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Ensuring Continuity Amongst COVID-19 Uncertainty

Published on 09/04/2020

Figures from the first Business Impact Tracker report issued by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) present concerning, yet unsurprising reading for businesses affected by the current global pandemic. 

The BCC’s tracker serves to gauge how businesses are responding to the governments measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 and how their working practices will change. 

The first poll took responses from over 600 UK businesses, revealing some significant findings: 

  • 18% of respondents held less than a months worth of cash in reserve, with 44% reporting 1-3 months and only 6% reported they held more than 12 months worth of cash reserves. 
  • 32% reported plans to furlough 75-100% of their workforce over the next week. Whilst only 26% had no plans to furlough any staff over the next week.
  • 66% of businesses have opted to work remotely, with 50% using videoconferencing to keep operations running.
  • 18% of businesses have closed operations temporarily and although none of the respondents have permanently closed operations, these figures are expected to rise over the coming weeks and months. 

This is a trying time for businesses and whilst there are measures being put in place to help businesses weather the storm, what would happen if a key supplier was no longer able to support your critical applications? 

For organisations using on-premise applications installed on site, the effect of supplier failure will be a gradual process as without the necessary updates, their application will begin to lose functionality. However, in this period of lockdown, many business are working from home and are using Software as a Service (SaaS) applications which are delivered through a hosting provider such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform.

In many instances, the software supplier owns the relationship with the hosting provider and should the supplier be unavailable to support the service for any reason, you may no longer be able to access the application as the would cease with no prior notice and you would stand to lose not only the service you have invested in and rely upon but also your valuable data held within the application.

How do you mitigate withdrawal of service and ensure business continuity in the event of supplier failure? 

Software Escrow provides the mechanism for End Users of business-critical systems to legally access a copy of their source code (and data if the application is hosted) in the event that the 3rd party software owner is no longer available to continue with the development and support of the application.

This solution is a simple way of ensuring the long-term availability of business-critical systems for end users whilst protecting intellectual property rights for software owners.

A Software Escrow Agreement allows an independent specialist to hold and test a copy of the application source code, data and supporting material to make sure it is correct, complete and can be compiled independently in the event of a release. This protects End Users against the ‘what if’ scenarios and puts them in control of their 3rd party software investments, protecting against pre-agreed trigger events and offering assurances and continuity for the investments they make.

To truly guarantee the continuity of your business critical applications, SES have also developed the Licensee Continuity Plan

With standard Software Escrow agreements, the client, not the Escrow provider, would be responsible for recreating the service upon release. However, this can be a challenging feat as it requires you to secure resources and expertise without knowing when you will need to call upon them.

This market-leading service is a live and functioning disaster recovery solution. When called upon, SES will be responsible for rapidly recreating the working service on your behalf. To guarantee the protections are effective, SES will simulate the recovery on an annual basis with the software user confirming its effectiveness. Following a confirmed release, the LCP will provide a guaranteed period of service continuity, typically 6 months. Providing invaluable time to make alternative arrangements – whether that’s bringing the service in-house or transitioning to a replacement. This period of continuity is built into the coverage from the start and guaranteed by SES.

To speak to one of our specialists about setting up Software Escrow protection to help you weather the storm, please get in touch.

© SES Secure Limited and, 2020. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Financechain Limited trading as SES and, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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