Business continuity software can significantly streamline workflows, increase efficiency, and make it easier to actively maintain continuity programs.
For the modern enterprise that is truly invested in building a robust and effective business continuity function, these platforms are a necessity.
However, there are other tools and platforms that are equally important and should round out the continuity management function.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the most important tools that every business continuity function should have in their technology stack.
Types of Business Continuity Software
Let’s start by looking at the most relevant tool for business continuity managers:
Business Continuity Planning Suites
Business continuity management and planning software platforms are specifically designed to help continuity professionals stay productive and organized.
Though many organizations manually update Word documents or even offline files, this approach is simply too slow and inefficient for the modern enterprise. Plans can quickly become outdated and irrelevant – and using multiple software applications to maintain plans can be very ineffective and inefficient.
Business continuity management software removes these problems by centralizing critical software features into a single location.
Common features include:
- Automation of administrative tasks, such as reminder emails
- The ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
- Business impact analysis tools
- Risk and threat assessment tools
- Training and exercise features
- Creation and storage of procedure templates
- Incident management
- Connection to emergency notification systems
- Automate emergency notifications to staff and other parties
- Mobile functionality
Business continuity management professionals that work in this field full-time will certainly find a great deal of value in these types of business continuity platforms.
Since they are designed specifically for business continuity planning, these tools can significantly streamline workflows and improve productivity.
However, these tool suites are only one tool to include in one’s continuity toolbox.
IT Disaster Recovery Software
IT disaster recovery software, as the name implies, is specifically designed to help restore IT functionality after an IT failure or disruption.
Though some websites and professionals will call these platforms “business continuity platforms,” there is a significant difference.
IT disaster recovery software can include features such as:
- Backup and restoration
- Cloud storage and backup
- Centralized communication and notification features
A data recovery solution is imperative for virtually any modern business, since a data loss can quite literally spell disaster for the business itself.
These platforms can greatly improve a company’s ability to react to disruptions after the fact, but it is equally important to build digital resilience beforehand.
Digital Adoption Platforms
Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) enable business continuity and improve organizational resilience by continuously enhancing employees’ digital capabilities.
A more digitally mature organization will, after all, be more able to function during a wide variety of scenarios. The COVID-19 crisis of 2020, for instance, demonstrated the value of remote working and digital skills.
In short, digital skills improve digital resilience – and, in turn, organizational resilience.
Digital adoption platforms offer key features such as:
- Automated training that can be conducted directly inside an application, from any location. In-app walkthroughs take employees step-by-step through common workflows and tasks, showing them exactly which actions to take at each step. This type of functionality is essential for maintaining a remote workforce – one essential strategy for maintaining workforce productivity during disruptions that affect the physical workplace.
- Organization-wide notification and communication features. Platforms such as WalkMe allow organizations to broadcast notifications immediately to the entire user base or to specific user groups. These types of communications features are essential during times of crisis.
- Software interaction analytics that can offer insight into users’ software needs. Software analytics take the guesswork out of the development of training content. Training managers can see exactly how users interact with software, which allows them to pinpoint stumbling blocks and training needs.
Since these platforms can be operated remotely – and since they are largely automated – they can continually improve employees’ digital skills regardless of where they are located.
Organizational Resilience Software
Organizational resilience is, like business continuity, concerned with the mitigation of business disruptions.
However, there are many other ways to approach and improve an organization’s health and resilience. One way is to improve digital capabilities and skills, as we saw above.
Other useful software can include:
- Risk management platforms. These are specifically designed to assess, mitigate, and manage a wide variety of business risks.
- Emergency notification and response software. Notification platforms are designed to initiate and maintain communications during an emergency response.
- Incident management software. Incident management software helps professionals design, maintain, and implement incident and emergency response plans.
- HR platforms, organization-wide communication tools, and project management platforms. Smaller businesses may not have the budget or the need for some of the more specialized solutions listed here, but it is important to have tools that can deliver the same functionality.