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What Does Your Business Continuity Plan Look Like?

Published on 15/09/2021

Have you set out your business continuity plan to protect your organisation against unforeseen circumstances?

The majority of businesses rely on 3rd party developed applications to perform business critical functions within their organisation. Whilst using these external suppliers provides major benefits to your organisation, they also present a significant risk, especially when the applications you license are business critical, bespoke, highly customised or revenue generating.

These applications are tied to the continuity of your organisation, so the impact of your supplier being unable to support them can have catastrophic effects on the continuity of your business. In the event your supplier was no longer able to support your applications there would be a significant financial impact in terms of revenue loss and also a time and financial cost of procuring suitable replacements.

A robust business continuity plan which includes Software Escrow is an intelligent way of alleviating this risk

Business continuity plans provide a clear set of steps your organisation needs to take to maintain operations whilst facing a disruption. They are designed to keep essential functions up and running during a disaster and to help you recover with as little downtime as possible. A comprehensive plan includes contact information, steps for what to do when faced with a variety of incidents and a guide for when to use the document.

A robust business continuity plan which includes Software Escrow is a proactive way to ensure your business critical applications are kept operational during a disruption. When creating your business continuity plan, it is important to consider resilience, recovery and contingencies to maximise its effectiveness.

Software Escrow increases operational resilience as it is designed to protect critical business applications against various disaster possibilities. Three of the most common are:

  • Your supplier ceasing to trade.
  • Your supplier breaching their contractual agreement with you.
  • Your supplier assigning their intellectual property to a new owner (usually by way of a merger or acquisition) and the new supplier failing to offer a similar level of service to the one previously provided without increasing costs.

Rapid recovery to restore business functions after a disaster is crucial, especially for applications that are business critical, bespoke, highly customised or revenue generating. SES provides validation testing services which involve conducting a range of audio and visual knowledge capture exercises to record a full rebuild of the software application. On completion of each exercise, a detailed independent report often referred to by our clients as a "Build Manual" is compiled and placed into Escrow along with the validated code deposit (and application data for SaaS applications). This ensures that you (if you have the in-house expertise) or a supplier of your choice has all the materials and a guide to follow to accurately redeploy, maintain and support your application.

A contingency plan has procedures in place for a variety of external scenarios. When you need to invoke your Software Escrow agreement, SES will work with you to release all materials held in Escrow required to swiftly and accurately redeploy your application. Minimising your downtime and ensuring you can retain business functionality to the point you can procure a suitable replacement.

Maximise business continuity with the LCP from SES

The SES Licensee Continuity Plan (LCP) Escrow Agreement is a SaaS Continuity service designed to guarantee complete and rapid accessibility to hosted applications in the event that the hosted environment or supplier are no longer available to provide the service.

This market-leading SaaS Continuity service is the complete Software Escrow solution, it is designed to ensure hosted applications can be restored quickly and resume providing business critical services. In addition, all necessary build documentation is held in Escrow for the purpose of continued development and support of the software. This proves that the application can be deployed from Escrow independent of the supplier, eliminating the risk of significant downtime to key services and business operations.

An effective business continuity plan can be the difference between retaining business functionality and access to your critical applications in the event of a disaster or suffering significant revenue and reputational loss whilst you try and get your systems back online without a plan to follow. To speak to one of our specialists about your business continuity requirements or discuss our LCP Agreement in more detail, please get in touch.

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