IBM OpenPages with Watson can deliver a 218% return on investment, finds Forrester study

By | 3 minute read | December 7, 2020

The modern enterprise evolves to develop an integrated governance, risk and compliance (GRC) framework. Using a structured approach to manage GRC programs creates efficiencies by aligning technology with business objectives so that the organization can effectively manage risk and operate effectively within its regulatory environment. An integrated GRC strategy breaks down silos and improves communication across the organization, resulting in reduced costs and risk-aware decision making. But the financial implications of GRC implementation are complex, so it’s not always easy for decision makers to project the return on their potential investment.

That’s why IBM recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct the Total Economic Impact (TEI) study that evaluated the financial impact of IBM OpenPages with Watson, IBM’s AI-powered GRC solution. The goal of the study was to provide decision makers with a framework to assess the impact of OpenPages on their organization. Forrester Consulting interviewed existing IBM customers that have implemented OpenPages, all of which had experienced problems with their legacy GRC systems.

The TEI study revealed a striking level of cost savings, namely a three-year 218% ROI.

The experiment

The customers interviewed by Forrester Consulting reported challenges with their previous GRC systems such as silos, reactive decision making, and increased effort required to satisfy auditors and regulators.

“Every department was documenting and managing risks in their own spreadsheets and folders,” said one client. “There was no way for us to have a consolidated and accurate view of organizational risks. We could only solve this problem using OpenPages.” These organizations turned to IBM to provide a scalable GRC platform that would deliver a holistic view of risk and compliance across the enterprise.

To evaluate the impact of OpenPages, Forrester Consulting developed a composite organization based on data aggregated from the client interviews. The results of implementation were striking.

The results

The TEI study revealed $5.1 million in benefits and $3.5 million in net present value (NPV) for the OpenPages customer across three years. The benefits can be broken down into three categories:

1. Regulatory fine or penalty avoidance: $1.7 million
OpenPages facilitated risk management and analysis over basic documentation, gave managers the agility to react more quickly to changing environments, and facilitated collaboration, leading to better decision making and a more risk-aware culture across the organization.

2. Reduced risk management effort: $1.7 million
OpenPages provides an integrated solution supported by a common data model, allowing the customer to standardize processes across risk domains, leading to reduced effort in managing risks, reporting risks, testing controls, and supporting internal and external audits.

3. Avoided legacy solution: $1.8 million
By sunsetting legacy systems requiring ongoing maintenance and customizations, Forrester found, organizations can save $1.8 million.

Behind the numbers

With IBM OpenPages, customers optimized risk management programs, improved their agility in managing changing risk environments, and avoided both regulatory penalties and legacy solution costs. One financial services client captured the benefit of the IBM OpenPages integrated approach:

“OpenPages has absolutely improved the effectiveness of our GRC management decision-making. We can now look at data across various groups and measure KPIs. I don’t care if it’s a financial risk or operational risk or internal audit risk; I want to know what the risk is and how it impacts the whole firm, and OpenPages gives that to us.”

Interviewed organizations found that OpenPages was easy to use, leading to optimizations in risk management and reporting, control testing, and efficiencies supporting internal and external audits.

“Now we can manage risks, instead of just documenting them,” said another client.

What’s next?

Read the full study, then attend our webinar on December 10 to learn more about the TEI findings and hear from guest speaker Alla Valente, Analyst Serving Security & Risk Professionals at Forrester, who will provide listeners with a future outlook into the state of GRC as we head into 2021. Find out more about what’s new with IBM OpenPages, including how clients can now run IBM OpenPages on any private or public cloud to drive business transformation and reduce costs through IBM Cloud Pak for Data.