Achieving a happy work life balance as an SAP GRC/Security Consultant

by Vanita Parthasarathy, Winterhawk SAP GRC/Security Consultant

8AM: The alarm rings. I am a night owl, so even 8AM means an alarm for me! I get out of my bed and look out of the window at the UK weather – it’s not so good. I come out of my room and see my husband hustling to get ready to reach his office on time. That immediately lifts my mood – an evil grin in my mind! I do not have to commute anywhere to work.


Yes, you read it right, each day at Winterhawk, I work from home (no need to make up any excuses to work one day a week from home). It’s part of a wonderful work policy, and as a wife and a mom, I could not ask for a better workplace than home.


9AM: I am all set to start my working day with a cup of hot coffee at my home workstation. What a way to start the day! My workstation is set up next to a window, constantly keeping me posted on the changing weather outside. The first 30 minutes, I spend going through emails from people working with me from across the globe (customers, partners and our teams working in locations around the world).


9:30AM to 10AM is split between 2 tasks, one is to respond to questions that enable other tasks to run smoothly (could be technical GRC configuration changes or role modifications). The latter task is one which is indispensable to the IT industry – working on a variety of spreadsheets, generally for the 10AM team calls or client call preparations.

Internal team meetings are very interesting, unlike my previous organisations. The reason – Working in a specialist consulting firm makes a big difference, because we can relate to every topic being discussed, the challenges as well as being a part of the solutions by providing inputs.


From 11AM to 12:30PM, I work on my technical deliverables followed up by a 45min lunch break. It’s tricky at times, because there are no food courts to walk-in and get your favourite food served!


1.15PM – 5PM: My afternoons are generally power-packed with the tasks to shape up the process and implementation phases. As we have people working across different time zones who could be leaving their office for the day. Hence, we spend time making sure none of us are waiting for each other’s work during our respective working hours. This generally includes, calls with internal Audit teams, Functional towers and updating Basis or Change Management teams. It also includes aligning work within teams to project delivery dates.

I’m currently part of a multiyear SAP GRC Access Control and Role Remediation project, helping our client to prevent unauthorised access by defining segregation of duties (SoD) and critical access and minimising the time and cost of access risk management. Authorisation issues and designing tasks, sometimes become tricky and require collaboration in person with the responsible teams. An instant communication and sharing platform like Skype for Business saves the day. Last but definitely not least, having technically sound managers like we have here makes life definitely easier.


5.10PM – 5.20PM: Complete my timesheet.


5:20PM: Head over to pick up my toddler from day care!


Winterhawk is the fastest-growing, award-winning global SAP Security, GRC, Cyber and Data Privacy consulting practice. Supporting more than 2 million users worldwide, we are proud to be innovative, independent and also cost-effective. Explore our new website or contact us for the latest in regulatory and compliance services and solutions.