The range of subjects that get bundled into “governance, ethics, and compliance” is huge—so at first glance, trying to identify the major forces that will shape GRC over the next five to 10 years might seem a bit hopeless.

Political dysfunction is on the rise around the world, including here in the United States. The economy continues to wheeze along unimpressively. Investors are more demanding. The “extended enterprise” is growing ever more complicated, and risk events that are difficult to evaluate are becoming more common at the same time. All those dynamics can leave GRC professionals with queasy feelings about the future.

That queasiness may be well-founded. More precisely, you can probably trust your gut feelings that some parts of GRC will be more difficult by 2020 or 2025. Yet when you consider the basic direction of where technology, business operations, the economy, and even simple demographics are all going—getting a feel for how GRC will look and feel in the next decade isn’t so hard.

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