The Advantage of Business Continuity Planning Platform

Blog
Nov 2, 2020
Olga Hout

 The business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) software market is currently flooded with varying degrees of continuity manager software that can all perform roughly the same tasks. However, some tools offer such unique features as historical data, templates, or an embedded consultant. Having a Business Continuity Plan is vital for your organization. In this blog post, we’ll explain the three of the most valuable features you should look for in your business continuity planning software. 

What Is a Continuous BIA?

A Business Impact Analysis is necessary to establish parameters within your organization to better estimate an incident, the best solution to get your company back on its feet, and how fast you would need to recover.

A BIA can be updated regularly so you can ensure compliance with your industry’s regulations and maintain a well-developed plan to coincide with your business’s growth and expansion. It will retain the data from your last update, never resetting or deleting. The interaction that software provides can far outweigh that of a one-time-use template.

How Does a Continuous BIA Keep You Compliant?

No matter the industry, regulations exist to ensure quality, safety, and best practices. These guidelines are also associated with large penalties and fees for not meeting minimum compliance requirements. With only a few exceptions, every business is required to have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP). Unlike simple template forms, a continuous BIA allows you to keep your BCDR plan up to date on compliance and government regulations.

By having software that can track your plan's completion, you can see your progress towards being compliant. Also, because of the user's control to update and revise continuity goals, you’ll be able to easily incorporate new regulations as they arise.

How Does a Continuous BIA Accommodate Growth and Expansion?

Profit and customer growth are universal business goals driven by passion and ambition. Thus, businesses are constantly evolving to the trends of their consumers’ markets to expand reach into new territories.

These expansions could mean new software applications, upgraded tools and equipment, or even an increase in employees. To keep up with your business's movement and maintain a well-developed and up-to-date BC/DR plan, having the capability to continually update your business's BIA is crucial.

Develop, Execute & Share your BCP in One Central Platform 

The path ahead for modern businesses is laid through uncertainty caused by rising disruptions, including pandemics, cyberattacks, social unrest, and the growing frequency of natural disasters. Increased scrutiny from regulators, higher expectations from the clients, and evolving technology require developing a robust BCP and BIA. However, not every business finds itself in the mature stages of business resilience, yet operations must run smoothly. Agility Planner offers the tools to simplify and streamline business continuity planning while letting you focus on what matters the most—your people's safety.

Streamline BC planning and training

The risks caused by recent events have renewed the industry focus on exposures associated with pandemics, weather-related disruptions, and supply-chain resilience. This is where planning and training components of software come into play. Such functionality ensures that employees know exactly how to respond in an emergency, and management can make sure everything is in place to navigate successfully through the next incident.

The planning part of the software must support the continuous revision of requirements and the dissemination of new guidelines as the business evolves, new threats emerge, and new compliance standards are implemented. Organizations taking advantage of business continuity software will find it more efficient to revise planning requirements and implement them across the enterprise than those companies that use templates for word processing or spreadsheet programs.

Agility Planner is a Business Continuity planning and preparation tool that streamlines, simplifies, and supports your BC management process. The Planner has been developed to offer managers tasked with creating a BCP access to the historical data and knowledge collected over the past 30 years to help you develop, execute, and share BC strategy documents. Planner's embedded consultant will guide you along the way as you answer simple questions about your business to create a custom-made BCP. 

Directly through Agility Portal, Agility Planner grants anytime, anywhere access to your business continuity strategy, allowing you to: 

  • Quickly adjust to organizational changes
  • Streamline planning and training
  • Support BC metrics' development
  • Drive BC program commitment, innovation, and advancement 

Define Critical Processes & Build the Team

It's not an easy task to centralize BCP development processes under one roof. Having a platform that streamlines creating a BC plan and offers functionality to keep the entire team engaged allows staying focused on other mission-critical assignments. Define critical processes and determine priority to begin your BIA development.

build your BC team

With Agility Planner, you can make it easy for the entire organization to be involved in the business continuity strategy. Help create a company-wide culture of preparedness, promote leadership’s buy-in, and increase organizational resilience. 

assign tasks in Agility Planner

Using a built-in calendar reminder, ensure timely execution of all tasks and quickly adjust to organizational changes, and assign tasks so that your team members stay on track with their projects.

Business continuity software can help you decentralize your BCP by assigning users responsibility for entering, maintaining, and updating their information. Doing so reiterates the importance of their role and encourages their involvement in BCM as the process becomes much easier. The amount of administrative workload will significantly reduce, and you will have more time to improve the strategy rather than enforce that everyone abides by it.

Build a Plan, Train Your Team, Test Your Plan 

The hardest part about developing a BCP or BIA is getting started with a blank sheet. Agility Planner helps you accelerate the process by offering templates pre-populated with necessary information and processes from 30+ years of BC expertise. Besides that, all of you BC processes and documents are neatly organized in one central place and will serve as a single source of truth for your organization. 
As you're getting started, Planner's embedded consultant will guide you through a quick process during which you'll answer brief questions about your business. As a result, you'll have a custom-built plan, and you can always develop additional plans to help your organization remain compliant.  

generate data and determine RTO

A dashboard built within BC software enables you to monitor and measure performance and metrics in real-time, determine your company's RTO, and easily create an executive summary of the process to share with company stakeholders. Data visualization provides an executive summary of the process, and displayed data gains valuable insight and allows for informed decision making. 

Manually gathering data from multiple documents to develop metrics is an arduous task. If there’s no platform, the generation of metrics won’t be frequent enough to provide value. Besides, if data must be compiled manually, there is a much higher risk of error. Strategy development can become hindered if there's no confidence in data accuracy and its ability to speak on behalf of the entire organization. Management may be reluctant or unwilling to act on the information.

As business continuity tools promote summary reporting, the leadership team can further change the organizational culture by acting on the data gathered and addressing exposures. If the change has been the result of the data insights, a person responsible for BC planning will see their work's direct value and view the effort to create a resilient culture as sustained.

Execute Your Strategy & Validate the Process

As your company goes through the inevitable changes, it accumulates complex reports that summarize business continuity information. Needless to say, the leadership team that’s interested in building a resilient business requires an enterprise-level view of the current state of preparedness to determine program direction.

validate the BC process

With the help of Agility Planner, the arduous process of BCP creation is broken down into simple, actionable steps, allowing you to identify missing components and develop a recommended roadmap to help address any gaps in your plan. You are also given unique access to more than 30 years of industry expertise under one roof to help you design a BC strategy that's right for your business.

 

 

 

Olga Hout