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How managed services overcome barriers to resilience 

The world around us continues to evolve and as a result, critical events are increasing in frequency and severity. This evolution has created a critical need for organizations to anticipate, mitigate, respond to, and recover quickly when they happen. According to an Everbridge-commissioned research study in 2022, 65% of decision-makers agree that crises have changed significantly over time in regard to frequency, impact, and unpredictability; yet resilience responsibilities tend to be spread across organizations, with limited or no central oversight.

Unfortunately, there remain significant barriers preventing organizations from becoming resilient. The standard process to assess and respond to critical events can be disjointed with disparate or incompatible systems. When organizations react to events, rather than prepare for them by taking proactive measures, it can lead to a far more difficult path to resilience.

Relying on a critical event management (CEM) platform via managed services is an optimal way to address the barriers inhibiting organizational resilience. Consider the following challenges organizations face today, and how managed services can help resolve them.

What is managed services?

Managed services is the practice of outsourcing certain business functions to a third-party provider who is responsible for the implementation, oversight, and day-to-day management of the said function. A managed services provider (MSP) “delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center.”

With regards to Everbridge, an MSP is responsible for delivering and supporting the Everbridge CEM platform to an organization. By doing so, it can provide a best-in-class resilience solution to clients, without putting the onus on them to enact large or complex reorganizations, or fundamental changes to their internal structures.

Common barriers to resilience and how managed services can resolve them:

Organizational structure and critical resources

Despite the need, many businesses lack the organizational structure and support needed to manage a complex critical event management (CEM) platform. Most often, organizations either lack the manpower or the expertise to properly operate a CEM platform and make the most of the product functionality. Managing a global security operations center (GSOC), for example, requires multiple staff members to monitor threat intelligence and action response processes when required. It also requires a team of stakeholders that is capable of coming together, at any time, to identify and implement action resolution processes when an event happens.

Furthermore, due to budgetary constraints, a GSOC can sometimes be left understaffed, or the existing staff is stretched to cover multiple regions, time zones, and being on-call 24/7. So, while many organizations see the benefit of having CEM in place, not being able to effectively operate the platform can result in a barrier to resilience.

With managed services, however, the business no longer needs to worry about having the appropriate organizational structure or resources in place to support the CEM tool but rather can rely on 24/7 support to serve as their first line of defense when identifying and responding to active threats. While the business will still need to consider the appropriate on-call staff for emergencies, and an account manager to handle the relationship, the need for a full-time staff or GSOC to monitor and maintain the solution is no longer necessary.

Lack of formalized processes

When considering how to respond to a critical event, many organizations lack formalized processes to respond to and recover from disruptive events, leading to a much larger impact on business operations and personnel. Take for example a severe weather event that poses a threat to employees and their home offices. How do you know if someone is in an at-risk area? How do you know if they’re safe, and if they’re not, how do you offer them protection?

Without formalized processes in place, organizations lose critical time trying to determine what to do and how to do it instead of immediately taking action to reduce the impact on those affected. Manually identifying the threat and affected individuals, communicating with relevant stakeholders, and coordinating a measured response, for example, can take a significant amount of time when dedicated resources are not assigned to the efforts. Even more detrimental to a response is having to create individual response plans amidst a crisis when time is of the essence.

However, when organizations utilize a CEM platform via managed services, they have dedicated resources and pre-determined formalized processes at the ready for when crisis strikes. In the example of severe weather, the MSP receives preemptive alerts that a severe weather event was developing in a region where employees, community members, and/or physical offices are located. From there, they would follow pre-determined procedures to immediately contact members of the organization at risk and begin the response process. By having well thought out and pre-determined processes in place, organizations are not only saving time and money, but potentially saving lives.

Legacy systems

Organizations with resilience challenges tend to have a set of legacy systems that no longer meet the needs of the business. While they offer the familiarity that organizations desire, a refusal to adapt and grow can hamper resilience efforts. In fact, legacy systems may introduce a new set of problems, as they weren’t designed to protect against modern threat actors.

Most legacy systems are not built to integrate with the new tools that organizations are using, leading to patchwork system integrations that force compatibility between otherwise disparate systems. These systems may have sufficed when team size and organizational demands were either smaller or less complex, but in today’s working environment, they will likely fail to support an organization’s needs.

With CEM via a managed services provider, organizations benefit from investing in a scalable solution that can grow and change with them. Everbridge is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the market, and by partnering with an MSP, your team can easily take advantage of the newest tools and features without having to invest in continuous education and training.

By maintaining a strong relationship with the managed services provider who stays aware of the company’s growth plans, the organization can maintain its resilience strategies while being shown new ways to enforce them. And, because the organization isn’t responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management and administration of the CEM tool, it frees up resources that were once committed to keeping up with the challenges associated with a legacy system to focus their attention on projects that drive ROI.

The benefits of managed services

By leveraging managed services to gain the benefits of an enterprise-level critical event management platform without heavy internal investment, organizations can better overcome barriers to resilience. From C-level executives to IT managers and security personnel, stakeholders throughout the organization can all benefit from managed services.

  • Access to expertise: Managed service providers curate a team of in-house experts whose full-time job is to fully understand the technology and provide those benefits back to the client without the need for an internal investment in staffing, training, and managing a workforce.
  • Team efficiencies: By no longer needing dedicated employees to manage in-house solutions, teams are free to focus on work that drives product advancements and ROI.
  • Cost efficiencies: A managed service can be a more efficient way of accessing enterprise-level resources without a significant change in current resources. Even more so, managed services can be budgeted as an operating expense, not a capital expenditure, which is often easier to have approved and easier to ensure continued spend.
  • Continuous improvement: Organizations benefit from a dedicated resource that continuously looks for areas of opportunity and improvement while staying up to date on the latest changes in the CEM technology

Decision makers who see the world becoming more and more unstable in the future understand that resilience is going to become significantly more important over the next 5-10 years. With CEM via managed services, organizations of all sizes can overcome their barriers to resilience, navigate the world safely, reduce the costs associated with critical events, and accelerate recovery.

To learn more about Everbridge and Northland Controls CEM managed services solutions, download our white paper Leveraging managed services with Everbridge and Northland Controls here!

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