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The BCI has released the 2023 edition of its annual Emergency & Crisis Communications Report. Sponsored by F24, the report seeks to help organizations benchmark their tools, plans and procedures. It also aims to ‘incentivise debate and showcase best practice for the design and implementation of crisis management plans’.

Key findings in the Emergency & Crisis Communications Report include:

The continued rise of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions
SaaS is now used by 81 percent of organizations for emergency and crisis communications. The report finds that SaaS enables a faster speed of response and activation of crisis communication plans: 78.2 percent of organizations that used SaaS were able to activate emergency communication plans within 30 minutes, against 58.6 percent of those using an on-premises solution.

The most popular tools and devices for emergency communication
Mobile phones are still the most popular device to manage emergency communications, partly due to the device’s ability to access corporate emergency communication tools through SaaS. The increased functionality of smart phones – effectively micro-tablets by design – means the use of traditional tablets in emergency scenarios is falling fast – this year by 10 percentage points. They are now less popular than desk phones.

Email is still the most popular method of communication in a crisis, while the second most popular mode of communication was through enterprise software (Teams, Slack, Skype, etc). The top five methods of crisis communications were:

  • Email 70.6 percent
  • An enterprise messenger 66.1 percent
  • Text messages/SMS 56.1 percent
  • Free messaging apps from private environment 37.9 percent
  • Emergency communications management software 33.1 percent

Activating emergency communication plans

Organizations are getting faster at activating their emergency communications plan. 73.1 percent are able to initiate their response within 30 minutes. As a result of these faster speeds and improving emergency communications technology, many organizations are now lowering their activation target times – with the ‘golden five minutes’ becoming a more appropriate target than the previous ‘golden hour’.

However, the average number of times organizations achieved their expected response levels in 2023 was 74.3 percent, slightly down on 2021 and 2022. In a similar finding to previous reports, the primary cause for not meeting expected response levels was due to people and not technology. In this year’s report, almost half of organizations attributed their failure to meet response times to the lack of accurate staff contact information.

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