This is the first in our four-part series, “Incident Management Systems: A Business Continuity Program Game-Changer.” The goal of the series is to help business continuity practitioners better understand the role of incident management software so they can evaluate how these tools might help boost program effectiveness. Here we will explore how incident management systems support the business continuity function and why adoption of these systems is growing at a fast pace.
Incident Management Systems may be the best kept secret in the business continuity world. Organizations that have deployed these tools report 72% higher readiness than those who haven’t, yet there still remains widespread confusion about what and who incident management systems are for. This confusion has slowed system adoption and advancement of overall business continuity program maturity.
According to a 2014 Disaster Recovery Preparedness benchmark survey, 75% of companies worldwide are failing at disaster readiness. Industry-wide, there are many indicators that we have a long way to go.
Over half of all companies with established BC programs have no metrics in place for tracking success, and less than half are doing regular test exercises of their business continuity plans. Crisis or incident management (C/IM) systems can dramatically impact this trend. These tools are proven to boost BC/DR program success by:
- Standardizing processes
- Simplifying team training and test exercises
- Speeding access to plans and templates
- Improving communication speed and accuracy
Poised For Growth
In mid-2014, Gartner issued a Hype Report covering a wide variety of Continuity Management and IT Disaster Recovery Solutions. They rated the usefulness of C/IM Software at HIGH citing how these systems help organizations C/IM solutions, Gartner focused on the following benefits:
- Tracking/Management of workforce actions in response to an incident
- Managing crisis communications
- Effective response plan repository
- Simplifies training exercises
- Speeds workforce scheduling
- Supports regulatory reporting
They estimated that 35% of business continuity programs have already adopted incident management systems and predicted that these tools are poised for mainstream adoption by 2019.
Need for Better Process Standardization
The business continuity industry has long understood that lack of formal processes is an impediment to program success. In 2012 after a multi-year planning process, ISO 22301 was launched based on recognition of the need to create and ensure adoption of a set of standards for successful business continuity management. C/IM software is the best tool available to BC programs to speed adoption of a standardized approach and to ensure that plans that have been developed are actually put in use when an incident occurs.
Next in our series, “Incident Management Systems: A Business Continuity Program Game-Changer”, we will attempt to separate myth from fact in terms of what C/IM systems do and who can benefit from them. To learn more, download the full white paper or request a demo.