Even the best-run businesses go through times of chaos and even disaster, but the steps your business can take to ensure continuity will mean that it can weather any storm and return to normal operations as quickly as possible.
Business continuity is about selecting pre-defined strategies during and after a disastrous event. Discover in this article what the five most important strategies are, why they are vital, and what your business can do to apply them effectively.
During a business disaster, the worst thing to do is to keep your staff in the dark. They need your business to do well just as much as you do and will jump to your aid if they think there is something they can do to recover the situation. Therefore, you should maintain transparent communication throughout a disaster event and open the aperture for them to volunteer for recovery tasks as and when they are needed.
Another strategy to maintain continuity is to automate the menial and repetitive tasks. Investing in RPA technology will free up your workers’ time to concentrate on the most important tasks for your business. RPA becomes particularly effective during disaster events because it will take care of the basic functions of your business while your staff get on with recovery.
Reliable IT Systems
At times, a continuity strategy should also be about preventing the disaster from happening in the first place. IT systems reliability is a basic facet of modern business, but even the biggest businesses can experience it. For example, an RBS systems failure in 2012 led to them being fined £56 million.
Most small businesses can prevent failures by taking the time and capital to invest in the best IT staff available. Whether through an in-house team or contracted consultants, knowing that your systems are in safe hands will set your mind at ease.
Cyber security is another case where small businesses can ensure continuity by preventing disaster. By far the biggest threat facing small businesses is cyber attacks.
The U.S’ National Cyber Security Alliance have reported that 60% of small businesses cannot sustain their business operations in the six months after a cyber attack and must scale down their operations.
These businesses could have prevented cyber-disaster from threatening their survival had they committed to investing in cybersecurity – including the simple options like training your staff about cybersecurity awareness. Sometimes the practical solutions get overlooked because companies focus on technology.
Backup and Recovery
Even the best cybersecurity strategies occasionally fail, and hackers are welcomed into systems where they will steal terabytes of treasured data, often holding it to ransom for thousands. Businesses are aware of this threat, with 1/5 stating they have, expect to, or pay ransom for their data.
Yet you could entirely mitigate this threat if these businesses would invest in data backups, which is the process of duplicating all data into an alternative location. This could be local, on the cloud, or a mixture of the two. If your business is unlucky enough to face a data breach, you can simply recover your data from the cloud and quickly return to normal operations.
Securing Continuity in the Contemporary Workplace
Ensuring business continuity is harder now than ever because of the challenges of remote work, which can make coordinating your staff around a disaster response protocol even harder. Keeping to the strategies detailed in this article will guarantee smooth running will continue regardless.