With the current situation, organizations all over the world are looking for ways to mitigate the disruption and keep things as operational as possible. In this blog, we’ll discuss some strategies companies can look into to maintain business continuity.
What is business continuity?
According to Techtarget, business continuity is an organization’s ability to maintain essential functions during and after a disaster has occurred. Business continuity planning is important because it establishes risk management processes and procedures that aim to prevent interruptions to mission-critical services, and reestablish full function to the organization as quickly and smoothly as possible.
It also helps companies identify which functions are essential to allocate the available budget accordingly. The plan should enable the organization to keep running at least at a minimal level during a crisis.
Difference between business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan
As mentioned by the Business Continuity Management Institute or BCM Institute, IT Disaster recovery and business continuity are related but not interchangeable terms. Business continuity is the process of getting the entire organization back to full functionality after a crisis or disaster, whereas disaster recovery is about getting all-important IT infrastructure and operations up and running again.
5 Key Strategies to Maintain Business Continuity
- Empower your team. As more employees are working remotely, companies need to ensure that their workforce is able to fully leverage the tools available for them. Companies still relying on traditional training methods, should integrate modern training practices that would allow them to create engaging training experiences that ensure employees can be as engaged as possible when working in a remote scenario.
- Enhance your reporting. Analytics are critical during a disruption of operations like the one we are living. Data can help predict what might happen during a business interruption by analyzing different types of incidents. They can identify an organization’s vulnerable areas and propose solutions that allow you to closely monitor daily changes in productivity and absenteeism, improve the well-being of your organization and employees, identify business scenarios and the data needed to monitor and manage the impact on areas of business (e.g. supply chain, production, finance, HR, IT), and develop core KPIs and design organizational impact dashboards to enable business impact measuring and tracking.
- Keep communication constant. Your workforce will look for your guidance during these times. Keeping open and transparent communication, addressing their concerns, and on a regular basis, will help keep them engaged and maintain business continuity.
- Automate as much as possible. As more employees must start working from home, companies that are trying to drive operational costs down and maintain service levels, should really turn to robotics and automation. As we know, RPA technologies can take care of repetitive, rule-based tasks through software robots. By turning to robotics and automation, companies can redeploy their workforce into activities that are more critical and add more value for its clients, while the robots take care of those tasks. On top of this, RPA technologies are not costly, can deliver significant improvements in a short period of time, and are fairly easy to deploy.
- Provide the necessary tools. Companies need to ensure that they provide the proper software and have a solid infrastructure to support a seamless and secure transition to a fully remote work model. In order to do this, companies might need to quickly acquire new software (Secure video conferencing, collaboration, digital adoption solutions, and document sharing tools) or scale their technology capabilities (additional bandwidth and network capacity).
The role of IT departments during this situation will be critical for a company to maintain business continuity. IT leaders should look for strategic solutions that could help them address the challenges of today.