Integrated Risk Management: Platform versus software applications

Diana Walker
April 23, 2021

One of the major enquires faced by risk managers to manage their integrated risk (IRM) is to choose between platform and software applications. The overarching business case is much more straightforward -- yet many enterprise organisations overlook it.

At ReadiNow, we define a software platform as "a significant piece of software acting as the operating system through the entire organisation with smaller customised applications within the platform." This means a platform solution enables a set of applications operating inside one digital transformative platform and the user experience is modular and completely customizable as per business department requirements. It provides the infrastructure to develop applications and support multiple workflows.

At the time of this writing, we are unable to find any risk management platform solution or GRC platform that can operate and work with every single facet of the organisation until ReadiNow. This is the true power of the platform. An excellent example of a software solution is Asana, a singular project management applications versus the ReadiNow platform where project management is one of the dozens of collaborative applications within the platform.

In a recent Gartner insight report on digital business transformation. Gartner states that "As organizations continue down the digital business transformation path, they will need a better understanding of their strategic, operational and IT risks. Tech CEOs at IRM providers can improve their IRM solution offerings through a digital risk management solution stack." This is a major part in why we recommend moving towards platform solutions whereby integrated risk can be managed efficiently under one platform.

Key findings from the Gartner Indicate

  • Digital business transformation brings new and higher levels of risk that, left unmanaged, will doom the organization’s efforts to succeed.
  • Integrated risk management (IRM) solution providers can help chief information security officers and chief risk officers increase the organization’s chances of digital business success by offering products that integrate with strategic and tactical software already in use.
  • Leading organizations recognize the need to employ business intelligence and analytics (BI&A) and security solutions to augment their digital business transformation initiatives.

As a risk manager or leader for your organisation, which is more useful for your organisation will be based on your organisational goals for adopting digital transformation. Here are some of the reasons we believe taking on a platform solution is more important than applications. (Even if we integrate with 99% of them)

1. Improved department risk management and risk strategies

Digital transformative risk platforms are an all-in-one solution enabling every single department to fall under a platform solution with governance, risk and compliance at its core and therefore allows managers to understand all the responsibilities and risk while performing their day to day tasks.

A specific risk application such as compliance management software is not designed to work with CRM, HRM, or ORM… etc. It is an isolated instance of a product that creates a silo within the organisation. Hence inefficiency, time and money managing different people, and applications that could otherwise be on top of a platform that ensures all risk is managed according to best practice throughout said departments.

2. Accommodate future use cases within the same platform

Due to the flexibility of the ReadiNow platform via API integrations. If any organisational department wants to implement new technology, they can layer it on top of the platform which provides an additional layer (if any) of integrated risk management.

Future requirements may arise where organisations may see the value in using the platform to collaborate with non-employees such as customers and partners through integrated environments.

3. Ability to scale risk implementation

Software applications are generally easier and quicker to integrate and adopt at lower scales. This could be for specific department teams. The catch is, they are also much more costly and difficult to scale and adapt to several or all department specialisation and lack of rapid adaptability to meet custom department requirements and different team dynamics. Platforms flexibility advantage goes in both directions. You have the flexibility to start small in a singular department to ensure the system is right for you, and progressively roll it out to all departments at the right time. This is especially the case today where the implication of platforms is relatively simple through advances in the integration engine, DX platform and rapid application creation.

4. Platform deployment model, transparency and software flexibility

In 2019, most application software is offered as a closed-source SaaS offer. Of course, this is interchangeable depending on one vendor to another. Platform technology models have the flexibility to be deployed on both on-premise and the cloud. This enables IT and risk managers in security-sensitive and heavily regulated contexts to maintain complete control of their data and implementation by keeping all data on their private database and framework.

Platform solutions are also more likely to offer improved transparency through the DX-platform which enables users to create and extend new business transformation solutions in minutes, with new ideas, new methods, new business models instantly that can easily be deployed in real time to any device, anywhere, with zero-code.

5. Gartner's IRM product recommendations include:

  • Design IRM products that can link digital business strategic outcomes and digital risk assessment results.
  • Evaluate current IRM solution set capabilities in translating tactical security vulnerability/threat assessments and key risk indicators (KRIs) into digital risk assessments that are relevant to the business.
  • Develop capabilities to utilize business intelligence and analytics to link technology KRIs to digital business key performance indicators (KPIs).

This empowers organisations to become the disrupter instead being disrupted in integrated risk management. If you're interested in are interested in learning more about IRM platform solutions.

Request your demo today.


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