Business continuity is joining many other enterprise applications and processes by adopting electronic storage and cloud computing as a means of retaining and maintaining a dynamic corporate continuity platform. Far from the days of static, paper-based business continuity plans stored in an archive that were accessed once per year, electronic continuity plans are always available and adaptable to changing situations and environments.
“We’re even seeing business continuity plans being stored in the cloud, on a secure, third-party server to ensure these plans are readily available anywhere, at all times and on any device,” says ContinuitySA consultant, Karen Humphris. “By moving to a software-based BCM tool, businesses can develop a dynamic, ever-evolving business continuity plan that meets their current needs instead of the requirements of a company that existed a year ago.” Humphris says the measurable value in moving to electronically based, software-driven business continuity plans include the following benefits:
- Consistency: Electronic programmes ensure a consistent approach to BCM throughout the organisation based on the latest guidelines and standards. Every department will access the same policies and procedures and will always have the latest continuity processes to work with. A person or a team may be responsible for maintaining the system, ensuring a single update is automatically disseminated through the company immediately.
- Dynamic: The information can be dynamically managed and maintained. Even small changes in departments will be recognised and automatically incorporated into the corporate business continuity plans.
- Analysis: Electronically stored business continuity data is easier to analyse from a business intelligence perspective than collating piles of paper. This forms a secure and informed foundation to enhance decision-making.
- Accessibility: Using a hosting function (cloud computing) or Web-based approach ensures that information is available from any location and at any time, even during a disaster. Moreover, a Web-based approach means the relevant people can access the system from almost any device with an Internet connection.
- Green: In this age of environmental sensitivity, reducing the amount of paper-based processes within a company can only be beneficial and support other green initiatives within the organisation, helping to reduce its carbon footprint.
By Rebecca Warsop, Warstreet Marketing