When you’ve implemented business continuity plan best practices in your organisation, the next logical step is to automate them. The assumption is of course that you really do have best practices in place; otherwise automation will simply help you to be wrong more efficiently. In addition, BCM automation has a way of unexpectedly bringing things to upper management’s attention, so you’ll want to be sure that your BC planning has a solid foundation and sensible execution first of all. If this is the case, then there are two good reasons for automating.
The first is in the organization of the business continuity planning. Whether you use readily available office automation software (spread sheets, text-processing files, project management software or similar) or specific BCM tools, you can centralise information in a structured way and be sure of accessing and working on the current version – at least, as long as you also continue to do your regular data back-ups, which are part of your business continuity plan best practice! The advantage of software tools designed for BCM in particular is that they include standard BCM principles and processes that you would otherwise have to construct manually.
The second is in terms of the distribution of business continuity plans to those who need them. Purpose-built BCM planning tools score by already having BCM functionality built in. Depending on the software package you choose, you’ll find capabilities like automatic reminders to the people in the organisation responsible for updating their part of the plan, and links to other databases for automatic synchronisation when information like employee contact details changes. Updated versions of the BC plan can be distributed to key business continuity operatives via different media; this includes mobile devices to ensure that business continuity plan best practice can continue wherever those people are.