Michael Gibbs, PresidentAn organization’s health and reputation largely depends on its ability to manage risk. In short, firms need to identify risks, create governance to mitigate them and then deploy the right technology to en-force compliance. In simple terms, qualitative risk is generally associated with governance, risk and regulatory compliance (or GRC) while quantitative risk pertains to measuring the risk involved with a given financial instrument or strategy. Addressing these business challenges, SureStep specializes in providing sales, consulting and implementation services around the IBM Risk Analytics portfolio.
“SureStep addresses GRC and enterprise risk with IBM OpenPages whereas quantitative risk is usually measured with IBM Algorithmics software such as Algo Risk Service on Cloud,” explains Michael Gibbs, President, SureStep. “The increasingly complex regulatory landscape, combined with a constant search for improved business performance are driving the demand for GRC solutions. Not just in financial services, but in surprisingly diverse industries.”
For Gibbs, who has been in competitive sports from an early age, the drive to succeed comes naturally. “Being an entrepreneur means you’re competing with everyone, but also against a bar you set for yourself,” he adds. “Our solutions help our clients set and reach their own bars.”
“IBM OpenPages is a complete platform for managing every aspect of governance, risk, and compliance. We like its flexibility and robustness. At its most basic it handles oprisk, audit, policy and compliance management, and IT governance. However, we can build it to manage any number of other aspects of risk including conduct, project, strategic, and BCM,” says Gibbs. Properly implemented, the platform forces adherence to an organization’s internal and external processes, while providing the reporting proof to protect from unwanted regulatory or legal actions.
The increasingly complex regulatory landscape, combined with a constant search for improved business performance are driving the demand for GRC solutions
When discussing the competition in the market, Gibbs points out agility, global presence and experience as their key strengths which keep them ahead of the curve. SureStep believes that IBM has great tools for managing all aspects of risk at the enterprise and mid-market levels. “We have the experience and consulting knowledge to leverage those tools effectively. It’s a great match and a solid win for our and IBM’s, clients,” says Gibbs. “We combine that with a lean approach to development which avoids the typically monolithic enterprise project. That makes our solutions a bit more approachable and easier to fine tune as changes to a client’s GRC program dictate.” To add more, SureStep has a global presence at a time when GRC, and risk in general, are becoming top-of-mind issues in the international business landscape.
For SureStep, the next move is to open an office in Singapore to tap the huge opportunity in the Asian market. Gibbs further states, “There is a fair bit of regulation regionally. However, many organizations in that part of the world are growing rapidly and want to access Western capital markets. That often requires them to become familiar with and adhere to Western regulatory frameworks.”
In the lab, SureStep’s focus is on building turnkey compliance solutions for a few specific industries with mobile and cloud services as key components. “It’s exciting because we feel we have some game-changing tools on the way. We’re looking to shake things up in a few places,” concludes Gibbs.