The value of automating repetitive BCM communications tasks

The business case for BCM automation
Andrew Fry - VP Asia

The business case for BCM automation

In addition to increasing economic, environmental and technological challenges to business continuity, hyper-connectivity means more companies now manage risk across international operations, or supply chains and customer bases that span multiple, diverse regions.

The complexity of risk management across such diverse landscapes and operating environments means that traditional, manual BCM processes are difficult to execute at scale, and are often too costly to justify more than occasional exercises, potentially leaving the business exposed.

For many, the benefits of a BCM automation platform considerably outweigh the initial cost of purchasing and integrating these advanced solutions.

Why automate repetitive communications tasks?

BCM Automation helps focus manual efforts on managing the exception or edge scenarios and business continuity outcomes, rather than managing the process.

During a test, much of the manual effort is directed at receiving acknowledgement from those staff who have not been accounted for. During an activation, much of the manual effort is directed at activities that are notcritical to the actual impacted site or business recovery, such as basic staff queries, customer relations, media updates etc.

“More than 50% of organizations have adopted BCM automation technologies”

A 2015 Forrester study for the Disaster Recovery Journal shows that while the adoption of automated communication technologies has grown to 54 percent (up from 23% in 2010), a large percentage of organizations also continue to use a mix of highly manual communications modes. These include sending out corporate email (77 percent and manual call tree lists (69 percent).

The resulting workload means most organizations only test their BCPs once per year, with close to two-thirds reporting never running an organisation-wide full simulation, leaving the business at risk of being unable to execute under the pressure of actual critical incidents or disasters.

“Manual processes means most organizations only test their BCPs once per year, or never!”

The choice of continuing with manual processes or advancing to BCM automation platforms can be charted as a trade-off between the likelihood and consequences of catastrophic failure, vs the system investment, as shown in Figure 1 below.

BCM response and risk chart.png

BCM response and risk chart

Additionally, a triple benefit exists when making use of BCM automation platforms:

  1. Easier exercises lead to more frequent testing - improving resilience posture;
  2. Decreased time and cost of exercising;
  3. Speed organisational response and situational awareness during an activation, for reduced business and reputational risk

BCM automation, combined with advanced communication platforms, integrated to monitoring systems, allows interactive, cross-channel communications, comprehensive reporting and message delivery transparency for key staff and senior stakeholders, for increased organisational resilience.

Click here to read our full BCM Communications Guide, which also covers other strategic areas of effective, holistic business continuity management, including:

  • Empowerment;
  • Geo-Specificity;
  • Social Systems;
  • Proactivity;
  • Smartphone Capabilities;
  • Self-service Dashboards;

Download our full BCM 2017 Communications Guide.