Exploring the business continuity software market
ClearView Continuity is a UK based supplier of specialist business continuity software. Re-launched in 2010, it has seen rapid global growth with collaborators and clients in all parts of the world, from Australia to South Africa, South East Asia, Russia, the Middle East, Europe and the US. The global network of collaborators enables ClearView to provide 24/7 global support for its clients, who range from the largest global financials to more modest single-country organizations. Clearview does not place restrictions on user numbers or functionality which means that all clients benefit from the same powerful functionality.
The success of Clearview has been underlined at the CIR Magazine Annual Business Continuity Awards, with ClearView Continuity being presented with the Business Continuity Management Planning Software of the Year Award in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Given the company’s wide experience of the global business continuity software market, Continuity Central asked ClearView’s chief executive, Charles Boffin, to give his view on changes and challenges in the business continuity software market:
Continuity Central: What trends are you seeing in the way business continuity managers are using specialist business continuity software?
Charles Boffin: As a general observation and from my experience, I think the vast majority of business continuity managers recognise and value the benefits that BCM software can bring. But the growth in use of software is not perhaps as fast as this enthusiasm. I think this is for a number of reasons:
Continuity Central: Our recent Business Continuity Software survey shows that just over half of business continuity managers (53 percent of 377 respondents) currently use specialist business continuity software. Is that figure lower or higher than you would expect? Why do you think that more people don’t use specialist business continuity software?
Charles Boffin: That figure is about what I would expect at present. Although, as I mentioned in my response to the previous question, I think that more would want to use it, but have been restrained by other factors; principally budget. I do think this will change dramatically over the next few years as :
Continuity Central: The above survey asked respondents to rate the business continuity software they use on a scale of 1 to 10 for various aspects. The area with least satisfaction was ‘Ease of Use’ : is this a surprise to you?
Charles Boffin: No surprise whatsoever. We know that some competitor products have been over-engineered to the point that they have become almost unusable. This leads to frustration for all users and, ultimately, can result in failed projects when trying to implement software. We take an entirely opposite approach by starting from the point of the individual user and building collaboratively with our clients.
Continuity Central: In general do you think that the way people use specialist business continuity software is changing?
Charles Boffin: Yes. Enforced change through:
Continuity Central: What would you say are the main advantages of using specialist business continuity software over standard software such as Microsoft Excel and Word?
Charles Boffin: Flexibility; fit for use; mobile access; rapid development; reporting and outputs; workflow management; and a single database rather than multiple sources. These things result in plans that are always up to date and accurate.
Continuity Central: Before we close the interview, just a couple of questions about ClearView Continuity, specifically. What do you believe are the reasons why you have won the CIR Business Continuity Management Planning Software of the Year Award three times in a row?
Charles Boffin: There are three main reasons:
Continuity Central: What plans do you have to enhance the software in the future?
Charles Boffin: We are constantly looking for ways to enhance and develop the platform, recognising that in today’s world and the pace of change with technology this is the ‘norm’ for successful companies. But, new functionality needs to be developed in a way that adds real value to the product. That is why we actively engage our clients in this process. We see a market where there is a shake out of different complementary providers: risk management systems, business continuity software providers, emergency notification suppliers, niche incident management providers etc. The edges are becoming blurred. The future may be fully integrated platforms or single platform specialists: but the key issue is that for the user there is a ‘one source’ experience. Although technically we can, and do, work with a whole range of other complementary providers in this field in response to specific client needs, I do believe that there will be a natural migration towards collaborations of the premier players in each individual space. I also expect to see a continuing focus on mobile, recognising the behaviours of our clients and requirements of the market.
Charles Boffin is happy to accept readers’ questions. Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and the responses will be posted here.
•Date: 12th June 2014 • World •Type: Article • Topic: BC software