Throughout the site, I have clearly professed my belief that technology provides value that is not attainable from siloed word processing and spreadsheet entities. Word processing documents and spreadsheets have their value, but not as the cornerstones of a mid to enterprise size resilience program, in my opinion.
Let us begin our discussion at a high level defining my three technology pillars. In other posts on Ultimate Business Continuity I will serve up tips on automating phases of your program and offer a scrumptious buffet of current and future technologies that can ignite your program for years to come. I also provide you with the questions I always ask when researching and vetting prospective technology vendor solutions. These powerful tools can also help us produce opportunities ‘far beyond BC’ value, which management loves and makes us indispensable.
In my opinion listed below are three major technology components you should consider incorporating into your program:
- A robust situational awareness tool-set. This can be from one vendor or a mixture of commercial and free tools. You must understand your surroundings and what can impact your business and employees. This information is critical to employee safety and potentially the sustainability of your business! Great situational awareness tools go beyond just serving up alerts after they happen. Some use predictive analytics and machine learning to help us ‘see the future’.
- A powerful and easy-to-use business continuity management (BCM) system to centralize all entities that comprise your program. In scope for centralization are BIA’s, RA’s, Plans, Testing, Maintenance and Assessments. The system can also be leveraged by other teams such as Safety, Security and most definitely IT, Cyber Security and Compliance/Audit. This corpus of data will provide insight far beyond the individual parts. You will be able to derive unique insights in the workings of your company. You might be able to spread the cost of a great system over many departments rather than solely from your budget. Importantly, this central repository is a great ‘data silo’ breaker!!!
- A powerful intelligent mass-notification tool that empowers your organization to send hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of consistent interactive notifications to employees or customers. The ability for the recipients to respond is critical for you and management to understand in real-time where employees need assistance.
If you implement these three pillar components they can be epic in elevating your program to ‘near’ world-class’. You will be able to serve your corporation in a highly efficient way.
Yes, I said ‘near world-class’. In order to get to Marty’s ‘top-of-the-mountain world-class’ status it is not easy, but well worth it. Here is what I currently demand of my programs:
- Each of the three pillars must be benefit laden for your company. Forget the worthless bells and whistles.
- Each pillar must give the end-user a great experience. Each must provide a user experience that is simple, elegant, clean and rewarding. If the tools are complicated, convoluted and ‘kludgy’ people will not use them – including your team.
- The three pillars must complement each other. They must make each other better. The sum of the trifecta must be greater than the individual parts.
The three components must behave like a championship sports team. Every professional team has great athletes but to be a championship team, the players must make each other better. This would include talking on defense and passing the ball to people where they can do the most with it. I coached youth basketball for many years and my best teams were easily the ones where the players made each other better. The ones that had a selfish ‘superstar’ and minimal teamwork fell by the wayside. Your technology tools must play as a championship team!
Tip – When you speak with vendors about their solutions ask them how they integrate with other systems. Have them provide examples, case-studies and white-papers. We discuss system integration further in the post, Let’s Get Visionary.
Please keep in mind there are many other important technologies we discuss on Ultimate Business Continuity but let’s make sure we have the three pillars in place as a foundation or at least consider their value. We can then add all sorts of beneficial technologies including some amazing Internet of Things tentacles.