In this age of connectedness, welcome to the business continuity plan app. While an “app” can refer to any software that runs on a desktop or notebook computer, a tablet or a smartphone, it’s the smartphone app in particular that concerns us here. Although the devices listed above use different operating systems, Internet technology sometimes masks these differences. However, we’re talking about an application that’s native to a smartphone, and not a web-enabled application running on a server somewhere that you happen to access via the browser in your smartphone. So why is it important to make this distinction?
The first reason is that an app designed to run directly (“native”) on a smartphone can provide a better user experience than accessing a website even when that website has been specifically designed for mobile access. The second is that a native app, in particular a native business continuity plan app, can take advantage of functions that are built into smartphones, such as geo-localisation (so you can locate people in an emergency) and SMS (so you can contact them instantaneously). The possibility of being able to “push” information to smartphones anytime they’re connected to a mobile network is a key advantage for business continuity.
This is why OpsCentre has built MIRA (Mobile Incident Response Application), which is a business continuity plan app running in native mode on the major smartphone platforms of the Apple iPhone, Google Android and RIM Blackberry. This is no trivial task: each smartphone platform needs to have an app specifically built or adapted to it, unlike a mobile website that requires no special adaptation. However, the popularity of these platforms and the extended functionality available more than justifies the additional development effort. The increased effectiveness of such an app for users means an even better success rate in keeping their organisation running even if disaster strikes.