While nobody likes the idea of increased regulation, the fact remains that recent spike in the number of rules that organizations need to comply with has been by and large a very good thing for the channel.
In addition to creating any number of governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) opportunities, every time and organization needs to evaluate their ability to comply with a new regulation it forces a conversation about the impact that rule is going to have on any given set of business processes. Almost invariably, the organization then winds up taking a look at how efficient that business process is in the first place. In fact, it’s not all the uncommon for a GRC conversation to be the catalyst for a re-engineering of an entire business process. And there’s nothing quite as good for the selling and delivery of IT services than the need to re-engineer a business process
Of course, solution providers that want to engage in those types of opportunities need some core competency in business consulting, which not many solution providers actually have. For that reason, solution providers might want to start looking around for organizations that specialize in business consulting, especially if they have a core competency in GRC. In terms of identifying future requirements for IT services, there’s nothing quite as good as a consultant that has convinced a company to implement some highly disruptive changes to their business processes. None of this has been lost on any of the larger IT service firms that tend to have very strong business consulting practices. But as the number and scope of the regulations emanating from Washington and various state capitals continues to grow, small-to-medium (SMB) organizations are finding that their business processes also need to be revamped.
But organizations such as Accenture and IBM Global Services are really not equipped to service that end of the market, which means there’s a fairly sizable opportunity tied to GRC issues that could be addressed by mainstream channel partners.But what’s perhaps even more interesting is that companies such as EMC are now expanding their GRC frameworks to include collaboration capabilities designed to make it easier for customers to make sure that the changes required to a business process are actually understood and executed. In effect, those platforms create a place where business and IT people within any company can come together to identify issues that need to be addressed. From a solution provider perspective, that’s potentially invaluable resource because it creates a mechanism through which leaders of the organization can readily identify processes that need to be changed. Once identified, it’s not too long before somebody kicks off a project requiring IT services to address that issue.
Done right, it’s becoming clear that GRC can be one of those gifts to the channel that just keeps on giving. The challenge is finding a way to either partner or gain the business consulting expertise required to start the conversation. Fortunately, most of the GRC vendors seem more than willing to help provide some of that expertise.While the ultimate business value of those new regulations may be debatable, the fact is that organizes have to address them. And while that may offend some folks political sensibilities, from a business perspective there is not much sense looking the proverbial gift horse in the mouth.