What do you do, when you’re a software vendor trying to provide a solution to business continuity managers? You’ve got to make money, if your company is to survive. That means maximizing the number of products or licenses that you sell. The market for BCM applications isn’t like the market for CRM or ERP applications. It’s much smaller, so you must make your product appeal to a much broader cross section of people. But are one company’s BC issues the same as another’s?

The generalist “stuff” in business continuity is unfortunately seldom the stuff you need when business interruptions loom. When business threatens to grind to a halt, it’s for a specific reason.

BCM Software vendors provide templates, stock documents, general industry requirements, and “stuff” to make general plans.

To get a specialist version of the software to match your enterprise, you will have to customise the software yourself or pay someone else to do it, often a much more expensive proposition.

But enough of moaning. If you want to go the software route or if you are being nudged (or shoved) in that direction, the following pointers may help you make the best of the situation.

  • Consider your business continuity program and its needs, before you start looking at software.
  • Think about what you want the BC software to do. You may not get everything you want, so be on the lookout for tedious, time-consuming, or involved processes that could be done better and faster by a computer. If it doesn’t make your life easier, why buy it?
  • Remember that software does not (yet) think for you. And even artificial intelligence takes a lot of human brainpower to make it do anything useful.
  • Get all your stakeholders involved – not just the ones who will OK the budget, but also the end-users. Don’t try to impose a software solution on an unwilling user base.
  • Find out what others think of the software. Talk to other users, and not just the ones presented by the vendor as its reference installations.

Or call a reputable, independent consulting organisation (guess who!) to help you make the right business decision.