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30 April 2024

6 Best Practices for Business Continuity Planning


In today's interconnected business environment, disruptions to critical services and applications can have far-reaching consequences. Implementing robust Business Continuity Management (BCM) plans is essential to mitigate risks and ensure the continuity of operations, especially when relying on third-party software providers.

Here are six best practices for effective BCM:

1 | Awareness: Delegate Responsibility

Delegate a dedicated team or individual within your organization responsible for managing BCM plans, and mitigating risks associated with outsourcing software. This ensures accountability and focused attention on continuity efforts.

2 | Review: Assess the Cost of Potential Failure

Assess the projected costs of potential failures on the part of your software supplier for each business-critical application. Understand what is required to access critical data, restore, and maintain application functionality promptly to minimize downtime and associated losses.

3 | Develop: Understand Supplier Responsibilities

When depending on third-party suppliers to safeguard your data, it's imperative to gain a comprehensive understanding of their responsibilities. Develop processes for onboarding that include extensive due diligence to ensure suppliers meet minimum standards for security and reliability.

4 | Document: Maintain an Inventory of Third-Party Software

Maintain an inventory of all third-party software used by the business. Record details of the environments, resources, and expertise required for each application. This documentation ensures clarity and readiness in times of disruption. Categorise the software based on its criticality to business operations and data sensitivity.

5 | Test: Regularly Assess Continuity Plans

Testing is the only way to truly validate the effectiveness of BCM plans. Regularly test your plans, particularly for scenarios involving supplier insolvency or failure. Assess the time required to implement plans and seek areas for improvement. Develop exit plans for transitioning to alternative software or maintaining the software in-house, or with another supplier.

6 | Implement: Invest in Third-Party Risk Management Solutions

Consider investing in third-party risk management solutions like Software Escrow Agreements and Verification Services as part of your BCM plan. This ensures that – in the event of disruption – the source code of your critical applications can be accessed and released, to get you back up and running.

By following these best practices, organizations can enhance their resilience and readiness to navigate disruptions effectively. Incorporating third-party risk management solutions such as Escrow Agreements and Verification Services adds a layer of protection, safeguarding business-critical applications and ensuring continuity of operations.

In conclusion, proactive BCM planning is crucial for mitigating the risks associated with software service disruptions. By delegating responsibility, assessing costs, understanding supplier responsibilities, maintaining documentation, testing plans regularly, and investing in risk management solutions, organizations can strengthen their resilience and ensure uninterrupted operations in the face of disruption.

Download our guide and discover how to strengthen business continuity management plans for critical software.


Strengthen Business Continuity Plans

Strengthen operational resilience and protect software investments by implementing an effective business continuity plan for critical third-party services.

What's inside:

  • Discover best practice recommendations for Business Continuity Management (BCM) to ensure the long-term availability of critical software.
  • Explore challenges in implementing BCM plans and effective strategies to overcome them.

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