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December 30, 2020
Spreadsheets have become the go-to tool for many legal professionals. It is a great tool for a particular data set or for a small list but definitely not the right choice for managing end-to-end GRC programs. Let’s not just zero in on spreadsheets, any form of stand-alone data tool may not be the right tool. If your business is expanding, it may worry you more than imagined. Please don’t think of this as an invalid claim as we have strong reasons to switch from spreadsheets to GRC software.
Spreadsheets can be a great tool for simpler tasks and even more complex ones assuming you know how to handle it. It’s a great tool for general work on sorting, filtering data, storage, and sharing of data, it’s easy to share if it’s a one-time thing. The real hold-up is when one needs to perform more sophisticated functions or take control of a larger amount of data. Saving several versions of the same file ends up making version control a nightmare. While performing complex tasks, synchronization with your coworker, and making sure everyone is on the same terms is really difficult.
Let me give you six solid reasons to switch from spreadsheet to GRC software.
1) Frustration with several spreadsheets?
Without a formal structure and systematic approach, you most likely end up dealing with several spreadsheets, probably created by different employees. Every spreadsheet is different and it doesn’t make sense to waste your precious time on it.
Of course you can distribute amongst your team and set a few guidelines which you hope they will follow and most likely they won’t!!! Using spreadsheets everyday can only bring shortcomings. As we know different people think differently which only results in a varied collection of files, leading to more time wasted and information lost. Only way to deal with this kind of issue is to maintain spreadsheets as simple as possible, but being simple does not entertain growth.
2) When collaboration doesn’t work – and never will
When you work with individual sheets it’s a nightmare for collaborators, mainly because having very limited control over who is doing what. Doing work in parallel is often not a great option.
Collaboration is always a challenge as giving access to people without having the ability to control them from overwriting or deleting the information is difficult and hard to track. Though there are few spreadsheets that give such functionalities, they are not comprehensive and several functions are limited.
3) Unlock the power of integration.
Spreadsheet files have very limited access and are not scalable. If you want to implement integration to your spreadsheets, unfortunately there is no simple way to do it, except for performing them manually or using custom scripting and import rules where you hope the job runs smoothly all the while praying no one changes the file name or its structure. It’s a design limitation and unfortunately there is no solution using spreadsheets alone. Again this would cost you effectiveness and your productivity would take a hit.
4) Spreadsheet is not a database, stop using it like one!
Spreadsheet and other alternatives sure can handle huge amounts of data on it. but the minute you start increasing the amount of information, the performance can drop significantly, even for simple and basic editing works. I am sure you would have experienced this.
Simple tasks like creating new fields, lines or columns, organizing the information and creating useful queries become a major task and only sinks your time, and your performance takes a big hit. The only sensible explanation for this is the design limitation at play.
5) Adopt a risk-based approach
When you regularly work with multiple files over network shares, hard drives or mobile storage the real pain is taking a back up. The reason being that information is not centralized and accessed by multiple users. We are at a pretty high risk of exposing confidential data unintentionally or in some cases someone might make a mistake and delete. There are several other risks you incur when controls are lacking and information not being centralized.
6) Security fail
Spreadsheet offers very limited security features, adding a password to your files seems like an excellent idea but remember it is all or nothing. If you wish your users have different access levels, you will have to split the information through different files and you must not forget the password or else get ready to break your head going through files to find out the password.
Most cases you will be limited to information about who opened it and when it was last modified, which means errors are hard to track and incorrect or even fraudulent changes can go unnoticed. It’s not feasible to trace back who did it, leaving us with an auditability issue.
The only sensible and practical solution is to migrate your data to GRC software. The required investment for a dedicated solution may be initially perceived as additional costs since most companies use spreadsheets, but in the long run, the added value to the business regarding effectiveness, security, and reliability is evident.
A good GRC tool need not always be expensive. Enterprise software may cost a bit higher but there are several tools that are budgeted if you have a small or medium-sized company. The price depends mainly on the scope of work or the usage, while you get access to all the features like email-based workflows, central repository, trackers, dashboards, and apps. Do you need more reasons to switch from spreadsheets to GRC software?
Do you have any questions on the GRC software? Or do you want to implement one for your organization? Visit our website and drop your inquiry here: https://quantlegaltech.com/