8 Features to Look for in a Business Continuity Solution
Your financial institution must ensure it has a business continuity plan (BCP) that is clearly defined and regularly reviewed and tested—but there are a lot of moving parts.
Business continuity solutions and services exist to facilitate this process, helping ensure your financial institution is prepared to weather any disruption.
Here are the top eight features to look for in a business continuity management (BCM) solution.
- Designed for financial institutions
- Ensures information is organized and accessible
- Function-based planning
- Exposes third-party business continuity risk
- Emergency communication capabilities
- Pandemic planning
- Promotes exam readiness
- Unified risk management
1. Designed for financial institutions. Examiners expect financial institutions expect a financial institution and its board to understand continuity risk, or the risk that critical products or services might be disrupted. Examiners have specific guidance on what to look for.
Choose a business continuity solution specifically designed for the needs of financial institutions. Make sure that it has prebuilt and configurable tools to create a business impact analysis (BIA), and then makes it easy to analyze the results to uncover gaps and risks across your institution.
2. Organized, accessible information. From step-by-step action plans to test results, all of your business continuity management and plans should be in one secure, centralized location that is always up-to-date and readily accessible.
Look for a secure solution that ensures the information you need will available whenever and wherever you need it.
3. Provides function-based planning. It doesn’t necessarily matter whether a hurricane or a wildfire takes a branch offline. What matters most is how an offline branch impacts the institution’s operations, what the institution needs to operate in the interim, and a step-by-step plan for getting the branch back online.
Look for a BCP solution that uses a function-based approach to planning instead of scenario-based planning. While it might feel comforting to say “we know what to do in the event of a tornado,” it’s more helpful to have a plan that addresses critical functions regardless of cause. It helps prepare you for every scenario—even ones you haven’t thought of.
4. Exposes third-party business continuity risk. Which third-party relationships can impact critical functions at your institution? What third-party functions can help you recover in the event of an emergency? How strong are third-party vendors' BCPs?
If a solution doesn’t help you understand the role third-party vendors play in business continuity and disaster recovery, it’s leaving your exposes to untold continuity risk.
5. Emergency communication capabilities. It’s important to be able to quickly contact staff during an emergency without scrambling to locate contact information.
A good business continuity management solution facilitates two-way communication with staff via voice, text, and email during both table-top exercises and actual emergencies.
6. Pandemic planning. Pandemic planning is an important subset of business continuity management with separate guidance. Seek out a solution with tools to manage pandemic situations at financial institutions While function-based planning is the best practice in other areas of BCM, pandemic planning is one scenario you must plan for.
7. Promotes exam readiness. When examiners come in, you want to be able to demonstrate that your plan is regularly reviewed and tested—and that any weaknesses are promptly remedied.
Choose a solution with extensive reporting and dashboards, including measurable timeframes and results, that ensures your institution is prepared for incident—and examiners.
8. Unified risk management. BCM can’t standalone. It touches every department, business line, and function at your financial institution.
When seeking out a business continuity solution, determine whether the solution can connect with other risk management solutions your institution relies on for a unified and efficient approach to risk management.
For more insights into BCM, visit our Pandemic & Business Continuity Resource page