So far in this blog series, we’ve covered NERC compliance and the capabilities of compliance management solutions at increasing levels of sophistication. We started with streamlining the day-to-day, from change management to evidence collection to PRAs, RSAWs, and all the rest of the required policies and procedures. Part 2 moved into KPIs and the power of aggregate reports. We uncovered the opportunities inherent in the mountains of data generated by complying with NERC requirements, and broke that data down into three categories that provide visibility into the health of your compliance program.
Our most recent installment discussed maximizing ROI with strategic data insights. This is really where the rubber meets the road as far as turning tactical processes into business value. Once you have your workflows humming along (the day-to-day operations in part 1) and start measuring activities at the next level up (the KPIs in part 2), you can extract answers to the meaningful questions: Are we improving? If so, how can we keep it up and do even better? If not, why not, and what do we need to do differently?
Today we’ll take the final step up the ladder and examine how your compliance management solution should be able to provide valuable insight not just to compliance managers, but to the C- suite as well.
Here’s what your CEO cares about: your organization’s risk profile. In fact, cybersecurity is consistently one of the top three risks identified by executives and their boards. That makes NERC very relevant, even if they’re not particularly interested in the exact number of late tasks reported by each facility last year. Business leaders need to understand how NERC compliance fits into their risk profile and if that risk is going up or down year-over-year.
This is where compliance management solutions really earn their keep. Everything else that we’ve discussed is important too, since it rolls up into the high-level insights. But when you’re asked to justify the investment – “what do we get for our thousands of dollars a year on compliance software?” – the answer is risk management.
Top compliance management solutions like SigmaFlow reduce compliance risk at every level of the organization, from the most granular tasks to hard-to-define elements like creating a culture of compliance. They give you instant, transparent access to what needs to be done, who’s doing it, when and where and why and how. They allow you to track processes and workflows on a daily basis, to build in-depth KPIs and reports, to identify areas of improvement by person, department, or facility, and then to easily share that information with your executive team.
As a result, compliance managers gain the confidence to walk into a board room, armed with the most nitty-gritty details and dashboards with a 30,000 foot view, and explain the organization’s precise risk of non-compliance. You can demonstrate, with the numbers to back you up, your current performance levels and what you’re doing about it, whether celebrating improvement or preparing a plan to reach your objectives. At the intellectual level, you can offer as much data as they can swallow. At the emotional level, you can help them understand and feel assured about your risk profile. With the insights from your compliance management tool, you’re prepared to tackle compliance and risk management both tactically and strategically.
The ability to give the C-suite the information that matters to them at a moment’s notice is a huge benefit of compliance management solutions. General project management tools, spreadsheets, and ad-hoc processes don’t allow you to drill down or level up in a way that benefits every level of the business. For your compliance solution to carry its weight, it must support each of the use cases that we’ve discussed in this series, from the folks in the trenches to the execs in the boardroom.
If your compliance software doesn’t do all those things, it should. SigmaFlow does. We have implemented compliance programs at dozens of electric utilities and we know what works. We’ve honed our software based on its performance in the real world, at each of those levels, and our people bring unprecedented experience and knowledge to your NERC compliance challenges.
Your organization deserves a compliance management solution that carries its weight and more. From day-to-day tasks and processes to improvement-oriented KPIs to executive-level dashboards, we do it all with a focus on making your life easier and delivering business value. That’s SigmaFlow, and that concludes our blog series.
SigmaFlow is a leading provider of Process Execution solutions. The company’s NERC Compliance Solution is a real-time, evidentiary based software solution that solves the challenges of CIP & 693 Compliance. The SigmaFlow Compliance Solution manages all documents, data, and work activities while automatically collecting and building the evidence for NERC compliance in a real-time repository. SigmaFlow products place a strong emphasis on embedding domain knowledge through a process-driven template-based-architecture. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.