Research Report: Business Continuity Management Planning Software
Planning & Management
Written by Roberta J. Witty   

This information comes from the Gartner Hype Cycle for Business Continuity Management and IT Disaster Recovery Management, 2013.

Definition: Business continuity management planning (BCMP) software tools are the key tools used to manage business continuity management (BCM) programs. They provide risk assessment, business impact analysis, business process, supplier/vendor and IT dependency mapping, plan management functionality, and program management metrics and analysis. Some products also offer plan exercising capability, resource modeling capability, crisis/ incident management “lite” support and emergency notification lite support.

Position and Adoption Speed Justification: BCMP products have been in the market for more than 20 years, growing from word processing templates to sophisticated, interactive decision support tools. The increased need for usable recovery plans of all types (including crisis management, damage assessment, emergency response, emergency notification, external communications, insurance support, travel support, procurement/ vendor management, customer/partner support, shelter in place, IT disaster recovery, business recovery, business resumption, restoration and stand-down), as well as for a consistent and repeatable plan development process, has resulted in increased sophistication in the products. In addition, they integrate with other BCM tools, such as emergency or mass notification service (EMNS) and crisis/incident management (C/IM), GIS/geospatial, IT asset management, CCMDB and more. More mature BCM programs use BCMP tools for business and program management analysis with a goal of building more resilience into the day-to-day business process.

With more than 30 vendors, the BCMP market has a 2012 revenue estimate of $130 million, a 30% growth since our 2010 estimate of $100 million. Average revenue growth for 2009/2010, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 is 33.3%, 18.6% and 19%, respectively. Pricing for this market remains very competitive for the simpler implementation; pricing for large, multinational implementations can be in the high six figures or higher. Large or regulated enterprises, as well as government agencies, typically use the tools, while small and midsize firms are increasingly looking to do so. The financial services market and organizations with complex business operations lead the pack in implementations and vendor marketing efforts. Coordinating, analyzing and managing large amounts of availability information are almost impossible to do without a tool. The biggest competitors to using a BCMP tool are Microsoft Office tools and SharePoint for document management.

The significant growth in adoption of BCMP tools – 23.8% from 2010 to 2011, and 38.5% from 2011 to 2012 (as measured from our annual security and risk management survey) – is an indication that organizations are realizing the importance of the use of these tools to help standardize and manage recovery plan development, as well as manage the BCM program itself. Having current, effective and exercised recovery plans is the key to success during a disaster, and these tools are essential for effective crisis and business recovery. We anticipate adoption to continue to grow in the next five years, given the increased focus from government agencies – federal, state and local – as well as private-sector preparedness initiatives. Some of the future growth will come through the governance, risk and compliance (GRC) market. More GRC vendors are providing BCMP capability as part of the broadening of the operational risk management program. In the 2013 Hype Cycle, we moved the BCMP market position by one spot to post-trough 15% from the 2012 BCM Hype Cycle of post-trough 10%.

User Advice: Consider a BCMP tool when:

  • You are starting a new BCM program and want to follow standard practices throughout the organization.
  • You are updating your current BCM program and processes.
  • You are maturing your BCM program and need more analytics than traditional office management tools can provide.
  • You need to integrate plans and partial plans from a number of departments and business units into one consistent, accessible and easily updated plan.
  • A merger or acquisition has presented you with the need to create a BCM program reflecting all the elements of your organization.
  • You want to conduct the research and planning process in-house, with minimum assistance from outside consultants.

Do not overbuy. Focus on:

  • The ease of use in the hands of business users, not IT or BCM program office users only
  • The ease of customization – by the customer not the vendor – to your organization’s continuity delivery framework and so forth
  • The ease of reporting, including modifying report formats provided by the vendor, as well as creating new report formats
  • The ease of integration with other important business applications, such as enterprise directories, human resources, GRC, business process management tools (whether internally developed or purchased), CCMDBs, IT asset management, and BCM software that your organization may already have purchased, such as EMNS or C/IM software, as well as news feeds to a BCM program dashboard
  • Mobile device (smartphone or tablet) support for recovery plan access and execution at the time of a business disruption

Besides an inaccurate financial statement, such as a 10K or 10Q in the U.S., the recovery plan is the one organizational document most likely to result in lost revenue or a damaged reputation if it is not current or, worse, unavailable or nonexistent. Like all policies and procedures, even the best recovery plan can rapidly become obsolete. Consider the recovery plan a living document, and put in place a continuous improvement process for regular plan reviews (annually, at a minimum or when there are major business or infrastructure changes) and event-triggered plan reviews (such as changes in operational risk profiles, business or IT processes, and applicable regulations, as well as exercise results showing a gap in plan actions versus current recovery needs).

Business Impact: BCMP tools will benefit any organization that needs to perform a comprehensive analysis of its preparedness to cope with business or IT interruptions, and that needs to have in place an up-to-date, accessible plan to facilitate response, recovery and restoration actions.

Benefit Rating: High

Market Penetration: 20% to 50% of target audience

Maturity: Early mainstream

Sample Vendors: Avalution Consulting; Bold Planning Solutions; Business Protection Systems International; Continuity Logic; Coop Systems; eBRP Solutions; EverGreen Data Continuity; Factonomy; Fusion Risk Management; ICM; Inoni; KingsBridge; Linus Information Security Solutions; MetricStream; Modulo; Paradigm Solutions International; Quantivate;; EMC (RSA); Strategic BCP; SunGard Availability Services; Tamp Systems; Virtual


About the Author

Roberta Witty is a Research Vice President at Gartner, Inc., where she is part of the Risk and Security Management Programs group. Her primary area of focus is business continuity management and disaster recovery.

This report is part of Gartner’s 2013 Hype Cycle Special Report which provides strategists and planners with an assessment of the maturity, business benefit and future direction of more than 2,000 technologies, grouped into 98 areas. The Special Report includes a video, provides more details regarding this year’s Hype Cycles, as well as links to all of the Hype Cycle reports. The Special Report can be found at