Companies have spent years beefing up their information technology governance, risk and compliance systems. With cutting costs now top of mind in corporate America, here are six ways to make IT GRC systems more productive and less costly.

1. Automate access controls. Today, most companies use a manual process to add users to an application or cancel their accounts. Switching to an automated system can save significant sums and reduce the risks associated with unwanted access.

According to an April study by research firm Ponemon Institute, based on responses from more than 700 IT professionals at U.S.-based companies, 87% believe employees have too much access to resources not relevant to their jobs. More than half of all organizations aren't able to keep up with access change requests.

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