Business continuity doesn’t stop with the production of a shiny, new BC strategy, but has to go further, to include business continuity test scenarios. The big challenge here is to overcome complacency in the organisation. This can happen at the planning stage where an “it’ll be alright on the night” attitude is common. It can also arise when test scenarios are enacted, and the “fire drill syndrome” sets in: employees aren’t too worried if the numbers aren’t exact at the muster points, and there’s always someone who found time to grab a coffee from the machine on the way out. But a new BCM approach based on mobiles may help.
It’s one of the aspects that make the MIRA (Mobile Incident Response Application) solution from OpsCentre attractive. This app, designed for the smartphone platforms of Google Android, Apple iPhone and RIM Blackberry devices, leverages the fact that people now invariably have their mobile phone on them or to hand at every moment of the day. As long as those mobiles correspond to one of the smartphones supported for MIRA, then business continuity can be assured independently of PCs, servers or printed manuals, and often more efficiently. The same is then true for business continuity test scenarios using mobiles.
Smartphones with an app like MIRA allow business continuity staff to redefine business continuity test scenarios, to monitor them in different ways as they are enacted and to effect changes in real time as the scenario unfolds. Redefinition of scenarios can start with policies such as “grab only your mobile and go” in response to emergency situations that are being simulated. Monitoring with two-way, instantaneous communication allows individuals or teams to report on situations, and geo-localisation means personnel can be located at any time. Changes can be effected by the use of SMS messages, handy for contacting several people at once, and immediate transmission of updates to the BC plan.