Amidst increasingly uncertain times, business continuity is vital. With coronavirus disrupting societies and economies across the world since late 2019, agility and adaptability have now become at the heart of many business strategies.
But it’s not just the aftermath of the pandemic that poses a risk to businesses: The war in Ukraine, Brexit’s aftershocks, labour shortages, inflation and the energy crisis, all have the potential to wreak both sudden impacts and long-term damage.
As the unexpected can happen at any time, it is crucial you have a plan in place to deal with difficult situations. Business continuity hinges on establishing systems and processes that ensure your organisation can still operate normally when the unforeseen happens — keeping disruption to a minimum and your hard-won reputation intact.
Crisis response and the home recovery office
By necessity, the COVID-19 pandemic made homes our new offices and for many, this remains the case. With most businesses now understanding how their operations can be shifted to remote working at short notice, the home is now a viable recovery office for future business continuity plans.
It makes sense to secure inbuilt resilience against future shocks with home working networks. Whilst mandated long-term home working may not be necessary again in the near future, we have learned that the home office can be a feasible option when unforeseen events occur. However, there remain a number of considerations to ensure that business continuity is effective in home settings and supports clients and employees alike.
Following these key steps can help to establish and enable a nationwide team of effective remote players and make the home a viable recovery office for future crises.
1. Reliable internet access
While connections in office environments are usually as strong as they come, reliability and speeds can differ hugely when a team is working from home-based recovery offices scattered across the country. Establishing sound, uninterrupted and uniform access to high-speed internet for all remote workers should ensure a speedy and uninterrupted response to any crisis.
2. Supply remote devices
All staff should have a suite of gold-standard remote devices, all of which should benefit from 24/7 support from IT departments. This is a far better approach than relying on a patchwork of employees’ own diverse kit, each with variable performances and capabilities. As well as business efficiencies and uninterrupted communications, ensuring that your team works from the same platform is far more secure than relying on their personal devices.
3. Secure remote systems access
Following on, it’s crucial that security remains a top priority with remote systems, away from the more easily monitored and ring fenced office environment. Use multi-factor authentication, which brings additional dimensions of protection when logging on and working, making it more secure than usernames and passwords alone.
Without a robust backup strategy, any business risks lengthy downtimes and service gaps. With the right precautions, any organisation can weather even the heaviest cyber-attack or human error without worrying about the impact on client delivery.
5. Disaster recovery plan
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is integral to any business continuity plan and is the only guarantee of uninterrupted service. It is a formal document that anticipates unplanned incidents, crises and disasters that could affect the organisation; complete with a set of procedures, policies and tools to achieve a quick recovery. DRPs should be reviewed and updated regularly by everyone tasked with its implementation.
6. Establish a remote working culture
Adapting to such working patterns can be a trial for many people, so take the time to secure buy-in with consultations, mentoring and training — supporting those with ongoing challenges. Not everybody’s home space and circumstances are equally suitable to remote working, so help those who have issues find solutions. Keep your people connected, happy and collaborative; without a strong, engaged and motivated team, no organisation can achieve business continuity.
Let CMAC support your business
As with any plan, thorough preparation is vital to having the confidence and ability to implement change at short notice. If you need support in ensuring business continuity, we can help.
Our specialist Business Continuity Transport (BCT) team ensures businesses across a variety of industries keep running smoothly, no matter what happens.
The BCT team provides bespoke crisis recovery plans and fulfils rapid transport and accommodation needs, bringing a seamless, dependable resolution to every scenario, at any moment.
To learn more about how we can help you ensure business continuity, submit your details here and a member of our team will get back to you.