Business continuity doesn’t stop with the production of a shiny, new BC strategy, but has to go further, to include business continuity test scenarios. The big challenge here is to overcome complacency in the organisation. This can happen at the planning stage where an “it’ll be alright on the night” attitude is common. It can also arise when test scenarios are enacted, and the “fire drill syndrome” sets in: employees aren’t too worried if the numbers aren’t exact at the muster points, and there’s always someone who found time to grab a coffee from the machine on the way out. But a new BCM approach based on mobiles may help.
Archive for the ‘Business Continuity Software’ Category
In this age of connectedness, welcome to the business continuity plan app. While an “app” can refer to any software that runs on a desktop or notebook computer, a tablet or a smartphone, it’s the smartphone app in particular that concerns us here. Although the devices listed above use different operating systems, Internet technology sometimes masks these differences. However, we’re talking about an application that’s native to a smartphone, and not a web-enabled application running on a server somewhere that you happen to access via the browser in your smartphone. So why is it important to make this distinction?
Why make smartphone business continuity software? Because the smartphone is an easy-to-use tool that’s growing in use by leaps and bounds – already an estimated 450 million smartphone owners in 2011 among literally billions of mobile phone users – and it fits in your pocket. When that fire alarm goes off, it’s a lot easier to grab your smartphone as you head for the emergency exit, than scrabbling to find paper manuals or grappling with your notebook PC. But standardising on smartphones as a BC tool also means answering the following questions: can you rely on people to have their smartphones when disaster strikes? And what in particular do smartphones bring to business continuity that other computing devices cannot?
Making the most of the compactness, computing power and ease of use of smartphones, OpsCentre now has a new smartphone app for business continuity plans. Named MIRA for “Mobile Incident Response Application”, the app makes the most of the features on smartphones that are absent in other computing platforms. Paper-based or even PC-based systems, which remain relatively static, cannot provide the same solutions to different challenges of a disaster situation. For example: what possibilities do you have for immediately locating different members of your organisation? And how can you contact them instantaneously to update them and track recovery progress?
Much of the difficulty of effective business continuity planning lies in the fact that you need to make detailed plans for things not to happen, rather than just for things to happen. This means the strength of mind necessary for delving into the detail of scenarios that may never come up and simulating situations that may never arise. It also means the leadership qualities to attract and federate, from a business continuity point of view, followers across the whole organisation. It’s a challenge of “distributed detail” and it shows up in at least two key parts of the business continuity planning process.
LDRPS is one of SunGard’s solutions. It’s the word “living” that has particular significance . Static systems don’t suffice. Not only are disasters often unpredictable, but their nature and scope also change over time. Yesterday’s fire is not the same as tomorrow’s flooding. Any approach to disaster recovery has to remain flexible enough to take account of such changes. To paraphrase Eisenhower, the business continuity plan is nothing – but the business continuity planning is everything. What is key is adjusting continually to changes in situations and environments, and having the tools to do this efficiently and effectively.
Any time you have more individual business continuity plans than you can count on the fingers of one hand, it’s time to think about using the right IT tools. And if you’re supporting hundreds of locations, thousands of users and thousands of plans, it’s clearly no longer an option, but a necessity. That’s where the “living” part of a disaster recovery planning system is so important. After the first stage where a planning system helps to create preparedness plans for all departments in an organization, it then also has to empower you to centrally develop and manage ongoing business continuity planning.
A business continuity plan can’t be frozen, because disasters are not frozen either and neither are the environments in which they can happen. Impacts and therefore the need for continuity planning can be felt at an employee productivity level, but also at a site, a product and even a market level. There are multiple parameters whose values can change over time. That’s what accounts for the frequently high number of plans to be managed. What’s good about a solution like SunGard LDRPS is that the word “living” in its name also corresponds to its functionalities for making plans evolve in synchronisation with the changes in the BC environment.
For more information: http://www.opscentre.com/business_continuity_software.htm
BC Management’s 9th Annual BCM Study received over 2,644 study participants, the weekly BCM Research Data Point is: What percent of organizations utilize a software tool for their business continuity management program? Which software tools are the primary providers?
According to the study results, 50.5% of organizations utilize a software tool. The study results highlight the following primary providers:
- LDRPS (SunGard) – 62.01%
- BIA Professional (SunGard) – 37.73%
- E-Team (NC4) – 10.55%
- Web EOC Professional 7.0 (ESi) – 8.44%
For the full survey results, see http://www.bcmanagement.com/1/post/2011/01/weekly-bcm-research-data-point18.html
SunGard’s Business Continuity Software User Group Forum is being held on 17-19 April 2011 in San Diega, California.
The keynote speaker is Admiral Thad Allen, a retired Coast Guard Admiral who is best known for his widely praised performance directing responses to Hurricane Katrinia and Rita in the US Gulf Coast region. Also as National Incident Commander for the Unified Command for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Click on the following link to view a video message from of Admiral Allen. VIDEO
To register or for further information on the conference go to this website http://sungardas.cvent.com/d/gdq5nq
Research study finds SunGard’s BIA Professional and LDRPS is the most widely used Business Continuity SoftwareThursday, February 3rd, 2011
Results released from BC Management Inc’s 9th Annual BCM Study of over 2,644 study participants finds that SunGard’s BIA Professional and LDRPS is the most widely used Business Continuity Software.
For more information read on here.
OpsCentre is the Master Distributor for Australia\New Zealand for the SunGard business continuity software suite.
Your organisation has changed and you are finding that the current “paper-based” planning methodology no longer is fit for purpose.
If you recognise any of the following items familiar, it may be time to invest in a business continuity software planning solution:
1. Are your plans hard to maintain and have numerous areas for updates?
2. Would the volume of updates and changes be better suited to the functionality of a relational database?
3. Does your organisation have numerous Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery stakeholders that are required to provide input and updates to the plans?
4. Is the import of your Business Impact Analysis (BIA) information a manual process taking significant time and effort to complete?
5. Is it difficult to provide granular reporting to Senior Management and auditors?
6. Is additional plan security required?
7. Are some sections of the plans “off limits” to certain groups or business units?
8. Is Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery exercising and training difficult to organise and complete?
9. Does your current plan require greater geographical coverage for your branch offices?
10. Are updates completed in a scheduled manner (or 1 week prior to an audit or test)?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, odds are that a more sophisticated Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery planning tool may be of use to the maintenance and health of your management program.
The best part is that this is not a “throw the baby out with the bathwater” scenario. Some of the better planning tools allow for the import of completed planning data directly into the software tool, retaining all of your previously completed hard work .
Time spent evaluating a Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery software planning tool may benefit your constantly changing and evolving plans and be of great value to your organisation.
ESi (SunGard’s Technology Partner) have deployed their WebEOC product to manage the Command Centre in the Haitian Embassy in Washington D.C.
WebEOC is the underlying technology on which SunGard’s Incident Manager product is built. SunGard builds customized boards on top of the WebEOC platform.
Incident Manager allows you to respond to incidents in “real time” without requiring participants to be in the same room using a virtual emergency operations centre (EOC).
Read the full article here.
For a record 6th time SunGard Availability Solutions is Business Continuity Service Provider of the Year (2009), added to their previous 10 short-lists, 11 nominations and the 10 year award in 2008 this continues to demonstrate their commitment to service.
OpsCentre is proud to be the master distributor in Australia and New Zealand for the market leader in business continuity software.
Many organisations utilise software to create, support, maintain, distribute and test their Business Continuity Plans and ensure business survival in any emergency. Regardless of size, most companies can benefit greatly from the use of Business Continuity software and many options exist for its implementation and plan maintenance strategies. Some of the direct benefits that Business Continuity software can provide an organisation are as follows:
• Conducting and automating the business impact analysis (BIA) process
• Applying relational database architectures to manage plan updates quickly and efficiently, keep documentation “alive” and synchronize it with interfacing applications (e.g. automatically updating plan emergency contact lists with employees’ latest contact information when the corporate employee database changes).
• Distributing Business Continuity Plans to each business unit for training, testing and other implementation events
• Providing document-format questionnaires to ensure thorough analysis and response planning.
• Prompt notification to employees of emergency actions to take, according to corporate protocol.
Business continuity software can provide for risk and business impact assessment tools, plan-building tools, databases and collaborative planning tools, emergency notification and incident management tools. A number of vendors offer integrated modules from which to choose. A company’s BCP project may require only one or all types, depending on its current level of BC maturity and the features and scope of its proposed plan. By using such tools, even first-timers can take advantage of the planning methodologies of experienced business continuity planners.