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A Guide to the Elements of Integrated Risk Management Systems

A Guide to the Elements of Integrated Risk Management Systems


Integrated Risk Management Systems (IRM) provide enterprises with the insights to spot risks and draft informed and timely business solutions. Without these systems, organizations, companies, and other entities would experience a hard time achieving their desired growth trajectory.

Reciprocity, an industry leader providing risk management solutions to enterprises of all sizes, sheds light on what IRM is and recommends ingenious ways to implement IRM systems into an enterprise’s day-to-day operations.

What is Integrated Risk Management (IRM)?

IRM is a set of best practices and technologies that enhance a company’s ability to spot and mitigate threats. The IRM best practices are often collaborative, meaning that the company’s  IT, HR, sales, marketing, and executive team must collaborate to make IRM work seamlessly.

Apart from reducing the total cost of risks, a working IRM helps identify business opportunities, streamlines decision-making, and improves resource deployment. An excellent IRM framework has five significant attributes:

  1. Assessment. An IRM framework details methods to help your team identify, evaluate, and prioritize common workplace risks.
  2. Response. An effective IRM outlines mechanisms an organization can use to mitigate the identified risks/threats.
  3. Communication and Reporting. A powerful Integrated Risk Management framework details how an organization should communicate or report its risk threats and response to stakeholders.
  4. Monitoring. An enterprise’s IRM outlines processes to track accountability, compliance, and effectiveness of risk mitigation measures.
  5. Technology. A successful Integrated Risk Management is backed by the enabling technology that helps organizations identify and mitigate risks and streamline the decision-making process.

How to Get Started With an Integrated Risk management System

The efficiency of an IRM system partly depends on its initial implementation. Enterprises that get everything right from the first step are likely to keep risks at a minimum, generate more insights for decision-making, and run efficiently.

On the contrary, enterprises that start on the wrong foot end up with a disconnected IRM system that does not deliver the expected results. Having helped several organizations create integrated risk management systems, Reciprocity has suggested four of the best tips to get you started on the right note.

Identify the Risks that you are Most Vulnerable to

Working Integrated Risk Management Systems have one central role — helping enterprises identify and mitigate risks. Therefore, before you move on to implementation, you must figure out the threats you want the systems to help reduce. 

Therefore, you would want to identify all the risks in your work environment. The risks could include cybersecurity, operational risks, environmental risks, legal and compliance risks, reputational risks, financial risks, and more.

After identifying vulnerabilities, categorize the threats in terms of likelihood of occurrence and the intensity of consequence to get a clear picture of the risks to prioritize when implementing an IRM system. 

Get the Right IRM Solutions

Once you understand your vulnerabilities, shop around for the right IRM solutions. For instance, if your enterprise is vulnerable to cybersecurity, the most common security breach, get IRM tools and software to help identify and mitigate cyber-attacks.

Since IRM tools and software differ from one sector to another, ensure your organization gets solutions designed for the specific industry in which you operate. In addition, the right IRM solution should offer extra features like:

  • Sector-specific compliance workflows
  • Advanced data analytics
  • Centralized workflow automation
  • Easy-to-navigate user interface
  • Ability to store records of compliance activities

Make Risk Management a Shared Responsibility

In the past, enterprises managed threats as siloed teams, each using its IRM solutions. This means essential insights needed to identify risks or unearth new opportunities remained siloed, making it hard to manage risks collaboratively. 

That is the reason IT experts launched Integrated Risk Management Systems. The systems let departments like HR, marketing, finance, sales, and management manage risks as a shared responsibility, leading to better outcomes.

For that reason, make risk management a shared responsibility if you want your enterprise to get the most out of IRM systems. Find ways to involve executives, stakeholders,  human resources, product developers, sales team, finance officers, and other departments within your organization

Make Continuous Improvements

IRM tools and software keep changing, just as technology keeps improving. Therefore, do not wait for your Integrated Risk Management Systems to perform dismally or fail to deliver results for you to consider an upgrade.

Instead, schedule continuous upgrades to counteract the risks associated with outdated systems. Besides minimizing risks, modernizing your IRM systems gives you an upper hand in identifying risks and generating insights that help problem-solving.

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