No SMB owner, school, or government agency wants to think about bad things happening in their community or to their data. Nonetheless, cyberattacks and other disruptive events like natural disasters or fires can cause chaos to a business that is not prepared for them.
Consider studies which have revealed that more than 50 percent of businesses that lose their data will be shuttered within six months or less. And that too is likely just as bad for the community as it is the facility experiencing this unfortunate outcome.
The good news is that while you can’t know what the weeks, months, and years ahead will bring, you can design plans, train your staff, and implement safeguards to protect your business for the worst.
Remember: When it comes to a disaster, timing is everything.
It’s important to know how to maintain business operations as best as possible — including communications with team members, parents, and customers — while working to restore system access to a secure network to reduce downtime.
Note: These key components support each other, but don’t be fooled. They are not one in the same.
Overall though, the faster you can restore secure service, the better. So, it’s crucial for SMB owners and other organizations to have solid, well-comminuted plans in place to prepare for and mitigate any potential IT disasters that could occur when the unexpected negatively impacts your operations.
Good preparation begins with knowing the difference between what a business continuity plan is and what a disaster recovery plan is. AND how they work together to get (and keep) you back in business.
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan (BCP) involves a proactive, documented approach to maintaining operations during and after an interruption or disaster.
The goal of a BCP is to minimize downtime, maintain communications and keep your business running as smoothly as possible until normal operations can resume. There are many different elements that go into a business continuity plan, but some of the most important include:
- Identifying critical functions and processes
- Developing alternate plans for continuing those functions and processes
- Putting together a team of employees who will be responsible for executing the plan
- Testing the plan regularly to make sure it will work when needed
Having a well-thought-out business continuity plan can mean the difference between survival and failure in the face of a disaster.
When it comes to communications in particular, diversifying your access to the outside world via reliable VoIP communications is crucial. If power and/or internet connectivity are lost, traditional phone service will also go down.
However, as long as there is an internet connection, VoIP can continue to function. This means that employees can still communicate with customers and suppliers, even if they are working remotely.
Additionally, VoIP systems are often more reliable than traditional phone systems, which can be knocked out by severe weather conditions. Don’t wait until it’s too late — start planning now!
If you’re looking to learn more, review our approach and reach out any time. It’s our job to help your business stay ready for anything.
What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is also something important for SMBs and other organizations to prepare for and formally document. This plan centers on the direct responses to take in order to restore access to essential data and systems ASAP after natural disaster, power outage, cyberattack, and things of that nature.
A parallel between BCP and DRP goal is to get your business back up and running quickly following a disaster.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you create your disaster recovery plan:
- Data backup and restoration: This is arguably the most important part of any disaster recovery plan. All businesses should have a data backup solution in place so that they can restore their data in the event of a disaster.
- Business continuity (here’s the overlap): How will your business continue operating during or after the disaster? This means having a plan for how employees will work remotely, if necessary, and how overall business communications and operations will be maintained.
- Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): DRaaS is a cloud-based solution whose market is expected to reach $26.73 billion by 2026. Providing businesses with backups of their data and systems in the event of a disaster, it’s a popular service for businesses that don’t have the resources to maintain their own backups on-site.
Again, both BCPs and DRPs are important tools for keeping your small business up and running during and after an unexpected event, requiring careful planning and execution. But it’s important to remember their core functions, document plans, ensure training is part of onboarding, and provide existing staff with refreshers on both.
How Dice Communications Supports Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
As an SMB owner, school system, or government agency, it’s important to be prepared for anything. But when Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery aren’t your specialties, it can be hard to know where to begin.
That’s why Dice Communications exists. We’ll help you prepare now so that if disaster strikes, you’re ready for it. Here’s how it works.
First, we’ll assess your organization’s current state of preparedness, by:
- Identifying critical business functions.
- Determining what resources are needed to support them.
- Collaborating to develop mitigation strategies.
- Develop plans and procedures for maintaining continuity of operations during and after a disruptive event.
- Document those plans and procedures.
- Conduct regular risk assessments to ensure our plans remain relevant and effective.
And, in the event of a disruption, we are prepared to provide alternate means of communication and access to information.
Dice Communications has a comprehensive approach to business continuity and disaster recovery that helps organizations maintain their operations in the face of any type of disruption. Our team has the experience and expertise to help your organization be prepared for anything.
By being proactive, you can avoid a lot of headaches later on.
Don’t be caught off-guard by natural or manmade disasters. Learn more about affordable, reliable IT management.