This year has been a scramble for many businesses in Charlotte and the rest of the country. They’ve had to completely rethink how to keep operations going in the face of stay-at-home orders and pandemic closures.
Another factor thrown into the mix was how to establish safe places once lockdowns were lifted. Companies needed to adjust how they did things to ensure both customers and employees felt safe in their place of business.
One thing that all this disruption has shown is just how important both technology and business continuity planning are.
We’re still making our way to the other side of the pandemic now, but what about the next “disruption” waiting out there to happen unexpectedly? Are you prepared?
In a March 2020 survey, just 12% of businesses said they were “highly prepared” for the COVID-19 crisis.
Business continuity is all about having the ability to quickly recover from a crisis event that impacts business operations. This could be anything from a natural disaster to something completely unexpected, like the pandemic was when it happened.
Downtime costs businesses an average of $10,000 per hour. It can lead to more costly consequences the longer a business is down and trying to get back up and running.
It’s important to prepare BEFORE that next unexpected event occurs so you won’t be behind the eight ball. Following, are several systems to have in place to ensure your company is prepared for the next unwelcome disruption.
Keep Your Business Going, No Matter What
VoIP Phone & VoIP Mobile Phone System
If anything happens to your physical office or to your employees’ ability to work there, you’ll run into severe downtime problems if you’re still using a landline phone system.
Being resilient and planning for any type of operational disruption means being able to run your business from anywhere. This requires use of cloud technologies that don’t tie important functions of your business operations to a specific location.
VoIP phone systems allow your business lines to be answered from any internet-connected device. You can use VoIP on mobile phones as well to give employees the ability to answer their desk extensions even if they can’t go to the office.
48% of customers prefer communicating with companies by phone.
Not only does VoIP allow you to answer your business lines anywhere, it keeps you connected to customers in a time when they may need help or be wondering if you’re still open. If you get those calls without skipping a beat, your customers will have confidence in you, and your business will be in a much better position to weather the storm.
Team Messaging Workspace
If a massive snowstorm were to blanket Charlotte overnight, making roads impassable, how would employees know what was expected of them or what to do? Would it mean a flurry of individual phone calls trying to rally everyone with a plan?
A much better system is to use a team messaging workspace that is cloud hosted. An application like Microsoft Teams, gives everyone a “virtual command center” where they can connect with colleagues and supervisors to receive work instructions and communicate by messaging, voice, or video.
Instead of having to call employees individually, supervisors can just send out a companywide message in Teams with instructions for everyone that they can access by PC or mobile device.
Backup & Recovery System (Device & Cloud)
Many unexpected disruptions have to do with cyberattacks. These attacks can cause massive data loss if a company isn’t prepared with a backup and recovery strategy.
You should back up data regularly and have the ability to restore it to any device. It’s important to have a cloud backup so it is safely kept off-premises.
Companies also need to make sure they’re not only backing up computers and servers. They also need to back up data in programs like Microsoft 365 and G Suite, so they’re not left without vital files should a major provider outage occur.
Most companies have come to the realization that the cloud has gone from a possible upgrade option to an absolute necessity for business continuity. Workflows cannot be device-dependent any longer and need to be in a place where staff can reach them from any location and any device, PC or mobile.
This means doing a review of your technology use and replacing any manual or device-dependent processes with integrated cloud-based tools. All-in-one applications offer the best options for cost efficiency and integration. These include apps such as Microsoft 365 or Zendesk.
Moving to cloud tools shouldn’t be done without a plan. Otherwise you can end up spending more than you need to on cloud applications that don’t integrate well. It’s important to work with a trusted IT provider who can help you put the best systems in place for your unique workflows.
Be Well-Prepared for the Next “Disruption” with Help from Rocky Knoll Technologies
Business continuity planning doesn’t have to be painful or time-consuming. We can help you with a streamlined strategy that will improve productivity today and resiliency tomorrow.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 704.594.7292 or reach us online.