How to Develop an ERP Business Continuity Plan

Aligning enterprise resource planning (ERP) with a business continuity plan (BCP), your company is better prepared for inevitable disasters and downturns. Company-wide data in ERP strengthens business continuity, making a business more resilient in the wake of unexpected disasters and downturns.

What is ERP?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the practice of integrating data from various departments and functions within a business into a singular application or interface. 

An ERP platform serves as a central source of information where various stakeholders access and manage information related to their roles. Users include but are not limited to:

  • Employees
  • Customers (current and prospective)
  • Managers
  • Suppliers

Integrating data from business departments and functions gives upper-level management a bird’s eye view of all aspects of business operations, both internal and external. An ERP software solution also helps management understand how all parts of the business work together to make smarter, data-driven decisions that are in the business’s best interest. 

Today’s ERPs are largely cloud-based for speed, performance, and scalability. They have also changed, for the better, in a few key ways in the last couple years to better accommodate the needs of today’s businesses.  

Read more: Three Key Advances in ERP for 2021

What is business continuity and a business continuity plan? 

Business continuity management (BCM) entails a company’s proactive measures to mitigate negative effects of a business disruption such as a natural disaster, ransomware attack, data breach, and other incidents that interrupt or halt business operations. 

A business continuity plan outlines what proactive measures to take, when, and by whom in order to accelerate recovery and resilience in the wake of the disruption. Since business continuity plans require continuous updating as the business grows and changes, business continuity software aids businesses in managing and updating their plans. 

Read more: How to Create a Business Continuity Plan

How ERP and BC work together

ERP improves business continuity by helping organizations leverage their company-wide data to prepare for unforeseen disasters or downturns.

ERP software contains a wealth of data from across the business in finance, HR, marketing, production, and other areas. This data is crucial for crafting an effective business continuity plan. 

Quantivate’s business continuity software, for example, runs on integrated data sharing to map out connections and dependencies across the company, combining the functions of both ERP and business continuity.

Cloud-based ERP also enables employees to perform their jobs from anywhere, at any time. Many companies’ abilities to shift to remote work was a deciding factor in their ability to resume or maintain business in the midst of a global pandemic.

By leveraging data analytics and remote accessibility in your ERP software, your company is better positioned to anticipate and navigate business disruptions. 

Read more: How to Handle Security Incidents and Data Breaches

Maximizing business resiliency with ERP and business continuity

To maximize the synergy between enterprise resource planning and business continuity, here are a few considerations:

  • Look for an ERP that has predictive analytics to drive business intelligence and make data-driven decisions involved in business continuity
  • Clean and organize data contained within the ERP to inform the business continuity plan with the most relevant, up-to-date information
  • Use ERP reporting functions to take inventory of hardware, software, devices, and other enterprise assets that need to be included in the BCP
  • Prepare for additional storage requirements for ERP data as well as business continuity plan iterations

Keep calm and carry on with ERP and business continuity

ERP keeps management aware of how business operations are running and signal emerging pain points. When an unexpected disaster does happen, having an ERP-backed, data-driven business continuity plan reduces downtime and the steep costs associated with it. Proactive planning that merges ERP and BC empowers business leaders to navigate disturbances with an action plan that ensures business resiliency.  
Read next: Best ERP Systems for 2022