Business continuity management (BCM) software helps organizations efficiently plan for enterprise risks so they can keep business and critical functions operational when faced with disruptions or disasters. According to our 2019 Business Continuity Benchmark Study, nearly two-thirds of organizations use a commercial or custom business continuity management system.If you’re part of the BC management team or play a role in BC for your organization, you know how valuable and effective business continuity management (BCM) software is, and likely understand the role it plays in managing your BC program components.
If you’re like some organizations, once you have a specialized software or application in place, you may be hesitant to make changes or closely evaluate how well it is or isn’t working for your needs. That’s because it often takes more time, more resources, and more money to evaluate thoroughly.
This approach, however, is counterintuitive to the risk assessment mindset that’s an important part of your BC program success.
When was the last time your organization evaluated your BCM software and your vendor relationship?
Here are 5 ways your current BCM software may not be meeting all your needs and why it may be time to consider a new solution:
1. You’ve outgrown the software’s capabilities and the vendor can’t or won’t keep up
BCM software companies routinely get requests to enhance or improve their existing software or expand their toolsets. Many don’t have the financial or resource breadth needed for additional software development or new tools to meet client needs. Others may not own the platform their software is built on, which removes or limits their level of control for making changes or advancements—even when the software (and you) needs it.
Further, some vendors will cater to their top clients’ requests for enhancements, which may not always be suitable for the rest of the install base—or the vendor can’t or won’t cater to their top clients’ needs.
Customer ideas and feedback are often weighed against product roadmaps and development costs. Some vendors reduce these costs by using third-party components or not offering features altogether, knowing you will need additional tools to fill those gaps. That often means customers’ needs and wish-lists get ignored.
- Is your voice being heard?
- Does your BCM software partner have a program to actively engage with you about enhancements?
- Do you have an input in future development?
Your vendor should have a strong customer program that works closely with you to get feedback about changes or improvements you want in the platform. This helps BCM vendors produce the best product possible for all of its users.
Also, the potential risks associated with these third-party solutions should not be ignored. It could mean your software vendor doesn’t have the ability to ensure stability and prioritize enhancements and fixing bugs, leaving your BC program exposed to additional risks.Need help on how to evaluate your vendor’s risk resiliency? Check out: How to Ramp Up Vendor Risk Resiliency.
2. You have to do manual work outside the core application
The recent 2019 Business Continuity Benchmark Study revealed that while most organizations use a commercial or custom BC software system, many also supplement that system with standard office applications such as spreadsheets and static, text-based documents. That’s often because their existing BC software doesn’t provide all the solutions and services they need.
Surprisingly, nearly half of small organizations forego BC software altogether and use standard office applications as their primary BC systems.
- Are you forced to do too much work outside of your BCM application (in Word, Excel, etc.)?
- Do you spend a lot of time and resources gathering data, doing manual imports, and then reformatting?
Your BC software should be agile enough to grow with your business needs, eliminating the need to constantly tap into additional resources or outside components. Assurance Connect, for example, offers pre-built, two-way connections for common applications and is used in conjunction with more than 100 complementary systems.
3. Little, no, or poor communication from your vendor
Has your vendor lost touch with your needs?
- Did they stop communicating with you and don’t let you know about new features, downtown for updates, or changed functionality?
- Worse yet, did your vendor suddenly have an identity crisis and is now promoting itself as the next big solution for a new industry problem while you still need help solving the issues that brought you to them in the first place?
This could be an indication your vendor’s direction isn’t right for you.
Compounded, if your phone stops ringing and you’re no longer getting news and updates, your vendor may have communication issues. If you don’t hear from your vendor periodically during business hours, what’s going to happen if you have a crisis and need help late at night or on the weekends?
4. No around-the-clock crisis or customer support
Your BCM software vendor should provide live crisis support 24x7x365. You should always get the highest level of customer support and know, with confidence, you can activate your BC or disaster recovery (DR) plans immediately, any time.
If you need help, this fundamental support should be just a call away. Seek out a vendor who has an HDI-certified customer support team and look for those that have a team of experts primed with resources and networking connections to help ensure the success of your BC program.
And, as you change and grow as an organization, make sure your vendor is supporting that growth.
- Are you offered additional resources, learning events, or programs to support your success?
- How about additional value-added services such as webinars, whitepapers, case studies, and blogs?
- Is your vendor considered an industry thought leader?
If not, you may want to seek a vendor who is better poised to help you constantly grow, learn, and improve your BC program.
5. No analytics to support improvement
You know the most successful BC and DR plans are routinely reviewed, evaluated, tested, and updated.
- Does your vendor offer insight and analytics on your key BC program components so you can gauge your program’s effectiveness and pinpoint plans that need improvement?
A robust BCM software tool can give you the ability to look into your data to evaluate program health, data health, and system health. If you can’t see into your data, or the system is just too complex or too confusing to use, you’re probably not getting everything you need (and deserve) from your BCM application.
Scale with the Right Partner
Seek a vendor who is your partner, who makes information easily accessible and supports you with routine evaluations and improvements.
These are just few ways your existing BCM vendor may not be meeting all your needs. Think it’s time to re-evaluate? Check out these 5 assessment tips and read more about the critical questions you should ask when evaluating BCM software vendors.
To see Assurance in action, check out our recorded demo:
Topics: Business Continuity
Written by Assurance Software
Assurance Software takes your company’s enterprise-wide business continuity and resiliency program to the next level. With Assurance as your go-to partner for continuity and resilience, you can confidently mitigate risk, manage recovery, and safeguard your employees, customers, operations and brands.