new frameworks.

Agile support

There are many agile GRCs, also known as GRC 4.0, tools that take a broader approach to risk management and compliance. These systems encompass many additional functionalities, such as policy management or audit management. It involves processes that help both the back and front office in an organisation, as it focuses on bringing technology to them on an equal level.

Related: What is agile project management? (Everything you need to know)

Policy compliance standards

The most effective GRC tools allow organisations to adopt new policies. They're also useful when it comes to organising, storing and keeping a record of who receives and acknowledges a level of understanding with the company's policies. This means that using a modern GRC system allows enterprises to identify new regulations and implement them into their policies while monitoring which employees have acknowledged the change.

How to choose the right GRC software

Choosing the right GRC software can be challenging when you're working for a rapidly growing enterprise. Here are some steps to take to make sure the tool you implement is highly functional:

1. Pay attention to important functionalities

When choosing a GRC software, one of the most important things to consider is its different functionalities. Depending on the size of the company and its goals, there are different things that can help maintain its high organisational standards. Consider referring to the list in this article to review which functionalities you want your system to include.

2. Check usability and interface

Although GRC systems are professional tools, it's important that they're easy to use for professionals with different computer skills. When you're testing a system for usability, make sure it's clean and easy to learn. It's also vital to check if the developer can provide the company with reliable customer and tech support, as this can be especially helpful when something within the system malfunctions.

Related: What is interaction design? (Including the 5 dimensions)

3. Look for tool integrations

If you're working on selecting a GRC system to implement, there's a possibility that your current employer already has some GRC processes that the new system would substitute. To make that transition easier, consider any tools, including third-party apps, that the company currently uses. It's also important to look for any pre-built integrations, which you can typically do through contacting the system's provider.

4. Determine the system's true value

Since most large public companies use GRC systems, these tools are one of the most expensive software tools that businesses use. The full cost of a GRC tool often comes up to between £150,000 and £450,000. That's why making sure the price of the tool you choose is appropriate for its functionalities and capabilities. Additionally, you can also check if the price is flexible, which allows your employer to pay for additional features only if the company requires them once it expands.

Explore more articles

  • Software engineer vs. developer: a career comparison guide
  • How to gain work experience for architecture careers
  • How to write a childcare cover letter (template & example)
  • How to become an X-ray technician: A step-by-step guide
  • How To Become a Construction Estimator: a Step-by-Step Guide
  • 5 construction certificates and their benefits
  • How To Become a Yoga Teacher: A 7-Step Comprehensive Guide
  • Different kinds of jobs in dentistry (Guide and salaries)
  • Key duties and skills of an administration manager
  • How to become a professional driver (With steps and skills)
  • How To Be a Pipeline Welder (Plus Salary and Benefits)
  • Customer service job description (With duties and skills)