BCI publishes its Emergency Communications Report 2021

Published: Tuesday, 09 February 2021 09:36

The BCI  has released the 6th edition of the BCI Emergency Communications Report. This annual publication, sponsored by F24 this year, provides insights into how organizations communicate in an emergency, the key communication challenges organizations face, and how technology is helping to assist in communications processes.

Key findings include:

Organizations are moving away from social messaging tools such as WhatsApp and using more collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams, which is also being used in incident situations. Many organizations, who have been using collaborative tools/software for the first time in 2020, are now seeking to extend investment into specialist emergency communications technology solutions.

With the rise in remote working, the use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) has continued to rise in 2020 with three-quarters of organizations now using it - compared to 16 percent who use on-premises installed software. SaaS technologies have the advantage of being able to be deployed quickly across multiple devices and for plans to be activated faster.

Cost remains the primary barrier – especially for smaller organizations - to investing in emergency communications solutions. 30 percent of organizations who have no dedicated tools or software say that cost is the major barrier. However, the interviews in the report showed that, because of COVID-19, senior management are interested in investing in emergency communications solutions tools - showing the need for such a tool to be employed.

Activation times are getting quicker: 41 percent of organizations can now activate their plans within the ‘golden five minutes’ - compared to 32 percent in 2019. Although some of this improvement can be attributed to the rise in the use of SaaS technologies, some of it is down to increased training and exercising of plans. Many organizations reported that COVID-19 has resulted in multiple activations this year which have helped to highlight issues causing delays in activation.

In 2020, 57.5 percent of organizations reported using virtual crisis rooms - compared to 54.5 percent who reported using a physical crisis room – but with most organizations having less staff on site, the move to virtual environments is expected to rise.

The level of training and exercising carried out in organizations has remained unchanged in 2020. Three-quarters of organizations have still been able to exercise emergency communications plans this year and 82 percent have been able to exercise plans. Real-life activations due to COVID-19 have also acted as a training tool and they are likely to be a factor in faster response times and meeting response time targets.

Other report findings include:

More details.