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IRM vs. RMIS vs. GRC: Understand the Differences

IRM vs. RMIS vs. GRC Integrated Risk Management

You’re sitting in a meeting feeling confident. You’ve done your research, you have a few solid points to present to the group, and everyone seems to be in a good space. Out of nowhere, someone drops a messy pile of acronyms: IRM, GRC, RMIS…! Your brain scrambles to sort through the alphabet soup as fast as possible. To make it worse, everyone else is simply nodding: They understand. A bead of sweat drops to the table, taking your confidence along with it.

Most people have had to decide between awkwardly asking what an acronym means, pretending to understand, or secretly Googling it under the table. When it comes to acronyms for risk management strategies, IRM, RMIS, and GRC are prime culprits. Read on to see what these mean, the differences between them, and the implications for your business.


Integrated Risk Management (IRM)

Integrated risk management (IRM) focuses on the actual hands-on work used to implement and manage an enterprise risk management (ERM) strategy. In other words, you can think of your enterprise risk management strategy as the architectural plans for a building and integrated risk management (IRM) as the materials and tools needed to build the house.

IRM consists of the technical controls that enable a successful cybersecurity implementation, such as:

  • Security monitoring
  • Perimeter protection
  • Network monitoring

The “integrated” aspect of IRM means it’s incorporated seamlessly with your system, enabling it to gather data from different elements of your operations simultaneously. This gives you a centralized solution, which eliminates costly miscommunications.


AI Within Integrated Risk Management Software

IRM can be used in a range of other ways, depending on the needs of your business, especially when you have IRM software that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI). AI can take large, unstructured sets of data and analyze them for patterns. This analysis surfaces critical data you can use to inform strategic decisions. For example, with the help of AI analytics within your IRM software, you can perform:

  • Financial forecasting
  • Strategic planning
  • Operations management
  • Cybersecurity threat reduction
  • Marketing analytics to form targeted campaigns
  • Human resource automation

When incorporated into an IRM solution, AI gives you automated insights you can use to reduce risk across several facets of your business. In this way, it produces critical, actionable data—within minutes—that would take a human days to surface.


Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC)

Understanding governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) is relatively straightforward after taking a look at the history of GRC. GRC was initially born out of necessity: Back in 2002, organizations had to fulfill the compliance standards outlined in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). So, at first, the term “Compliance” had a very specific connotation, referring to the legal requirements of SOX.

GRC became a product because it specifically focused on this need, as well as the IT controls needed to deliver a compliant solution. Then, a few years later, starting in 2007, the compliance mechanisms were applied to solve problems other than those raised by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, such as an enterprise’s internal governance standards and controls.

Therefore, the prime differentiating factor of GRC stems from the “C,” compliance. And the need for compliance gives birth to governance measures. Whether an organization chooses to use a GRC system to comply with governmental or internal standards—or a combination of both— is up to them.


Risk Management Information System (RMIS)

A risk management information system (RMIS), in simple terms, is a comprehensive risk reporting tool. Without an RMIS, you could end up with separate silos of information, each coming from a different risk vector, as well as no centralized way of surfacing the data you need to make decisions. An RMIS solves this problem.

With a full RMIS, you get modules that handle:

  • Insurance policy management
  • Risk financing
  • Premium calculation
  • Contract management
  • Vendor management

You can use preset templates or customize your RMIS to meet the unique needs of your organization. An RMIS can also automate the data collection process, reducing the chance of human error and saving valuable time.


What Do IRM, GRC, and RMIS Mean for Your Organization?

In some ways, as far as risk management strategies are concerned, the acronym you choose is less important than what really matters: the results. Today’s organizations need an integrated risk management system that delivers in the following key areas:

  • Robust reporting and analytics using risk data from all corners of your organizational infrastructure
  • Insurance claims management
  • Data governance tools that align with internal and external compliance requirements
  • Automation and AI that saves time and reduces human error


Manage Your Risk with Ventiv

There’s no need to muddle through an alphabet soup with Ventiv. Our solutions cover all the bases. At the end of the day, it's ultimately about coming up with comprehensive risk management strategies and working with trusted technology partners that can provide innovative solutions to centralize data and provide actionable insights to protect your company from evolving risks. Using our eBook, A Buyer’s Guide to a Risk Management Information System, you can easily choose the solution that solves your challenges.  


Jun 6, 2022

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