Customer responsiveness: those two words capture the Assurance Continuity Manager’s journey since its inception last year. The team I get to work and play with – product management, sales support, professional services, sales, and consulting – all embodies the spirit of customer engagement.
Are you evaluating new or replacement Business Continuity Management Planning (BCMP) software tools and finding your search stalled? Here’s my advice: Look beyond “what” functionality a product offers and consider “how” the vendor provides that functionality and where you want to take your program to gain an strategic and operational seat at the risk management table in your organization. Take a look at the “how” criteria and you just might find it becomes a lot easier to distinguish among your options and identify a clear winner.
We’re proud to be considered a recognized leader in a space where we’ve worked very hard to listen to the voice of the customer and respond to the needs of the market with agility and precision. Just what are those needs, and how can you differentiate among BCM solutions to make the right choice? It all comes back to the “how” – and the acknowledgment that the future of BCM is moving to a real-time interactive experience where organizations use BCM software daily as part of organizational risk management – not just at time of disaster!
The power in a BCMP tool lies in how people can use it and adapt it to their organizations’ specific needs. Businesses want BCM software that they easily can use and customize through a self-service model, rather than having to manage through cumbersome process of waiting for code changes. Companies also need tools that allow for ease of reporting and report modifications. They want BCM software that functions readily on mobile devices and offers a level of real-time analytics and interaction. In fact, Gartner notes, “Progressive BCMP tools are moving away from a static recovery plan document to real-time, interactive experience for planning, exercising, and plan invocation activities, as well as strong data analytics and visualization for BCM program management that can be integrated into an operational risk management program. Also C/IM functionality needs current-state modeling and future-state modeling, consequence analysis and management on the fly using data analysis from many disparate data feeds, as well as collaboration and communication capabilities as key functions.” 1
We’re proud to say that AssuranceCM hits the mark on key criteria for how organizations want to be able to use and update their BCMP tool for both basic planning as well as evolving their programs for the future. Gartner evaluated and positioned us highest on the execution axis.
If you’re evaluating BCMP software and your search seems to be sputtering, try taking a deeper dive into how your organization will actually use the tool. It’s time to go beyond the basic features and think broadly about your program and what you can get from your software investment. Will it be easy for business users (not IT staff) to use? Does your business continuity software promote the following:
• Engagement – can everyone participate in identifying key risks and planning?
• Awareness – of both internal changes as well as external indicators so you can react ahead of a crisis. It’s time for modern real-time analytics and visualization to be part of your BC program.
• Effectiveness – are your stakeholders getting the insights they need and the confidence that you can recover?
As a BC/DR professionals you lead the program for your organization – capabilities such as intuitive work-flow, simple customization and dynamic reporting make your lives a little easier in getting buy-in for your efforts. At Sungard Availability Services – we are proud to be working with our client community and responding to their vision of effective continuity programs. With a more thorough, use-based analysis, you might find that one tool begins to stand out from the pack.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
1. Magic Quadrant for Business Continuity Management Planning Software, Published:27 August, 2014. Analysts: Roberta Witty, John Morency, page 3.↩