Managing Business Continuity (BCM) with the Help of BCM Software Solutions

In today's interconnected business world, there are exciting opportunities, but companies also face significant challenges. Supply chains are getting more complex, political uncertainties are rising, and unexpected events like pandemics or climate-related disasters can disrupt operations and suddenly threaten a company's continuity. To navigate this volatility and ensure your company stays stable and resilient, having an efficient Business Continuity Management system is crucial.

What Is Business Continuity Management?

Simply put, Business Continuity Management is a structured approach that helps companies keep their business running smoothly during disruptions or disasters. The goal is to develop plans and measures to actively prevent both known and unforeseen threats. BCM is built on the company's existing risk management, which identifies relevant risks in advance and assesses them in terms of likelihood and impact. In this regard, relevant risks are those that can negatively impact the operational processes of a company.

Thus, Business Continuity Management is, in its essence, a strategic process that prepares companies to handle any risk scenarios that could interrupt their essential business operations and put their financial future at risk. This means that BCM is not only focused on short-term responses to imminent risk situations but primarily aims to create a long-term strategy to be resilient against potential future challenges that might be overlooked without proper precautions.

Understanding the Importance of Business Continuity Management

The importance of Business Continuity Management for businesses cannot be emphasized enough. Having a solid defense against significant financial losses and maintaining a positive public image can be the key factors that determine whether a company thrives or faces insolvency. Here are the four main tasks and pillars of BCM:

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Ensuring Economic Capacity 
BCM can be understood as a form of safety net, ensuring the medium and long-term operational capability of a company. By averting existential threats that could otherwise lead to financial trouble or even insolvency, BCM makes it possible for business operations to continue with stable performance and minimal disruptions.

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Fostering Risk Awareness 
BCM makes sure that everyone on the team knows how to act in, and respond to, emergencies, leading to a better understanding of risks both inside and outside the company. A stable and well-prepared work environment not only makes everyone feel secure but also boosts motivation, making the company stronger and more resilient overall.

Strengthening Compliance
In the BCM process, emergency plans are created and tested for effectiveness. These plans follow proven methods outlined in certifications like ISO 9001 for Quality Management and ISO 27001 for Information Security, covering all the steps needed to meet external rules and compliance standards that apply to the company.

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Staying Ahead
BCM helps keep the trust of clients, suppliers, and investors. Being able to handle crises well has a positive effect on the company's reputation. Beyond attracting new clients, a good reputation helps show that the company is a reliable partner, able to offer services and products consistently even during challenging times – making it more competitive in the market.

What Standards Exist for BCM?

When dealing with Business Continuity Management in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), key standards to consider are ISO standards, particularly ISO 22301, and the BSI Standard 100-4. The latter is a 117-page implementation framework for BCM derived from the BSI IT Grundschutz (Basic Protection).

ISO 22301

ISO 22301 lays out standard requirements for Business Continuity Management (BCM), aiming to systematically enhance the resilience of organizations against operational disruptions and facilitate swift recovery in case of unforeseen events or emergencies. Imperative for businesses spanning various sizes and industries, this standard assumes increased significance in sectors prone to heightened risks, including but not limited to energy, finance, production, and transportation. The formidable impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic underscores the critical role of a robust BCM aligned with ISO 22301 as it has ability to safeguard assets and ensure the sustained vitality of businesses, even in the face of unprecedented challenges.

BSI 100-4

The BSI Standard 100-4 encompasses a comprehensive methodology for establishing, implementing, and continuously improving internal emergency management, especially against the background of growing risks that come with globalization and automation. The main aim is to help companies spot potential risks early on and implement preventive measures to ensure business continuity. The standard stresses the importance of collaboration between security and emergency management (ISMS & BCM) and highlights how Business Impact Analyses (BIA) are used to effectively pinpoint critical business processes. The implementation framework and its individual modules can be downloaded in German on the website of the Federal Office for Information Security.

Why Choose a BCM Software Solution?

In the implementation framework BSI 200-4, the significant benefits of using a dedicated Business Continuity solution are emphasized at several points. On page 98, we find the following statement: "The use of suitable software tools can significantly facilitate the activities of those involved in emergency organization". When picking a tool, it is particularly important to ensure that secure protocols are supported, that there is a well-thought-out authorization system, that all common IT security standards are adhered to, and that adjustments can me bade about how detailed the logs are.

Using a specialized BCM Software Solution offers a variety of advantages and will be a smart move for any company that is concerned about safeguarding its business continuity. The four most important benefits are summarized here:

Centralized Management
With BCM software, all risks, emergency plans, and measures can be conveniently managed in one central location. Especially growing companies that are bringing in new team members and are setting up shop in new places can use such software to streamline their processes and save valuable time.

Improved Collaboration
Business Continuity is more than just document management; it is about creating and sustaining a company-wide culture of preparedness. Software aids in clearly defining and assigning responsibilities within BCM, enhancing collaboration, optimizing crisis response, and boosting the company's resilience.

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Clear Reporting
Instead of long hours of manually inputting data into confusing Excel spreadsheets, BCM software allows for generating customized reports with just a click, saving precious time and resources. This not only improves the accuracy of reports but also helps decision-makers find well-informed solutions by giving them access to the latest data.

Strategic Planning
BCM software helps organizations identify critical processes and develop effective continuity strategies, enabling them to handle disruptions competently in the long term. This gives companies more flexibility and a clear picture of their risks and resources, allowing them to better prioritize and make informed decisions.

Tips for Introducing Business Continuity Management

Full Integration

Business Continuity Management is to be understood as a comprehensive management approach. Against this backdrop, companies should aim to foster close collaboration between different departments and across various levels of the organization right from the start. In addition to assigning central responsibilities, it is advisable to establish a multidisciplinary BCM team that monitors implementation processes and ensures that all relevant aspects are being considered.

Detailed Emergency Plans

In BCM, creating detailed emergency or continuity plans based on the identification and analysis of critical business processes is key. These plans should not only provide clear instructions for dealing with different scenarios but also undergo regular checks to ensure their efficacy in real-world situations. It is imperative that the plans remain agile and adaptive, staying in tune with any changes in business needs, industry dynamics, and the overall environmental landscape.

Continuous Optimization

Business Continuity Management is not a one-time activity but rather a continuous and integrated process that grows with an organization, contributing to a sustainable increase in maturity. In this context, it is advisable to conduct regular training for employees, simulate emergency situations, and assess the overall effectiveness of BCM. This allows companies to optimize  processes, make the right strategic decisions for the future, and steadily enhance their resilience over time.

Business Continuity Management with BIC GRC

Before companies decide on a BCM software solution, they should make sure that it meets their specific requirements.

With BIC Business Continuity, you have a ready-to-use BCM solution that is flexible and seamlessly integrates into your existing risk management.

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Simple Management
Benefit from a fully integrated solution with automatic incident notifications and quick activation options for stored emergency plans

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Meaningful Structuring
Systematically structure your business processes in a sophisticated asset hierarchy based on their priority and level of criticality to the business

Multidimensional Assessment
Assess potential emergencies based on severity, protection goals, and affected entities, allowing you to take the right precautions and measures.

Efficient Reporting
Generate clear BCM reports at the push of a button and present your documentation and assessment of emergency measures to management

Integrated BIA
Utilize the integrated Business Impact Analysis to determine the impact of emergency scenarios and effectively prioritize your resources

Continuous Improvement
Conduct automated, periodic reviews of your emergency measures, actively contributing to the ongoing and sustainable improvement of your BCM

Which BIC Solution Is Right for Me?

Be it a customized or ready-made solution – at GBTEC you will find the right software for your BCM targets. Our out-of-the-box solution BIC Business Continuity includes a comprehensive range of features that allow you to design your Business Continuity Management efficiently and effectively. If you prefer an individual approach, BIC Custom GRC gives you the opportunity to precisely reflect your specific requirements.

See for yourself and discover how our innovative solutions can help optimize your business processes and lead your company unscathed into the future.

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BIC Custom GRC

BIC Custom GRC offers flexible custom solutions that can be tailored to your unique processes.

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BIC Business Continuity

BIC Business Continuity is our intuitive standardized solution that meets common standards and is easy to implement. 

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