Digital transformation is more than just the move from manual processes to the internet of things (IoT) technologies, it’s ongoing change management that demands flexibility in software and solutions. Standing up a flexible IT risk management (ITRM) program is critical for businesses working toward future-proofing their current systems. This, in addition to critical elements such as privacy-enhancing computing (PEC) and security by design initiatives, is key to establishing holistic security programs as the privacy and information landscape continues to evolve. 

How easily can your enterprise solutions adapt to appropriately track and manage IT risk across your business?  

Businesses today are more dynamic than ever. From robust hierarchies to large-scale digital footprints, enterprises have invested in extensive platforms and applications to support everyday processes, enhance productivity, and track activities for reporting. In tandem with the changing business landscape or IT assets and processes, risk remains fluid while threats and vulnerabilities continue to evolve.  

Solutions that enable user-driven configuration allow admins and end-users to model data appropriately, connect to data sources to access the latest information while providing a tailored experience to reduce friction and streamline engagement with your line of business. 

Read our blog to learn more about digital risk and how to appropriately track IT risk across the organization. 

Why is Flexible IT Risk Management Important? 

Prioritizing flexibility is a key component of an effective ITRM program’s software evaluation. IT risk management (ITRM) is at the center of privacy management and risk reduction for modern businesses. Effective ITRM focuses on protecting IT and digital assets in line with regulatory compliance, how we need to operate and potential risk exposure. This includes general risk and vulnerability management, as well as monitoring data processing and protection activities to detect and combat emerging risks across business cycles. The complex and fast-paced nature of digital businesses has created a variety of specialized domains and business functions, to properly understand risk exposure each domain requires the latest information and IT landscape.  

The nature of risk and compliance requires a tailored approach to an organization’s objectives and operations. Having a flexible solution architecture is essential to getting near-real-time insights, or the complete picture of your IT risk exposure. If maintaining your IT risk system is a constant development project, the business is left with a hindsight perspective.  

To achieve a tailored yet flexible ITRM program, a business must enable end-users to help craft and maintain data touch-points: 

  • Model data hierarchy to reflect the organization and the flow of risk across touchpoints  
  • Connect data points to maintain the latest insights from the source  
  • Engage the business and collaborate across relevant stakeholders to reduce risk and maintain compliance 

Each of these elements is foundational to establishing and scaling privacy compliance and is equally important to tracking digital risk across broader IT and security risk management. Once you’ve reflected the current assets and processes throughout your business, you can start tracking and measuring risk. 

Download the resource the learn more about IT Risk’s organizational impact. 

Key Challenges in Standing Up a Flexible ITRM Solution with Traditional GRC Solutions  

A combination of speed and complexity contributes to the challenge organizations face in working to operationalize while avoiding technical debt. Historically risk management platforms have required a significant level of custom development to appropriately track risk and compliance indicators and produce reporting for audit requirements. But in today’s landscape, custom development can consume a disproportionate number of resources compared to efficiencies gained and quickly fall out of scope as requirements change. 

Static, Siloed Data Model   

Traditional GRC tools have products and feature sets to appeal to and meet the needs of core team members and execute their tasks. However, these products and associated functions are built separately from one another. Many customers admit that post-implementation departments are running independent operations. This compartmentalized data model creates siloed information making it near impossible to deliver executive-level reports or gauge the enterprise as a whole even within the refined scope of IT risk.  

Flexible ITRM Solutions enable near real-time access to data sources to identify emerging risk throughout your business dynamic.   

Data Connections Require Heavy Customization  

Years ago, having an open software architecture was a security threat. Many GRC tools were built as secure stand-alone applications. Today, this means there are limited integrations and connection points that are plug-and-play for end-users to connect systems. Integrations require a project on their own with significant scoping and custom development. Long term, this creates added expenses in the budget, time, and effort to maintain through software upgrades, or it leaves companies at a standstill on outdated system versions.  

Flexible ITRM Solutions simplify connecting systems across your business to share data in a meaningful and secure way.  

Collaboration Inhibitors  

The compliance team has traditionally driven the initiative for GRC software applications, and their use case drives how the tool is designed to operate. Business stakeholders, first-line responders, and risk owners are an afterthought as businesses shift collaboration across departments and enable cross-functional task execution to enhance their internal operations.  

Incorporating the different roles to achieve a proactive risk-based approach to GRC requires significant re-tooling or the use of separate systems altogether, which may not integrate functionally.  

Flexible ITRM solutions help you communicate and execute tasks across different roles and departments.  

Enable Additional Efficiencies with User-Driven Configuration  

To maintain privacy compliance, you need a clear mapping of processing activities, IT assets, and vendors that touch personal information throughout divisions of your organization. Ultimately the nature of these data points and classifications changes over time. As IT assets move or expand from one business unit to the next, the scope of your privacy and IT risk exposure evolves.  

To mitigate risks associated with business evolution and data shifts, organizations should implement flexible data hierarchies into their ITRM programs. This looks like: 

  • Having tailorable, data-driven insights: Having data-driven and tailored data means providing a user-driven data experience that manages privacy, IT and vendor risk while allowing the user to see the most relevant data to their position. Tailored data aids in the efficient execution of job functionalities, minimizes distractions and data overload through not requiring heavy customization and ongoing managed services to accomplish goals, allowing users to use admin settings to customize visibility, access, and reporting. 
  • Maintain the context of data: Simplifying your integrations to collect data at the source where you can reduce costs, increase productivity, and assist the overall strength of your security program by lowering risk. This includes system and CASB scans or connecting into solutions like JIRA and other security adjacent platforms to identify risk and execute remediation tasks. 
  • Creating customizable workflows: Implementing customizable workflows standardizes processes, making workflows universal and reducing traditional time-sucks around training and mistake recovery. This enables you to tailor functionality to your business needs providing increased support and maintenance to your security programs. 

How Can OneTrust Help with Flexible IT Risk Management? 

The  OneTrust platform leverages expertise in GRC, specializing in Vendor Risk Management, Privacy, Incident Management and many other categories to deliver an immersive security and privacy management experience. We enable you to gain visibility into all aspects of your organization’s security structure and empower a holistic security strategy by enabling your company to consider risk across all domains and regulatory expectations.  

OneTrust GRC enables your organization to analyze risk, scale compliance, & reinforce governance while identifying, tracking, and remediating risk across your operations, IT infrastructure and third-party relationships. This allows for seamless incident management and the ability to prioritize trust and transparency as a competitive advantage.    


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