Developing a business continuity plan is not a one-and-done event; it’s an ongoing process.
Which means at some point—possibly after you’ve pulled out most of your hair—you’ll ask yourself the question that many business continuity professionals before you have asked… “Isn’t there some kind of tool for this?”
The short answer is yes. There are many planning and documentation tools on the market, and just as many that will help you manage your plan and keep it up to date. Finally, there are also a raft of tools to help you work your plan during an incident.
Which is right for you? Well, unfortunately this time the answer’s not so short.
The biggest challenge in choosing a BC tool is in assessing the needs—not the wants—of your organization, and determining which tools will work best over the long term. Doing so requires a complete understanding (some might say an honest reckoning) of your organization and its culture.
You need to carefully, thoroughly and objectively evaluate your needs and wants against your corporate culture before you can decide what tools will be best.
Once you’ve got a better idea of what you need (and what you can get away with), you’ll find there are many BC tools to choose from.
These kinds of tools are used to strategize, develop and document your BC/DR plan, and will help you manage it on an ongoing basis.
These may include planning templates, BIA tools, or various planning applications to help with
These are the tools that you’ll use in the event you actually have to manage a crisis. Think incident management tools, command-center management tools, notification software like MIR3’s Intelligent Notification, crisis management tools, communication software and others.
How you’ll actually use these tools in the organization is important—especially to your IT department. Even if you’ve found the “perfect” tool, you can expect pushback if, for example, it would violate your company’s information security policies. (You may have to steel yourself: in a software argument, IT usually wins.)
Will your tool be installed on your company’s servers, or will it live on the Web? Will you need to manage it through your intranet via single sign-on, or is a discrete login acceptable?
Here are your options:
You’ve got a lot of decisions to make, and it may be hard to make them objectively and independently. Whatever you end up choosing, you’ll need to gain the support of the team and work around any corporate culture roadblocks you encounter.
Interested in finding the best mass notification system? Download the Automated Notification System RFP Template. Learn more about emergency notification with 10 Tips to Improve Notification Response Rates.