If things worked as they were supposed to, your company’s business continuity and disaster recovery plan worked as it was supposed to. Being shut down or having to relocate your employees to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic might not have caused a ripple in your customer service or retention. If you didn’t have a robust – or a business continuity plan at all, you may have lost clients and more importantly money and data!

We hope that you had a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan before coronavirus disrupted the country. If you didn’t, don’t let another year pass before you implement one. If you did have a BCDR, now is the time to revisit it, do a post mortem and see if you need to make any changes. We still don’t know how long the shut downs will last nor do we know how much more business disruption will occur. Don’t take a chance on losing more time and money.

Did Your Business Continuity Plan Work? 5 Checkpoints

In order to prepare for a business disruption, you should have had the foresight to anticipate scenarios that would potentially impact your business. Could you have planned for COVID-19? Probably not BUT you could have planned for a situation in which you had to quickly and effectively move your employees to a work from home environment.

Was your business prepared?

Did you take time to anticipate scenarios in which you couldn’t get to the office, there was a hurricane, fire or flood that shut you down? Here are a few questions you and your team need to ask:

  1. What if senior management was no longer available?
  2. How could you survive if you didn’t have income coming in for a month or more? What if you didn’t have cash coming in for a week?
  3. What if your organization was hacked or infected with ransomware? Do you have a way to access your data and keep serving your customers?

Hackers are, and have been, out in full force during the coronavirus pandemic. They know that many businesses were completely unprepared for the work from home scenario and that means their data was ripe for hacking – and many were.

How do you get started on preparing your company’s BCDR?

Here are steps to help the process move more smoothly:

  1. Do a risk assessment
  2. Determine that you are going to initiate the process
  3. Write business continuity strategies that take various scenarios and disasters into consideration (natural and hacking, for starters)
  4. Implement a incident response team
  5. Have a chain of command in case one person – or more – on the team are unavailable
  6. Hold awareness and training programs with the principles and staff
  7. Test the BCDR in a simulated disaster (like the practice fire drills in school, don’t let people know it’s a test because you’re trying to find and plug any gaps
  8. Have a back up crisis communication plan in place
  9. Coordinate with external agencies, local and national team members and off-site locations where you may need to relocate

When you have a plan in place and a natural flow to the process you will see where there are gaps and can plug them now rather than in the midst of a crisis.

You can’t prepare for every emergency, but you can plan for potential impacts of various scenarios. If you didn’t have a BCDR in place when 2020 hit, now is the time to see how your company reacted and pivoted and where there were gaps in the process.

Resiliency is key

If 2020 taught business owners anything it was that they needed to be resilient and needed to pivot. How many Zoom meetings had you honestly been on before 2020? If you’re like most people – the meetings were rare because you used to be able to knock on someone’s door and have a conversation.

You also need to know what it means to be resilient in your particular business niche. Does that mean having off-site or cloud backup? Does it mean having another supplier for components if your original supplier suffers the impact of a natural disaster? Remember, it’s not just your business that could be impacted by a disaster – if a business partner is impacted, it could roll downhill and your business could suffer if your BCDR isn’t current and robust.

Give us a call and let’s talk about your BCDR. Be prepared when the next disaster strikes or help your business pick up the pieces from 2020.

Take this business continuity checklist assessment and see where you need to fill in the gaps.

WareGeeks Solutions is a Roselle, New Jersey-based complete IT consultant and solutions provider. We specialize in 360 Protect Data Now managed services, Data Protection, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (#BCDR). We work with law firms, real estate and property management professionals and in the healthcare industry. If you have IT or security questions contact Seth at WareGeeks Solutions. For information or a consultation, call (877) 653-7146, or email us at info@waregeeks.comwww.waregeeks.com