Why software is the future of Business Continuity Management

Just like all other aspects in life, the way organisations operate on a day to day basis is changing. Technology has had a huge impact on internal roles and functions and we are fast moving to a virtual workplace. Long gone are the days of static phone systems and assigned seating with coffee mugs piling up and the token family photo. Activity based working enables employees to work anywhere and most applications are now hosted by someone else. Communication, collaboration, file sharing, Client relationship management, and accounting have all been embraced and readily adopted through technology, so why should managing Business Continuity be any different?

It is more important than ever to change with the times and give Business Continuity more attention than a folder collecting dust in a filing cabinet. The world is changing and with that comes new disruptive situations that require innovative practice and understanding Business continuity management is more than just compliance.

Software helps keep your business continuity program up to date

Hopefully your organisation won’t sit stagnant for years, so it makes no sense for your Business Continuity plan to stay on the shelf gathering dust and becoming out of date.  A good Business Continuity software system will enable you to mirror changes to your business in the system and automate the process of regular reviews and approvals of your information.

With software, your Business Continuity program is not just a stagnant document but a living breathing apparatus that changes and evolves in real time as you update your risk assessment and BIAs. Having one system to keep all this valuable information in a consistent, user friendly format provides quality information that is easily accessible and up to date, leading to better analysis and decision making before, during and after a disruption.

Increase engagement and interaction

Business Continuity is not just about creating documents and procedures behind the scenes. It is about building an organisational culture with behaviours and attitudes that are all aimed at improving organisational resilience. Using Business Continuity software, you can decentralise your Business Continuity programme by giving business users accountability for inputting, maintaining and approving their information.  This reiterates the importance of their role in Business Continuity and encourages increased engagement as the process becomes simpler and easier to digest. It also reduces the day to day administrative work of the Business Continuity Manager leaving extra time to add value to your program and people, rather than police it. Providing access to plans via mobile devices also helps to increase engagement and program success by providing fast and easy access to information when it is needed most.

Software helps standardise across an enterprise

Unlike a dusty folder, a good Business Continuity Management software system is not just a glorified document repository. It is a bounty of valuable organisational information which can be used not only for Business Continuity events but for compliance and planning of resources.  Quality Business Continuity software will capture information at a data level, making it easier to report and track information. Administrators can define templates and prepopulate to capture the information they need whilst maintaining consistency across diverse business functions or geographies.  This also reduces the need to update several documents every time a minor change is made.

A Business Continuity software system provides the accessibility and portability required for global reach. A good system can be accessed anywhere, anytime, allowing for advanced management of geographically dispersed teams around the world in large multi-layered organisations. When it is hosted, an organisation no longer needs to solely rely on its network and can utilise web, native mobile application and offline mode to access Business Continuity information. What would happen if a network failure is the disruption you’re trying to manage?

The evolution of the Business Continuity Manager

Often people are under the impression that technology may replace staff resources and eradicate their role. Business continuity software won’t take their job, it simplifies and shortens the process of unrewarding, mundane administration tasks.  Developing a quality Business Continuity program requires talented people who have knowledge, experience and an insight into their organisation’s environment, culture and people.  It turns business continuity managers into enablers rather than doers.

A good Business Continuity Software is invaluable, but you still need people to make it work as even the best systems degrade over time without support and upkeep. It gives you more time to develop a mature program, run exercises, training, raise awareness and embed a Business Continuity culture internally.

Software helps you access and understand your information

One of the most important benefits provided by a business continuity system is access to meaningful data at the click of a few buttons. Traditional programs have relied on hours upon hours of effort to trawl through countless spreadsheets and data, trying to connect the dots between critical processes, time-frames, resources, and dependencies. To have access to critical information when planning your program and engaging with senior stakeholders will provide a foundation for sensible decision making and smart resource allocation. To have this information at your fingertips during a disruption can make the difference between a successful response and recovery effort.

Business Continuity software will give you access to more information faster, maximising the value of your business continuity program beyond mere compliance.

Summary

To summarise, software is the future of business continuity management because it enables you to make improved decisions in a disruption due to advanced analysis and access to detailed information anywhere, any time. It increases global engagement thanks to simplification, ease of use and the ability to standardise across an entire enterprise which helps embed resilience into your organisational culture.

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