Many organisations utilise software to create, support, maintain, distribute and test their Business Continuity Plans and ensure business survival in any emergency. Regardless of size, most companies can benefit greatly from the use of Business Continuity software and many options exist for its implementation and plan maintenance strategies. Some of the direct benefits that Business Continuity software can provide an organisation are as follows:
• Conducting and automating the business impact analysis (BIA) process
• Applying relational database architectures to manage plan updates quickly and efficiently, keep documentation “alive” and synchronize it with interfacing applications (e.g. automatically updating plan emergency contact lists with employees’ latest contact information when the corporate employee database changes).
• Distributing Business Continuity Plans to each business unit for training, testing and other implementation events
• Providing document-format questionnaires to ensure thorough analysis and response planning.
• Prompt notification to employees of emergency actions to take, according to corporate protocol.
Business continuity software can provide for risk and business impact assessment tools, plan-building tools, databases and collaborative planning tools, emergency notification and incident management tools. A number of vendors offer integrated modules from which to choose. A company’s BCP project may require only one or all types, depending on its current level of BC maturity and the features and scope of its proposed plan. By using such tools, even first-timers can take advantage of the planning methodologies of experienced business continuity planners.