The Silicon Review
For years, organizations have measured success in terms of traditional metrics such as performance, revenue, size, and growth. Today, however, the conversation is changing. Recent news headlines have been replete with sexual misconduct allegations, data abuse scandals, money laundering, emissions fraud, and unethical business practices—all of which have prompted a recalibration of what drives business success. The emphasis is increasingly shifting to corporate behavior, trust, conduct, and reputation. How are enterprises treating their employees? How transparent are their business practices? Are they acting in an ethical manner?
These issues are, to some extent, addressed with the help of regulations that tell enterprises what they should and shouldn’t do. However, bad behavior cannot be prevented by rules alone. What really matters is the core principle of integrity – acting in accordance with core values; building a culture of trust and transparency; making sure that the things an organization says and does are aligned.
MetricStream’s mission is to help organizations perform with integrity. The company delivers a range of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) solutions that enable organizations to anticipate and manage risk, strengthen compliance with regulatory and corporate requirements, and enhance governance across business units and third-party ecosystems. The result is that organizations are better prepared to accelerate performance and growth, as well as capitalize on opportunities, while doing all of this with integrity.
Rewind: Building a Successful GRC Company
MetricStream was incorporated in 1999 with a vision to help build a safer, more risk-aware, and well-governed world. Since then, the company has rapidly grown into a market leader in GRC – a position validated by leading industry analysts, year after year. MetricStream solutions power the GRC efforts of enterprises across the world, ranging from Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies, to government agencies and international organizations.
“We’re enabling healthcare companies to save lives, and treat patients in the comfort of their homes,” said MetricStream CEO, Mikael Hagstroem, “We’re helping air services companies keep travelers safe, on-time, and comfortable. We’re empowering enterprises with the tools and intelligence to protect their biggest asset in the digital age – data.”
Over the years, MetricStream has been at the forefront of innovation in GRC -- building a future-ready, cloud-enabled, upgradable GRC platform and set of applications and solutions, as well as new technologies that leverage predictive analytics, mobility, and artificial intelligence. The company has earned multiple recognitions for product innovation, including most recently, the 2017 Industry Innovator of the Year by SC Magazine in the category of Risk and Policy Management.
In 2016, MetricStream announced M7 – a revolutionary new GRC platform re-imagining GRC for the modern enterprise. M7 delivers an intuitive and personalized user experience, high configurability, mobility and layering, a faster and leaner architecture, and better insights for better decisions – all of which enable customers to make GRC more engaging, more pervasive, and more intelligence-driven. Meanwhile, MetricStream’s GRC Cloud is leading the way in helping enterprises deploy GRC apps on the cloud in a fast and simple manner with optimal reliability, security, and scalability
MetricStream is also committed to advancing learning, collaboration, and development in GRC, be it through its ComplianceOnline.com portal—the largest advisory network and online community of GRC professionals and experts—or through the MetricStream University (MSU) program which offers world-class training programs for customers, partners, and developers. In addition, the company hosts a bi-annual GRC summit as well as multiple roadshows across continents, bringing together the best minds in government and business to discuss and debate strategies and solutions for GRC.
Taking GRC Forward
Over the last decade of MetricStream’s journey, the narrative around GRC has evolved, and so has MetricStream’s mission. Says Hagstroem, “GRC is no longer just about monitoring compliance with regulations, or managing known market risks or credit risks. It’s about sustaining an organization’s social license to operate — ensuring that business practices, operating procedures, and corporate behaviors are acceptable to employees, stakeholders, and the public at large.”
Much of this shift, Hagstroem believes, is driven by the fact that the digital world we live in today is a world without secrets. “Everything we and our organizations do is under continuous scrutiny, not just from regulators and stakeholders, but also from a larger, hyperconnected society where people have tremendous computing and communication power at their fingertips,” he noted.
“In this world, we as organizations are increasingly being judged and measured not only against financial metrics, but also—and perhaps more so—against how effectively we are able to meet social expectations of corporate behavior. Therefore, when we talk about governance today, we’re talking not only about achieving corporate objectives, or following rules and regulations, but doing all of that with integrity,” said Hagstroem.
Building that sense of integrity – of doing good while also doing well – is what MetricStream looks to offer customers while embodying the same principles in its own culture. “To me, integrity is the foundation on which enterprises build satisfied clients, engaged workforces, and successful brands,” said Hagstroem. “It’s about being true to the deeper mission that underlies what we do as organizations and institutions. A bank’s mission isn’t just to make money, but to provide safety and security for the life savings of its customers. A healthcare company’s mission isn’t just to medically treat patients, but to improve the quality of their lives. MetricStream’s mission isn’t just to deliver GRC software, but to enable each client to deliver on their own mission, to thrive in the digital economy with GRC as the foundation, and to contribute to the betterment of the human condition.”
Walking the Talk
So, how is MetricStream following through on helping enterprises perform with integrity? For starters, the company recently announced a new advisory service that will enable customers to better understand the risks to integrity, build an appropriate mitigation strategy, and be prepared to respond effectively to a crisis that does occur.
MetricStream has also doubled down on its customer focus. A Voice of the Customer program extends the work begun in earlier customer engagement programs like the MetricStream customer Special Interest Groups, with a renewed focus on co-investing with customers to deliver greater impact and value. Meanwhile, through a GRC Journey methodology, MetricStream enables customers to develop a step-by-step blueprint and vision for their GRC program based on the best practices and insights from their most successful customer journeys. The company has also launched a Business Value Calculator which helps customers build a solid business case for GRC investments by calculating the potential benefits, cycle time improvements, and cost savings that can be gained with GRC programs.
From a technology perspective, MetricStream continues to innovate with artificial intelligence, analytics, and natural language processing, envisioning a world where GRC will create a true system of intelligence that combines external data (e.g. regulatory feeds), internal data (e.g. control test results and risk assessments), and predictive algorithms to derive insights that can drive business performance. Said Hagstroem, “Through our AI Labs, we’re excited to co-design the future of GRC work with select customers. For example, we are working with a leading bank to re-design the way we do internal audit. New techniques include continuous audits, data driven audits, and gamified first line user interactions.”
Looking to the Future
As new risks and challenges emerge, as business demands shift, and as opportunities increase, MetricStream too is evolving to deliver greater value for customers and shareholders, and has instituted its own Voice of the Employee program. Noted Hagstroem, “We all have a common role in shaping a future governed by integrity – building enterprises with whom investors will entrust their money, where people will want to work, and that customers will want to do business with. As we collectively work to build a better world for ourselves and for future generations, it is our commitment at MetricStream to ‘perform with integrity’ and to help our customers do the same.”
Mikael Hagstroem: A Dynamic Leader
Mikael brings decades of senior leadership experience in driving value through enterprise software, big data and applied analytics. He has renowned expertise in helping companies across a wide range of industries harness high-performance analytics to reshape their business models, modernize their organizations, and unlock competitive advantage and growth.
Previously, Mikael served as Partner and COO of McKinsey Analytics, where he helped build a 1,300-employee capability delivering distinct global impact. Prior to McKinsey, Mikael was EVP at SAS Institute, where he led more than 5,000 employees across 48 countries and over 25 years grew a multibillion-dollar software business, contributing to SAS’ leadership in business analytics and risk intelligence.
Mikael currently serves on the executive committee of the United States Council for International Business. Previously, he served as chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Data-Driven Development and as the chair of the Executive Council of the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union.