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What is Corporate Governance and GRC?

In today's rapidly changing markets, with evolving regulations and transformations, corporate governance has become more crucial than ever. It is a blend of both legal and factual regulations that provide a framework for the management and supervision of a company. This comprehensive system ensures the company operates in the best interests of all stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, and other associated groups.

The Corporate Governance Code, a set of principles, recommendations, and suggestions, serves as a guide for both the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board. It emphasizes the obligation of these boards to ensure the company's continued existence and its sustainable value creation. This is done in accordance with the principles of the social market economy, taking into account the interests of all stakeholders.

These principles demand more than just legality; they call for ethically founded, responsible behavior. This is encapsulated in the model of the 'honourable businessman', a figure who operates with integrity and respect for the wider corporate interest.

From this Code, we derive the systems for Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) management. GRC is based on the fundamental duty of management to protect the company from harm. As illustrated in the 'House of Governance' model (Three lines of defence), GRC systems form the cornerstone of managing a regulated organization.
grc house.png
These systems are audited as part of the annual financial statements and special inspections. This is done to support the management and supervisory bodies in fulfilling their general duties of care.

In the face of unforeseen developments, such as the occurrence of a risk threatening the existence of the company or fraud cases, the effectiveness of these monitoring systems often comes under scrutiny. The internal control system (ICS), compliance management system (CMS), and risk management system (RMS) are at the heart of this corporate governance discussion. The question arises as to whether these systems were appropriately and effectively designed to prevent such incidents.

GRC management is therefore not just a good-to-have; it's a legal requirement for companies. It ensures operational efficiency, risk mitigation, and adherence to legal and regulatory standards. Non-compliance can lead to severe penalties, legal consequences, and reputational damage.
In essence, effective GRC management is not just important, but mandatory for lawful, ethical, and successful business operations. It's a critical component of corporate governance, helping to safeguard the company's future and ensure its sustainable value creation.

Navigating the complexities of GRC highlights the necessity for an integrated, collaborative, and future-proof approach to process management. It's not just about managing GRC in isolation, but rather aligning it with the broader business processes to ensure a holistic and effective governance strategy. This is where SAP Signavio, a leading tool in the BPM space, becomes instrumental. Signavio offers a unified platform that doesn't just manage GRC, but integrates it seamlessly with all other business processes and functions like a single source of truth. This integration fosters collaboration across the organization, ensuring that GRC management is not a siloed function but a collaborative effort that involves all relevant stakeholders.

Why SAP Signavio for this matter? (Sneak preview)
Exkurs: What is SAP Signavio?

    • Unified Platform: Signavio provides a unified platform for managing the aspects of GRC f.e. control and risk register. This means businesses can handle governance, risk, and compliance in one place, reducing complexity and improving efficiency.Bildschirmfoto 2024-05-27 um 17.08.43.png


    • Process Visualization: Signavio's process modeling capabilities allow businesses to visualize their GRC processes. This makes it easier to understand these processes, identify potential risks, and ensure compliance.


    • GRC-Assessments: Signavio offers tools for identifying, assessing, and managing risks, as well as ensuring compliance with regulations. This can help businesses avoid potential pitfalls and legal issues.
      Workflow Automation: Signavio's workflow automation capabilities can be used to automate certain GRC tasks, such as compliance checks or risk assessments. This can save time and reduce the risk of human error.


    • Collaboration Features: Signavio includes features for collaboration, making it easier for teams to work together on GRC tasks. This can improve efficiency and ensure everyone is on the same page.Bildschirmfoto 2024-02-02 um 10.53.18.png

    • Continuous Improvement: With Signavio, businesses can continuously monitor and improve their GRC processes. This is crucial in a changing business environment, where regulations and risks can evolve over time.


    • Integration Capabilities: Signavio can be integrated with other systems, allowing businesses to pull in data from various sources for more effective GRC management.

Moreover, Signavio is designed with the future in mind. It offers capabilities for process visualization, analysis, enabling clear understanding and communication of complex GRC processes. Its powerful workflow automation features ensure that GRC processes are not only efficient but also adaptable to future changes and challenges. But perhaps most importantly, Signavio is committed to continuous improvement. It provides the tools and insights needed to monitor, analyze, and improve your GRC processes continually. This commitment to continuous improvement ensures that your GRC management remains effective, compliant, and aligned with your business objectives, both now and in the future.

How to approach with Signavio?

    1. Document processes, risk, control and regulatory information (Upload or API possible) and link the information to run case-oriented reports (f.e. Risk-Control-Matrix or customized reports)
    2. Find Automation potentials and build BOTs, workflows and application to be more efficient in audits.
    3. Automate the Assessments of risks, controls and regulatory evaluations. Perform audits directly in Signavio via workflow (incl. evidence upload) and analyze them.
    4. Connect live data from applications and monitor KPIs along processes like control effectivenesses
    5. Use a journey dashboard to monitor and react specific aspects of GRC (f.e. SOX, GRI framework)


GRC Signavio Overview.png 

What are the most frequent customer scenarios?

    • Creation and Assessments of Internal Control Systems (ICS)
    • Transforming processes in line with Compliance (f.e. in M&A)
    • Generating transparency and a decision basis (f.e. Tax CMS)
    • Managing Risk, Control and Regulatory changes
    • Performing Audits and fulfilling external auditor requirements, like:

Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), IDW PS 980 ff,, ISO 9001, 14001, 27001, 31000, COSO Framework, GDPR, CASS and much more depending on regions...


Why to choose SAP Signavio ?

Process-centric approach:
SAP Signavio focuses on process modeling and management, providing a visual and intuitive way to map and analyze business processes. This process-centric approach is beneficial for GRC as it allows organizations to understand, document, and optimize their processes from a risk and compliance perspective. It enables the identification and assessment of risks, the implementation of controls, and the monitoring of compliance across various processes.

Collaboration and stakeholder engagement:
SAP Signavio offers collaboration features that facilitate the involvement of multiple stakeholders in GRC activities. It enables cross-functional teams to work together, share knowledge, and contribute to the risk and compliance processes. This collaboration helps in aligning different departments and stakeholders towards common GRC goals, ensuring better communication, and promoting a culture of risk awareness and compliance.

Integration with other systems:
While other GRC solutions are specifically designed for single use cases and GRC processes within a specific ecosystem, SAP Signavio stands out with its broader integration capabilities. It can integrate with various systems and tools across the organization, including ERP systems like SAP and non-SAP systems.
Notably, SAP Signavio has live integration points with SAP Financial Compliance Management and SAP Process Control, part of SAP's comprehensive suite of GRC offerings. This integration allows for the exchange of data, seamless information flow, and coordination between GRC processes and other business processes, enhancing the overall effectiveness of GRC efforts. This ability to leverage the best of both solutions provides a unified and robust approach to GRC management, emphasizing the collaborative strength of our combined solutions.

Visualization and reporting: SAP Signavio provides powerful visualization and reporting capabilities, allowing organizations to gain insights into their GRC activities. It enables the creation of visual representations of GRC processes, risk maps, control frameworks, and compliance requirements. These visualizations make it easier to understand complex GRC information, communicate it to stakeholders, and generate meaningful reports for decision-making and audits.

Flexibility and adaptability: SAP Signavio is a flexible platform that can be tailored to the specific GRC needs of an organization. It offers customization options, allowing organizations to adapt the platform to their unique GRC frameworks, methodologies, and compliance requirements. This flexibility ensures that GRC processes can be aligned with the organization's specific context and objectives.

In essence, Signavio is not just a tool for managing GRC. It's a strategic partner that empowers your organization to manage GRC in a way that is integrated, collaborative, and future-proof.

It's important to clarify that while this blog post focuses on the capabilities of SAP Signavio in the context of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC), it does not intend to present it as a standalone solution. Rather, it's part of a comprehensive suite of GRC offerings from SAP, which are used by thousands of customers worldwide and deeply integrated into SAP's systems of record. In fact, since the early stages of Signavio joining the SAP family, we have been working on integrating the two offerings. Now, integration points between SAP Signavio and SAP Financial Compliance Management, as well as SAP Process Control, are live. These integrations enable customers to automate and leverage the best of both solutions, providing a unified and robust approach to GRC management. In future posts, we will delve deeper into these specific integrations, showcasing the full strength of SAP.

Integration between SAP Signavio and SAP Financial Compliance Management

Integration between SAP Signavio and SAP Process Control

* Link Collection – Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) 

To learn more about how Signavio can enhance your GRC management and contribute to the success of your organization, feel free to reach out. I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn.
I would be more than happy to discuss how we can tailor Signavio's capabilities to your specific needs and help you navigate the complexities of GRC management.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I look forward to connecting with you and exploring how we can work together to ensure your organization's GRC management is effective, compliant, and aligned with your business objectives.

Stay tuned for our next discussion, where we will delve deeper into how Signavio can enhance your GRC management and contribute to the success of your organization.
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