Power outages, disasters, and other disruptions are inevitable. Thousands of businesses around the globe are affected by them every year, with lost profits ranging into the millions, if not billions. So how can your business protect itself and stay open when the unexpected strikes? Here is a standard business continuity plan (BCP) your company can rely on.
Backup your data, applications, and servers
Today, companies are more dependent than ever on IT and data. If these critical components suddenly become inaccessible, there’s little chance your business will survive. Regularly backing up these elements ensures they can be restored quickly in the event of a disaster, security breach, or damage to IT equipment.
In the past, most businesses would create backups on-site and with tape backups, but today more and more businesses are using the cloud, and here are several reasons why:
- Cloud backups are affordable and cost much less than onsite backups
Backups can be automated, therefore saving you time
- Cloud providers usually back up your data to multiple locations (so if one of their facilities goes down, your backups are still safe at another site).
- Backups can be accessed from anywhere, whether it’s at an employee’s home or at an alternate office.
- If you need to access them, backups can be restored quickly
Virtualize servers and desktops
When you virtualize your servers or desktops, they can be used at any location – be it at your workplace, home, or a coffee shop in the Bahamas. In terms of business continuity, this is useful in case your main office suddenly becomes unusable due to hostile weather conditions.
Have a backup power supply
No electricity means zero productivity and money down the drain. Having a backup power supply will ensure that when the electricity goes down, your employees can continue working.
A good solution is an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), which gives employees a fair amount of time to finish their work as if nothing ever happened. Also, if you have a server room, a UPS will ensure your vital servers stay cool.
Utilize social media
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, most people are on at least one social network these days. And if there is any kind of outage or disaster, social media is usually one of the first places customers, colleagues, staff, and vendors will check the status of your business. So when it comes to business continuity, keep at least one social media account active to keep your customers and followers informed.
Implement unified communications
Unified communication (UC) creates a virtualized communication infrastructure. That means instead of your communication tools – like phones, instant messaging, and video calls – all being stored locally at your workplace, you can access them anywhere. So if your office is inaccessible, employees can still use your phones and other communication tools from their homes. What’s more, UC tools can route business calls to your employees’ smartphones. That means they’ll never miss an important call, even if they’re not in the office.
Keep in mind that these are only the first few items you have to address in your business continuity plan. You’ll also need to consider things like training employees and having a communications plan for informing stakeholders. If you want more advice on these areas or need top-class business continuity tools, contact us today.