Back in December we remarked about the trouble with generic acronyms and what they contribute (if anything) to web content management.

This year the same argument unfolds around another acronym, GRC. On the Gartner Blog Network, French Caldwell recently wrote about the war on governance, risk and compliance.

KM, WCM And Now GRC?

Though they relate the latest acronym discussion to KM (knowledge management), they attribute the cause of such acronym usage to the “fact that business and IT professionals recognize that there are some activities within their organizations that seem to have similar characteristics and relationships.”

In other words, businesses may not necessarily have a unique solution, but they have enough common principles that can be applied and marketed as solutions.

What is GRC?

But Caldwell is willing to call off the dogs and let GRC live another day. He thinks that vendors, for the most part, don’t overuse or abuse the term GRC. When we dished about emerging trends in WCM, the argument was that lumping too many different types of solutions into a single WCM acronym is misleading. We agreed to “think less about WCM as the only way to categorize a product/solution/platform” and start being more individualistic about our needs.

GRC solutions are usually focused on compliance, which are standards set by governing, regulatory bodies. If standards are met, risk is ultimately diminished. Yet, GRC often involves records management, document management, and eDiscovery, all of which can directly and indirectly influence and impact GRC.

The circular logic of GRC while strategic, may exclude other relevant strategies. Like Caldwell, we will wait to see what GRC brings. Perhaps like WCM, the solutions will outgrow the acronym before too long.