Disaster recovery teams can take all the help they can get when a crisis strikes, and luckily there is a growing number of tools that ease the complex and vital process. Critical event management software is rapidly emerging as an essential disaster response and recovery tool.
CEM products can help enterprises recover rapidly from critical events through an integrated, highly effective recovery approach. CEM software offers adopters a variety of power capabilities, including continuous monitoring, reporting, threat analysis and unified and targeted communications. An array of automated services provides accurate and actionable intelligence quickly and efficiently.
"These insights are communicated to the right team members in the crisis response team," said Eric McGee, senior network engineer at TRG Datacenters. Critical event management software can quickly activate crisis response plans, which enables an organization to make more informed decisions. "In the end, disaster recovery [becomes] faster, more efficient and less costly," McGee said.
CEM is well suited for DR strategies. "It enables organizations to optimize their systems to facilitate quick performance analysis, risk assessment, operation recovery and automation of event response tasks," said Brad Cummins, operator of Insurance Geek, an online insurance quotes provider.
Powerful and flexible
Businesses can manage CEM activities from virtually any place on Earth, in most languages, and on almost any communication platforms. "If something critical happens, people need to know what happened, how it affects them and the portion of the business they're responsible for," said Aaron Card, director of digital forensics and incident response at network services provider NTT.
Critical event management software can help organize and manage many different tasks, including the following:
- risk assessment;
- event monitoring;
- locating key personnel;
- automating response to specific events;
- providing unified and targeted communications;
- mapping business assets;
- supplying targeted notification and direction;
- measuring impact of a crisis;
- measuring improvement; and
- event documentation.
Jan ChapmanCo-founder and managing director, MSP Blueshift
A modern DR strategy
With CEM, disaster recovery is simplified because all communication modes and scenarios are preplanned. "Everyone who needs to be involved knows exactly what they need to do, and everyone has centralized and unified communications and situational awareness," Card said. Top CEM vendors include Everbridge, AlertFind, CriticalArc, BlackBerry and OnSolve.
Critical event management software is a vital component in any disaster recovery strategy, said Jan Chapman, co-founder and managing director of MSP Blueshift, an IT consulting firm serving small and medium-sized enterprises. "These tools simplify the business continuity plan and facilitate keeping systems running during a disruption," he said. "They can be set to monitor and alert to any issues and enable users to execute the appropriate processes following a disruption."
Resolve information overload
One of the most difficult things about crisis management is having access to too much information. "When changes occur within your environment ... it can be challenging to know what information needs to be recorded, as well as where that data should go so you can have quick access during an emergency," said Ryan Fyfe, COO of Workpuls, an employee time-tracking software provider. "As a result, many organizations have difficulty piecing together just how broad-reaching any one incident may have been across the entire organization, creating delays in productivity at a time when it's desperately needed."
CEM software addresses this concern head-on by bringing order and management to what would otherwise be a chaotic situation.
Organizations that work across different time zones, or that depend on specialized knowledge and expertise to save lives, must be able to communicate with each other at all times, Fyfe said. "Critical event management software simplifies disaster recovery by giving organizations the ability to assemble their teammates for round-the-clock coverage of operations."