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  • Writer's pictureTeam Redman

How can we maintain Business Continuity for Council Meetings?

We are all aware of disruptions caused by events such as fire and flooding and the difficulties these represent to council operations When relying on traditional system architecture, councils can be left vulnerable and exposed to sudden impacts on business continuity.

While COVID has driven increased take-up of remote working and cloud-based solutions, many councils still lag in utilising cloud solutions for the meeting process. Even if councils use software to manage agenda and business paper compilation, most councils have systems in the process that are not integrated or remotely accessible.

This continues to create inefficiencies and quality issues and can deter staff and councillors from engaging with the process.

Our latest Insights Report, The Unrealised Potential of Council Meetings, highlighted the common challenges and risks associated with the council meeting process. One insight that we uncovered was Business Continuity – are our on-prem solutions making us inaccessible and vulnerable to disasters?

Here’s an overview of some of the findings, as well as some tips you can put in place to mitigate risk.

67% of councils use four or more systems in the meeting process.

Meeting administrators are responsible for managing an array of workflows and tasks beyond agenda and business paper preparation. These systems range from spreadsheets to webcasting technology and are necessary to plan and execute the council meeting.

With over 60% of councils us 4 or more systems to manage the meeting process and 20% using 6-10, this can often lead to duplication of effort, frustration and wasted time. Additional systems often require additional processes and people, which prevents best use of council resources.

The move to online meetings has also accelerated the natural progressions to hybrid meetings. This has introduced more systems and added a layer of complexity rather than making the process more streamlined.

The implications of using too many systems which aren’t fully integrated can have huge implications on the council meeting process. It’s important to think about the meeting as an end-to-end process and consider how you could be doing more with less.

Less than 1 in 2 councils have all systems in the meeting process accessible on any device at anytime.

When stakeholders can’t access what they need, when they need it, the burden falls on meeting administrators to complete tasks, create workarounds or become a single source of truth to communicate across departments and keep actions on track.

Councils can’t realise the full business continuity gains if some systems that support council meetings are not remotely accessible. If we want to accommodate remote working, we must be able to access the right systems across any device at any time. And with 54% not being able to, have we really taken full advantage of cloud-based technology?

How can you support Business Continuity?

More councils are moving to cloud-based IT strategies to overcome issues of system accessibility and to support business continuity. The ability to access systems and platforms from web browsers rather than specific programs makes it easier to manage the meeting process from anywhere and helps facilitate working-from-home arrangements.

It’s important to consider all stakeholders when streamlining the systems used in your meeting process. Ask yourself – how will this benefit external stakeholders that we need to engage with this process, such as councillors and the public?

It's important to consider all stakeholders when streamlining the systems used in your meeting process.

Also, remember that many councils don’t get value out of the systems they implement because change management simply isn’t well-resourced. Technology fails when there isn’t buy-in, so when implementing any type of system, consider the benefits for all stakeholder groups and ensure the change is communicated clearly.

Discover more insights by downloading the full report here, or watching our recorded webinar here.

Learn more about how Resolve Meeting Management can help streamline your Council Meeting process here

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