Moving Beyond Legacy GRC Tools

March 2, 2022 | By J. Travis Howerton

As we are bringing our new RegScale Compliance Automation platform to market, we are consistently getting feedback from customers who are unhappy with their legacy Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) tools, like the promise of what we are doing with continuous compliance automation, but cannot see a path for how they get from where they are today to a new solution. This blog lays out some of the reasons legacy GRC tools are failing, why customers are looking for something new, and then some best practices for how we are helping customers deliver a compliance future that is cheaper, lower risk, and real-time.

First, why are customers looking for new tools? There are no shortage of existing tools in the market. Some of the major players include RSA Archer, ServiceNow, Telos Exacta, and government solutions such as EMASS. All of these solutions provided tremendous value when they launched and helped provide a system of record, workflow, and analytics around previously manual and largely unmanaged business processes. These solutions worked well during a time when systems were on premises, did not change that quickly, and largely existed in segmented environments with more limited system to system communication. However, the world is changing rapidly with cloud, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) which are driving the need for real-time solutions that can be continuously monitored. In addition, policy makers are taking notice with the issuance of new edicts for Continuous Authorization to Operate (cATO) and the need for machine-readable programs as evidenced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Open Security Control Assessement Lanaguage (OSCAL) standard. The world is changing but legacy systems often cannot since they:


  • Were heavily customized using the application builder features of GRC platforms
  • Have high Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs and licensing that limit available budgets to modernize
  • Have difficulty finding developers to support the technology
  • Contain large amounts of legacy data that is not in a format that is easily portable to a new framework such as OSCAL
  • Lack modern Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for machine to machine communication that would support a cATO capability
  • Rely on bespoke infrastructure that is not cloud-native or scalable
  • Contain non-intuitive and legacy user interfaces that have not kept pace with modern applications providing a frustrating user experience


Due to these reasons and others, we are seeing great market need for something different. The something different is what Gartner is calling the Compliance Automation Tools in DevOps. RegScale intends to be a market leader in this space and to do so we have invested heavily in capabilities that are fundamentally different than legacy GRC vendors. These capabilities include:


  • Designed based on industry best practices where no developers are needed and configuration is easy while customization is avoided
  • Deploys in under an hour on commodity infrastructure (Virtual Machines or Containers) and can run in any environment (cloud, on premises, or classified/air-gapped network)
  • Real-time features with APIs and Command Line Interfaces (CLIs) that allow for bulk data processing that can integrate with continuous monitoring tools to support cATO
  • Modern UI with real-time dashboards, wizard-driven interfaces, and intuitive software design for an improved User Experience (UX)
  • Best in class support for the NIST OSCAL standard and the emerging compliance as code space (what we are calling RegOps)


While most of our customers understand the need to do something different and recognize the pain of their existing processes, they are unable to move forward due to legacy technical debt and cost constraints. We understand these issues and we have provided multiple options to assist customers with moving beyond their legacy GRC into the world of real-time compliance automation. These options include:

  • A completely free Community Edition (CE) to support Small to Medium Businesses (SMB) and to provide a low friction option for test and evaulation by large businesses and government agencies
  • An Enterprise Edition (EE) that is priced 70-80% cheaper than the licensing from our top competitors to create meaningful long-term savings
  • “Phase In” pricing to lower initial licensing costs while transitioning off of the legacy GRC to mitigate the “bubble costs” associated with transition. This approach allows licensing costs to increase as value increases to the customer to support a seamless transition to a lower cost solution.
  • Automation savings by integrating with continuous monitoring solutions to eliminate data calls, manual creation of remediation tickets, and other mundane tasks that create labor savings and efficiencies that allow cyber talent to be deployed to more meaningful work


We strongly believe that the future of compliance is real-time, risk-focused, continuous, and lower cost. Customers are spending millions of dollars on GRC solutions/programs that become large cost centers, don’t deliver direct mission value, and are not part of the value chain. The real value of cyber compliance is to form a basis for understanding and managing risk. Since the threat environment is changing in real-time, the compliance and monitoring solutions must also become real-time so that information assurance can focus on risk mitigation versus spending most of their budgets on data calls and point in time snapshots of compliance. In addition, because these processes are manual and cyber talent is hard to find, there are often huge lead times associated with ATO processes that limit the ability to deploy new technologies that support the business/mission in a timely manner. By rethinking compliance and applying our continuous compliance automation platform, RegScale customers can accelerate their cATO programs and move beyond their legacy GRCs; all while lowering costs and risks along the way.

Schedule a free demo today to learn how RegScale can help you transition from your legacy GRC to the world of CATO.

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