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The Benefits of an Automated Enterprise Risk Assessment

Enterprise Risk Assessments are complex, resource intensive, and challenging to organize. You are constantly charged with finding ways to increase efficiency and build a program with less resources and less budget while still keeping your organization safe and sound. Using an automated Enterprise Risk Assessment provides functionality that can assist risk managers in creating the efficiency that they need for their larger ERM program. More importantly, automated risk assessments can help align risk management programs with larger business objectives, so your risk management program can support your organization’s growth and change over time. Here are a few specific ways and automated ERA can help your institution.

Reduces Time Needed For Implementation and Management

With spreadsheets, every update to a technology, process, or vendor needs to be manually changed, and then the effects of that change have to be found across your documents and changed as well. Finding each instance of a vendor within all of your risk assessments takes multiple hours, and is an inefficient use of your time.

The automation and integration built into ERA software solutions allow relevant changes to be made across all linked risk assessments with a single activity. This also occurs when information is put into the system. As vendors or technologies are added, they are automatically updated within all relevant risk assessments to ensure they are not missed or forgotten. Having a central repository of all your vendors, technologies, or processes simplifies the process of adding the information to each assessment, and eliminates the need to reconcile separate data sets.

Uses an Established Methodology

Unlike spreadsheets, automated ERA solutions are built specifically to identify risk. This means they are created based on the specific compliance requirements that need to be addressed within your organization. Instead of researching requirements, continuing to follow up with updates as they happen, and spending valuable time creating a process from scratch, you can be confident that your methodology is being updated to reflect changes, and that it supports your institution’s compliance.

That said, it is best to approach risk management as more than just a compliance mandate. You want to support your institution’s growth by controlling the risk you must take to move forward. You want to build a program that gives you the insight needed to add value to your board and executive group. Automated Enterprise Risk Assessments are integrated to give you a holistic view of your risk results, with both a top-down and bottom-up risk management methodology. Tying these methodologies to your strategic business objectives, you will be able to see the risk you need to manage to achieve those goals. The structure allows you to use data to question the viability of endeavors and ensure the allocation of resources goes to support the actions that best align with your strategic direction.

The established methodology built into an automated Enterprise Risk Assessment also helps to build accountability throughout your team. Instead of the assumption that the risk manager is solely responsible for risk at the organization, each team member gets a clear view of their role in helping to manage risk. They also have clear due dates and action items built into the software, which can help spur your team into action.

Protects Your Institution

The most important part of your job as a risk manager is to make decisions that keep your organization safe and sound. Errors or gaps in your Enterprise Risk Assessment can be detrimental to your organization’s bottom line, reputation, and ultimate safety, which leaves little room for making mistakes. With manual input on large or multiple spreadsheets, mistakes are more likely to occur by simple user error. An automated ERA, however, utilizes automation and integration with all of your risk assessments to reduce the potential for missed inputs or forgotten updates. Central repositories mean you won’t ever forget to add a relevant vendor or technology, and that gaps are quickly found amid the controls your institution already has in place. This integration gives you the opportunity to see risk holistically across the organization in an easy dashboard, so you can focus your efforts on the most critical issues your institution faces.

Automated Enterprise Risk Assessments are also equipped with reporting capabilities that allow you to quickly show results to your executive board without weighing them down with unnecessary details. This simplifies your message, and takes some of the mystery out of the process for your board. The reporting also gives you the opportunity to view changes across time, so you can see and manage emerging risks before they become critical. Having this view into the future of your institution’s risk landscape gives you more time to plan and budget for critical control remediation items.

Risk management will never be a simple task, so it is important to find tools that will help you do your work more efficiently and accurately. By utilizing automation and integration, Enterprise Risk Assessment software solutions can save you and your team time and money, while helping align your risk management program with your company’s strategic goals.