Future-Proofing SAP GRC


We are witnessing an exciting yet challenging time for organizations leveraging SAP solutions. A growing number of companies are embarking on the journey to transition to S/4HANA, with the impending upgrade deadline fast approaching. According to recent estimates from a reliable source, approximately 22,000 customers have acquired licenses for S/4HANA, with nearly two-thirds of them having successfully completed the implementation process.

The Emergence of the Hybrid IAM/GRC Approach

Within the intricate SAP landscape, the spotlight is firmly on Identity and Access Management (IAM) as well as Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) solutions, drawing keen interest from organizations eager to explore their roles and potential benefits.

IAM solutions have been instrumental in managing identities across IT environments, streamlining the Joiner-Mover-Leaver process. These solutions, designed to integrate multiple systems, initially promised to tackle provisioning challenges and expedite onboarding and user access processes. While they have indeed brought significant efficiencies, a critical aspect was often overlooked. Many IAM solutions lack the capability to analyze SAP access at a granular technical level, such as drilling down to SAP authorization objects or fields. Consequently, while IAM solutions excel in access provisioning, they often fall short in evaluating the risk impact of assigned SAP roles.

Comprehensive access risk capabilities are imperative for organizations reliant on SAP systems. Business decisions are being made with limited risk information at hand. For example, during an annual SAP User Access Review within an IAM solution, reviewers may base decisions on the appropriateness of an SAP role solely on its name. Such a process fails to highlight usage details or the risk implications associated with the role, as IAM solutions lack the capability to provide this intricate information, unlike GRC solutions.

As awareness of this challenge grows, we anticipate a rising trend toward a hybrid IAM/GRC model, where Business Roles are defined within the GRC solution. This strategic shift will bring visibility to access risk and usage information, empowering business role owners to make well-informed decisions regarding role contents and structure.

It is evident that both GRC and IAM solutions play pivotal roles. However, the integration of these solutions has proven challenging due to overlapping functionalities. The key to success lies in carefully choosing which solution performs specific functions—such as workflow management, provisioning, and user access—an essential consideration when merging these critical solutions.

Steer into the future of GRC with confidence

Get in touch with our experts:

Chandra Dasari


Sean Desai


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