Follow These 4 Steps to Ensure Your Business Continuity Plan Is up to Date

If the events of the last two years have taught businesses anything, it’s that disaster can take on almost any form, and cyber crime is growing as the prime threat by the day. Businesses like yours have been left to wonder how big of a risk they can take as cyber crime’s effects become more and more expensive. Data breach costs rose from $3.86 million to $4.24 million in 2021 – the highest average total cost in the 17-year history of IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report(1)

And other disasters – such as pandemics or floods – can do just as much damage. Research surveying IT professionals found that the cost of downtime for high-priority applications was $67,651 per hour in 2020(2).

If your business is like most and not prepared to take those monetary risks, you need to consider implementing disaster recovery efforts to stay online if an outage occurs. While companies have historically focused on preserving and securing data, today’s distributed workforces must also ensure voice service stays online to maintain communication in the event of a disruption. The only way to achieve always-on voice service is through having an up-to-date business continuity plan. Read on to discover how you can ensure your plan is robust enough to keep your voice technology running when you need it the most – in a crisis.

1. Run a Risk Assessment

When was the last time you ran a risk assessment? If you haven’t completed one recently, it may be about time. A risk assessment will help you:

  • Identify and analyze any potential events that can impact your employees, operations, or assets 
  • Determine how prepared your organization is to handle these events
  • Determine if your voice technology will be compromised in an event

Your risk assessment will help you create a business continuity plan that includes appropriate strategies to mitigate the impact of all possible disruptions. 

2. Create an Incident Response and Communication Plan

Does your team know how they’ll be informed if an incident occurs? Everyone at your organization should know their roles and responsibilities in the event of a disaster – including the chain of communication, which is particularly important for remote workers. 

Have communication options in place that include voice messages, SMS and text, emails, and push notifications to ensure everyone on your team is made aware in a timely manner that a disaster has occurred.  

3. Set Up and Document Procedures for Recovery

If you have a plan in place, is it well documented? Knowing what the risks are and having a clear plan for immediate response and communication are vital. You’ll also need to create a step by step plan with procedures covering everything from:

  • The safety of your on-site employees
  • Procedures for securing any hardware or technology that lives on site
  • How to use a secure, cloud-based backup system, including frequency of backups and recovering them in a disaster
  • The technologies you need to continue communicating during a disruption, like cloud voice

Your plan should be both realistic and adaptable because risks and technologies are constantly changing. Document your business continuity plan in detail to ensure there’s no room for confusion or error in the event of a disruption.

4. Train Your Employees

Are your employees knowledgeable enough to act decisively in the event of a disaster? Everyone at your organization should be aware of their individual roles in the execution of your business continuity plan. Provide training – including actual practice so that your entire team doesn’t have to execute the plan for the first time in the event of a real disaster. Create strong documentation that walks employees through the steps they should take in case they need to relocate or set up hardware outside the office.

Once Your Plan Is Set, Opt for VoIP

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is a highly available voice technology that supports business continuity efforts. Once you’ve followed the above four steps to create your plan, choosing VoIP for your business is the next step to ensuring voice availability in the event of a disaster. VoIP is flexible relative to location, and your VoIP provider can reroute calls to other locations should one location be compromised. Reputable VoIP providers like TeleVoIPs not only offer disaster recovery plans for customers, they have their own in place so they are not unreachable during a crisis. 

Choose a provider that can do two things:

  • Guarantee 99.999% uptime – you’ll be glad you did when an outage occurs. 
  • Handle remote setup – their support team should be able to get users up and running no matter if they are in the office or at home.

Planning and Preparation Are Key

These steps will help you create the most up-to-date business continuity plan possible so you can keep voice technology – and other systems – online in a crisis. Thorough planning and preparation will help your organization stay up and running no matter the nature of a disruption. TeleVoIPs is here to support businesses’ continuity and disaster recovery efforts with voice solutions that provide automatic failover, redundancy, and other key features. Get in touch with TeleVoIPs and stay prepared – for anything.

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