One of the first things you’ll discover in developing your business continuity strategy is the variety of tools available. To pull together your toolkit, think of business continuity as a meal with many courses; each tool is a course, and when they all work together, they form a complete and satisfying experience. Just like a nice meal, the tools can be served up or delivered in various ways, depending on what you want to do with them and your unique corporate culture. The tools fall into two categories:
- Preparatory tools are used to develop and document your business continuity strategy and help in managing it.
- Event management tools are the ones that get used when an event happens; the tactical tools needed to support your plan.
Delivery options for tools
How these various tools are introduced into the organization is important. Do they reside behind your firewall as installed software, or on the Web as a hosted or SaaS solution? Do you need to manage them through your intranet? Here are the options:
- Homemade or clipboard tools – Many people use common word processing software and spreadsheets to develop their plan, but it’s worthwhile to check out the options and perhaps choose something more intuitive, with a standardized format and a built-in way to manage versions, testing, etc.
- Hosted, SaaS – A hosted solution is one that lives on the Web; there is nothing for you to install or manage and upgrades happen automatically with no action on your part.
- Installed, in-house – An installed solution gives you more control over the data and how it is managed and shared.
- Hybrid or one-size-fits-all tools – These are a combination of planning and event-management tools, bundled together and sold as an all-in-one solution.
For more in-depth information about the tools you may need for business continuity planning, download the brief.