Why Policy Management is the Foundation of GRC Performance

Today’s modern business environment is incredibly dynamic and subject to rapid change. If organizations want to be more agile and resilient in this environment and in the way they practice governance, risk management, and compliance, it is paramount for them to have well established and communicated policies that are enforced across the business and its operations.

Policies are a significant asset to organizations when implemented and developed properly. Policies shape how the organization operates and help set up critical standards of code of conduct, procedures, and behavior for employees and stakeholders. More importantly, however, they show regulators that the organization is taking compliance seriously and has made it an integral part of the fabric of the organization. They must be kept up to date and help promote accountability, make compliance easier, and boost employee engagement across the business.

However, the dynamic nature of modern business makes policy management continually more challenging than ever. New regulations are constantly popping up and old ones are consistently updated, making it difficult for organizations across the globe to cope with the volume of change that they face. It's also surprisingly common for organizations to have duplicate policies covering the same issue… and far too often these policies contradict each other. This state of affairs could be exposing the organization to all sorts of emerging risks, whether that be security, regulatory, or even reputational.

On top of changing regulations, work from home policies and other recent restrictions have forced organizations to switch up their usual operations and governance - making conduct much more difficult to monitor at a time when incidents involving corruption and cybercrime have risen at a significant level.

IT security issues, for example, have popped up everywhere across the globe as a result of these new developments, and many organizations have now been forced build and implement new or updated their IT security policies in response to this.

Why Policies Matter

Written standards of conduct create a clearer picture of the organization’s values and principles that play a key role in building a reputation and helping the organization find success. Policies are meant to help protect consumers, but over all else, they protect the organization and help it reach its goals. That’s why it is so important to implement policies, monitor them, keep them up to date, and ensure their continued effectiveness.

With an effective and efficient policy management program in place throughout the entire business, organizations can be proactive instead of reactive to issues that arise, and keep them contained before they cascade into a more significant issue. New regulations and updates are coming, and they are coming quick. The whole point of policy management is to document standards of behavior, so employees and stakeholders know how they're expected to conduct themselves with each passing incident and new regulation – helping the organization remain compliant and stay on top of emerging risks.

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