In the United States it is about that time when many fires, floods, heat waves, or tornadoes can happen and really effect businesses. Although many businesses realize the importance of a business continuity plan, many plans are flawed due to a number of potential reasons.
1) Unrealistic expectations- When planning for Business continuity you need to expect the worst. Many businesses create their plan expecting power, phones lines, internet, water will all be working and that roads will be clear. You need to think outside the box because often this will not be the case. The best solution to this is to analyze each different situation and decide how you will handle it, one at a time. Determine and discuss with staff how they will handle working outside the office, because you do not want to automatically assume they will be able to work at home.
2) Inefficient communication- Communication is key in the business world and is one of the most important factors in success. For this reason you need to be sure that your business continuity plan is communicated to all employees and understood by all involved. All employees should have access to the pieces of the plan in which they are involved, and the plan should be gone through with each employee to understand their role.
3) No testing- With everything IT you continuously need to test, and retest often. Even if you feel you have put together the best possible plan, you need to ensure this by testing it initially and then continuing to test it. Make it part of your plan that you test it every so often, or this could turn into a very costly mistake. Do not only test for the most common types of disasters but test for numerous types that can occur to your business that are not very common.
4) Incomplete plans- Many businesses continuity plans fail because they were not prepared enough. To be prepared, you must have a complete plan that outlines procedures from start to finish. Your plan should not only include planning for your system, but you need to remember to plan for your employees needs as well. Knowing every part of a business continuity plan is tough, the best way to ensure that your business has a proper plan in place is to work with an IT partner who has experience in continuity planning.
5) Plan is old- The world is constantly changing, especially when it comes to IT. It is necessary to audit and update your plan regularly, at least once a year if not more. Changes likely include new staff, new equipment, or remodeling done to the building.
If you are struggling with the plan and believe you need help developing one to keep your business up and running, please contact us to see how River Run Computers can help your business be prepared.