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Critical Event Management Drives Organizational Resiliency Amidst Uncertainty

Instability and uncertainty have underscored business operations for years, but nowhere in recent history has this become more apparent than when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. This exposed the cracks in many organizations: in March of 2020, network outages around the globe jumped by 63% and remained elevated for the first half of the year. Meanwhile, over 30 large companies, including several Fortune 500 companies, fell victim to ransomware attacks in late 2019 and early 2020, and attackers penetrated thousands of government and government contractor networks in a complex cyber attack in which SolarWinds had its Orion software compromised. Clearly, a wide range of critical events now hold the potential to have a negative impact on business continuity.

This level of unpredictability is forcing organizations to understand that critical event communications can no longer be handled manually, in a siloed manner, or as an afterthought. Doing so can compromise real-time organizational insights while jeopardizing the work, and potentially the lives, of all stakeholders.

With more organizations being impacted by such critical events, many have turned to solutions like early warning systems and communication management tools capable of mitigating the impact of the event on business continuity. Organizations must have the right solutions in place to assure resilience and sustainability, since these events can cost not only millions of dollars per day, but result in losses in employee satisfaction, productivity, and organizational reputation.

Tools utilized to mitigate the impact of critical events on business continuity need to support rapid communication, including sharing relevant information with employees, suppliers, and business partners. Solutions need to provide continuity of messaging while helping the organization reduce the time it takes to interact with each affected group. Further, critical event management is fundamentally about planning, responding, and recovering. With recovery can come auditing to provide a record of action to determine what actions were taken and why with the goal of improving processes and future outcomes.

Thus, organizations seeking to maintain resilience in increasingly uncertain times should look for specific, and essential, solution features:

  • Platform solutions should be omnichannel and capable of supporting cross-platform and geo-targeted distribution of messaging and warnings. Equally critical, these platforms should have the ability to support reliable data gathering at the edge.
  • Cloud provisioning is an important part of the mix. Cloud-based critical event management systems exist away from an organization's buildings, while cloud redundancies help support communication continuity in times of crisis. Cloud-based communication systems can be leveraged to promote resilience, sustainability, scalability, and business operations across all industries.
  • Security must be pervasive, from the core to the tactical edge, encompassing mobile, network, multiple endpoints, and integrated applications.
  • Friction-free implementations also are key. Critical event communication is not just the realm of technology: the processing of critical information related to logistics management is also important, specifically having access to real-time information to influence response and understand risk levels.
  • Employee notifications are a major part of the effort. Workers and business partners, both inside an office and out, need to be kept informed about unfolding situations and corporate decisions.

With today's inherent pandemic-based instability, it has never been more important to securely share information within and between organizations. Doing so reduces costs, increases operational resiliency, and keeps people safer. The BlackBerry® Alert critical event management platform plays a strong role in helping organizations keep their employees and assets safe, and gives leaders the information needed to manage and respond to critical events in complex operating environments. It builds on a long history of trusted communication that will continue to help save business, property, and lives – even in unstable and increasingly complex environments.

For more information, download the IDC Technology Spotlight: Get the Latest Market Intelligence on Critical Event Management.


Shawn P. McCarthy, Research director, Government Systems and Infrastructure, IDC
Alison Brooks, Ph.D., Research Vice President, Smart Cities and Communities, IDC
February 2021

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