Written by GRC Practice Director, Alex Hollis
We all know data is the key to better decision making. It helps make our businesses more efficient and agile. But, to unlock that actionable insight, you need the ability to pass the data across your functional units in a consistent and repeatable way.
When you have the ability to share your information, it means everyone can pull in the same direction to drive the organization towards its overall goals. It means you can gain new perspectives from other functional heads, and ensure the different units are more tightly aligned. It means that you have the agility to adapt quickly to meet the needs of the market and leverage technological changes.
In a small organization sharing information is simple, you just walk to the person’s desk and have a conversation. But as a business scales, there’s more hierarchy, departments are formalized, and everything becomes less connected. Therefore, it’s important to have a robust communication channel that scales with you to ensure you continue to share that valuable data across your wider management team.
But keeping the channels of communication open is easier said than done; nearly two-thirds (59%) of organizations class integration as their ‘Achilles heel.’ And unsurprisingly, 99% would like to see their organization improve at least one acts of their data integration/management, such as data integrity (its accuracy, consistency, and completeness) or analytics and insight, an integrated risk management solution is required.
To achieve the business agility and efficiency that enables you to stay ahead, you can’t afford to bury your head in the sand. Failing to address integration in your business causes cracks to start occurring; misalignment between your business functions means they each develop a different risk appetite, and there is uncertainty about ownership, which means no-one is being held to account. With everyone passing the buck, and no integrated risk management solution it’s only natural that you’re going to miss out on important opportunities.
The knee-jerk reaction to most business problems is to seek out and implement the latest technology. Surely it stands to reason that if I need better in my business I just plug department A into department B and the information flows accordingly?
You can’t plug your CRM system into your manufacturing system and expect everything to just magically work. It’s not about physically moving the data – that’s simple, you can just print it off and hand it over. It’s about integrating the data between departments accurately and efficiently. This requires you to start with having the right model in place.
For your organization to be truly integrated, you need to think through how to connect your systems, using an integrated risk management solution. State what it is you’re trying to achieve and why you need certain information to flow from that CRM system into the manufacturing system – what’s the benefit? Then consider how you aggregate that data between the two systems.
It’s never about the data itself; it’s the application of the data, and how you use it and interpret it that delivers the value. When you have the agility to share your data effectively across your organization using integrated risk management software, you’re now speaking a common language that everyone understands; suddenly everyone is operating on the same page, and surely that can only be a good thing?