As more companies work to develop business continuity and disaster recovery plans, a report found that not all have considered what impact social media could have as a tool for them to mass-communicate during disaster scenarios. The use of social media could add a new wrinkle to the BCDR plans IT managed services providers help their clients develop.
Companies at risk of being ‘anti-social’
A recent survey from PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that firms have made significant strides in using business continuity management to address company risks. For example, PwC’s Business Continuity Management service leader, Phil Samson, said that enterprises have now incorporated risk management into this practice – rather than treating it as an “insurance exercise or IT responsibility.”
Yet one component of comprehensive risk management addresses how businesses are able to communicate threats and their resolution to clients. In the past few years, social media has become a greater part of this process, but the study found that few firms are actually incorporating the channel in business continuity programs.
In fact, in the study of 300 professionals, 57 percent said they do not use social media to address risk. Furthermore, fewer than 10 percent said they use the channel to identify and respond to threats.
“We’re telling our clients that they must first look through their crisis communication plan for ways to use social media as an effective communication channel,” Samson said in a statement. “Then, they should look at the more likely crisis and risk scenarios and determine if social media could be used to facilitate crisis identification, internal and external communications, and recovery coordination efforts.”
Regardless of social media, business continuity management can be complex and often confusing. Thus, many companies are turning to third-party providers, with 64 percent revealing they use one or more third parties as part of their organizations’ overall management programs and 83 percent of those respondents claiming to be involved in identifying and planning for the loss of third-party vendors.
As a result, companies are looking for reliable vendors – ones who will prove resilient in today’s market. Managing vendor resiliency has become a central practice, with 44 percent of companies doing so in a centralized fashion.
“In the past, companies built a structured script and walked through a specific scenario, but now they are realizing that real life crisis events don’t happen that way. They are now looking at how to make crisis management plans much more flexible and capable of handling longer lasting crisis events,” asserted Samson.
Businesses and stakeholders are placing greater importance on adapting their solutions to a changing data and security environment. For MSPs and VARs, the results of this study signal an increasing opportunity to appeal to enterprises and support their business continuity management goals. With the increasing variety of products available to manage risk while containing costs, MSPs and VARs are situated in new and vital ways to help firms secure their data and business processes.