Business Continuity Planning (BCP) – is a critical business process which companies have been investigating and adopting in increasing numbers. It’s vital that businesses can operate in any condition and that they won’t be affected by disasters, such as the loss of their facility or critical business systems. One of the steps in implementing a successful protection strategy involves deciding on whether to use BCP software or BCP templates.
The decision between templates and software can be a tough one to make since whichever one you choose, you’ll be using and relying on for a long time. To help you we’ve covered some pros and cons on both choices here for you today:
Using BCP Software
If you choose to go with a BCP software application, you will probably follow wizards that walk you through the whole process allowing you to develop a useable plan. Another benefit of using software is that you’ll also be able to develop reports.
The drawbacks of using software include cost, inflexibility and learning time. For the most part, business continuity planning software is not cheap, and at times can be inflexible due to limits within the program. And if you have a niche need, the BCP software may not cover it or give it any special consideration. In addition, as with mastering any program, the learning curve can be quite steep.
In general, using software would be advantageous for companies that have a bigger budget for the development of a continuity plan. Software is also a good bet if you don’t have staff who are experts in continuity planning, or if you operate in an industry where having a continuity plan is necessary, e.g., companies with industry or regulatory compliance requirements in the healthcare, insurance, or manufacturing sectors, or companies that have introduced ISO 9000 controls and requirements.
Using BCP Templates
If you feel that your company is not ready for software you can use templates to help you develop your plan. These solutions are mostly written plans that you adapt to meet your business needs. They’re useful if you’re just starting to do continuity planning, as they provide a normally solid foundation, and are generally a lot cheaper than software.
A limitation to using templates is that they can be a little too basic at times, and may not meet both your near term or long term needs. Granted, most plans will follow a basic structure and your developer will need to adapt some steps for your relevant region and industry.
As each industry is different, it’s hard to make a recommendation on what type of planning style companies should take. We recommend you take your time, do your due diligence and weigh out what’s best for your business. No matter which method you choose to go ahead with, ensure that it’s easy to implement, and that you’ll be able to teach your staff how to run the plan.
If you feel really lost or are not sure what to do, talking to professional consultants could go a long way in helping you develop a plan. If you’d like to learn more about business continuity planning please contact the Virtual Density BCP team – we would be very happy to have the chance to help you.