Uzair Izzuddin Mohd Zain
Is Your GRC Solution on the cloud yet?
It's imperative that your GRC solution is always secure and available, and can be easily updated when needed, since it's at the core of your risk management and compliance programs.
When hosting your GRC platform, your organization has two options: in the cloud or on-premises. Let's compare their pros and cons.
Choosing to host your GRC platform on premises means you are using your own servers and IT infrastructure to run the software.
Storage and maintenance. Maintaining uptime of the server is as important as updating and configuring application software. The update and maintenance of servers require specialization. Moreover, there is a limitation to how much data each server can store, so if more storage space is required, you will need to add additional servers. In addition to taking longer to implement than cloud solutions, on-premises solutions require you to first setup your server, and then install each computer separately.
Costs. It will be more cost effective for you to pay a license fee instead of a monthly fee for use, but the license cost may be higher up front, and you will also be responsible for the ongoing expense of server maintenance and energy use. While you may be able to lower licensing fees in the long run compared to a subscription-based SaaS service, it may take years to break even, at which point your software needs may have evolved.
Security. On-premises software is often perceived as being more secure than cloud-based software, while this may not always be the case. Security patches are not automatically installed on on-premises software because updates need to be done by your staff. For instance on a recent case, more than 30,000 US organizations were affected by an attack on Microsoft Exchange Server on-premises. IT generalists are often responsible for software updates in organizations using on-premise software, making these tools extremely vulnerable.
You will be able to access your applications from any device, regardless of where you are, by moving to a cloud environment, which will utilize the vendor's servers to host your application.
Maintenance and storage. Since the vendor retains responsibility for hosting your application, deployment can often take place within hours or days, and users are not required to perform physical installations on their devices. Sharing server space with other customers allows your organization to easily scale up or down depending on your requirements. In addition, any updates should be handled automatically by the vendor.
Costs. SaaS solutions are typically paid for through monthly installments rather than an up-front license purchase. Prices are determined by the level of service you require and how many users you have. Pricing for these services can be guaranteed for up to 24 months, or possibly even longer, without up-front capital expenditures. Moreover, upgrades and additions of new services and users may be performed without the need for manual updates to the application.
Security. Despite the fact that cloud-based GRC tools have differing levels of security depending on the particular software, many reach higher levels of security than on-premises solutions. Users do not need to rely on internal personnel to make updates as security patches are installed automatically across all of their applications.
Which one should I go for?
Although certain businesses may be required to use on-premises software due to compliance mandates, the vast majority of organizations today can utilize cloud computing services. The increased adoption of cloud-based software has been attributed to many vendors ensuring that their solutions are secure, reliable, and stable enough for enterprise and government use.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to more distributed teams, the dangers of relying on on-premises systems and tools have been demonstrated. With digital transformation and the creation of a secure portfolio of cloud-based tools, your team will be able to work anytime, anywhere without compromising the security of your organization.
When choosing a cloud-based GRC tool, it should provide an integrated platform where your entire risk management, internal audit and compliance team can collaborate and share data. It should also be modular if the organisation wishes to deploy on a departmental approach.
With the right partner, you will see many benefits when making the transition from an on-premises to a cloud-based solution. Cloud-based GRC solutions like Onspring represent the future of governance, risk, and compliance.