There are two kinds of enterprises - those that are prepared for a crisis, and those that aren't. One of the keys to resilience in the face of the unexpected is a sound business continuity plan (BCP).
By and large, BCPs were traditionally oriented towards natural disasters, fire or succession of top management. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic highlighted the need to plan for sudden illness of multiple employees.
The 2020-21 COVID-19 pandemic, which brought with it offices closing indefinitely and without much warning, truly brought to the fore the crucial need for business continuity planning. Almost overnight, enterprises had to continue sales, operations, payroll, collections, and every other working process virtually and without physical intervention.
A PNAS survey conducted in 2020 found that 43% of the small businesses surveyed had temporarily closed. The ones with a business continuity plan in place were able to continue operations smoothly when they moved out of their offices.
Leveraging tech to improve business continuity planning
In 2020, almost 80% of employees around the world were forced to work from home on account of the pandemic, many overnight. They no longer had access to their files and systems, and many aspects of work that are taken for granted (like leaning over a colleague's system to share feedback) could no longer happen.
By moving apps and data to the cloud, you can plan for remote operations in the face of similar situations occurring in the future. Leverage unified communication and workstream collaboration tools to improve the ease of collaboration and interaction among teams.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation noted a 69% increase in internet crime in 2020, with reported losses exceeding $4.1 billion. There's a wide range of potential virtual offenses, which only get worse once your employees are working away from the office and from their own devices.
Secure your employees and their systems through multi-factor authentication (MFA) and an identity and access management solution (IAM). Employees must present multiple forms of identification to sign in, and their identities and access are pre-determined and managed automatically and securely. This reduces the chances of impersonation are much lower. There are over 300 million fraudulent sign-in attempts to cloud services every day, and MFA can help block 99.9% of account-compromising attacks.
When employees suddenly move to their homes, most will not have a ready plug-and-play home office. Their home internet and power connectivity may not be up to the mark. As an organization, you don't want your people dropping off unexpectedly owing to connectivity issues.
Prepare a troubleshooting guide for employees to help them assess the source of network connectivity issues. Keep a plan in place to ensure that your IT team is on call to offer tech support, advice and product purchase for everything from router placement to updating outdated modems.
The COVID-19 pandemic and other major crises can shake up demand and market functioning. The business that continues operations as though the market had not changed, is likely to fail. Leverage digital systems that use predictive analytics to identify product lines most likely to survive crises such as the pandemic.
The right technology can make business continuity easy. The smoother the transition, the less downtime you suffer, saving money and reducing stress while empowering employees.
The best time to start planning, modernizing, and digitizing is now. Do get in touch with our team of experts at CloudNow to understand what tech you need to optimize your business continuity plan.