As businesses continue to adapt to the constraints and operational risks created by COVID-19, the need for disaster recovery and business continuity processes has become a common topic of conversation.
While most businesses have adjusted to the initial impact of COVID-19, with or without the benefit of a disaster recovery plan, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 isn’t the only threat your business could face. By taking a long-term view of your business operations, you can anticipate similar future situations where these services could offer significant value to your organization.
Even if you feel like your business has survived the sea of change brought by COVID-19, now is the best time to proactively apply any lessons your business gleaned to better prepare for future disruptions. If you don’t have a business continuity plan in place, it’s time to get one. And if you already have a strategy, the stress test provided by COVID-19 may offer some valuable insights to improve your plan going forward.
Why We Need Plans for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
The future is unpredictable, and businesses have learned time and again that disruptions can come out of nowhere.
These disruptions aren’t mere inconveniences to daily operations. In worst-case scenarios, a disaster can halt revenue, wipe out valuable internal data, and shut down other mission-critical processes that turn a prospering operation into a business holding on by a thread.
What We’ve Learned from COVID-19
When businesses talk about disaster recovery, they’re often envisioning scenarios such as natural disasters or cyberattacks. But COVID-19 has provided a reminder that business disruption can take many different forms, many of which you can’t anticipate.
At the same time, those disruptions can take place almost overnight. As businesses were forced to close their offices and quickly adopt a remote work environment with the onset of COVID-19, companies with existing plans in place were far better positioned to transition quickly and effectively, while minimizing security risks or disruptions for their customers.
The next business disruption is a matter of when, not if—and there’s no telling what form it might take. Take COVID-19 as a reminder to prepare for the unexpected; It could end up saving your business someday.
How to Adjust Your Plans Based on Those Learnings
A major disruption like COVID-19 presents an opportunity to make strategic changes that improve your business continuity plan going forward. Here are a few improvements you may want to consider in light of the challenges brought by the current pandemic:
- Make a plan to address employee shortages. COVID-19 reminded us that certain disaster scenarios can result in the loss of employees, either temporarily or permanently. This can disrupt recovery processes by removing individuals responsible for executing key roles within your plan. Develop a succession plan as a component of your overall strategy to ensure that essential roles are overseen regardless of circumstances.
- Familiarize employees with remote access and communication tools. The infrastructure for remote work is key, but training and protocols to govern the use of these tools are also critical. Business continuity plans should include training on essential tools so that employees are ready to use them when the time comes.
- Consider embracing remote and hybrid work arrangements to boost morale and ease any future transition in response to a business disruption. When remote and hybrid arrangements are in place, it gives your business operations more flexibility in the face of unforeseen change. Familiarity with alternative modes of operations allow employees to better prepare for adapting to the circumstances of your business’ disaster recovery.
Push Your Business Continuity Plan Further
Your business continuity plan isn’t a static blueprint. It’s a living document that should evolve with your business needs and goals—and as you gain greater insights into the protocols and support that allow for more seamless recovery.
Eager to upgrade your business continuity plan? Contact us today.