5 elements of continuity: Where is the missing link in your strategy?

Business continuity isn’t optional in a fast-paced economy, and you can’t let a single component of your recovery plan fall by the wayside if you want to stay in the running. There are countless ways that natural disasters, human error and cybercriminal activity can negatively affect your operations, so a comprehensive DR strategy is essential to ensure these roadblocks don’t bring your business to a halt. Don’t wait until the last minute to piece together a plan when you know that proactive measures are necessary for success.

Piecing it together
While you may know that DR is a critical aspect of corporate management in today’s business landscape, the details of such a strategy might not be as clear. With diverse operational demands evolving every day, it can be hard to keep up with the latest developments in the boardroom, let alone the recovery requirements that accompany these shifts. Here are the five core elements that need to be part of your continuity outlook, regardless of the industry or market you occupy.

1. Total team coordination: What good is a continuity strategy if not every employee is fully informed of the game plan? Utilize tools such as emergency alerts via mobile, as well as other communication channels such as email and voice to keep everybody in the loop. Even a shred of uncertainty in the workforce can rip a recovery blueprint apart at the seams. In a crisis situation, hesitation is your worst enemy. Develop a foolproof method to stay in contact with your entire employee base to ensure smooth and reliable strategy execution in a worst-case scenario.

2. A place to stay productive: Disaster situations often prevent you and your staff members from safely reaching the office. In many cases, facilities themselves can be put out of commission for weeks before repairs are made. You can’t let such obstacles affect the trajectory of your business, but make sure you have a space designated for continued productivity during power outages, floods and everything in between. Telecommuting can serve as a Band-Aid solution for a time, but eventually, you’ll need to bring everyone together in one workplace to achieve optimal results.

3. Tools of the trade: Backup workstations can be a powerful ally in a disaster recovery blueprint, but additional equipment is often necessary to bring a business back to full operating capacity. That means procuring extra printers, monitors, power generators and other key items that keep your company humming along. If you have a recovery service provider on your side, you can also orchestrate delivery of these units to backup workplace locations, boosting productivity from literally any emergency office environment you want.

4. Complete IT restoration: If you’re neglecting your IT backup and recovery needs, you may as well kiss those terabytes of data goodbye when a disaster rolls around. Data centers are fragile, and without a comprehensive tech recovery strategy, you may lose every shred of information you’ve developed, collected and organized over the years. Make sure you have a way to replicate these IT assets in at least one off-premise location and restore them whenever necessary.

5. Regain momentum: Even if your company only experienced a few hours of downtime, it’s important to do some damage control and make sure every employee, stakeholder and client is back on track with the tools and services they demand. This may mean coordinating an email newsletter campaign to customers to ensure everything is in order, the crisis was successfully averted and extra support if available if needed. Brand loyalty is crucial in such a competitive business environment, and you need to build back every bit of consumer confidence that may have been lost.