Saturday, July 13, 2024

What does successful business continuity look like?

During the past two years, the economy has taken an unprecedented hit that has shaken almost every industry to its core. Whilst it isn’t the “doomsday” we all feared when the pandemic first hit, there are still key lessons to be learned for companies that are looking to prepare themselves for all eventualities. Whilst this post won’t provide solutions to the global issues that we face, it will give business owners an idea of how to build and establish a business continuity framework so that your business has a plan to fall back on to navigate itself through an emergency. 

Understand your businesses core needs: 

Getting an understanding of what your business needs to function may seem like an easy process but it can get difficult when you think about the foundations from which your business works. Dependent on the sector you’re in, the key resources in which your business needs is going to differ. For example, if you’re an office-based business, you may have to think about how you’re going to manage the IT equipment that is necessary to run your business. Working from home is now a big prerequisite that a lot of people expect in the current global landscape, so understanding how you will arrange, manage and organise your IT equipment. 

This may not seem like a huge requirement that is needed to be planned out however the adoption of hot desks, laptops and other forms of technology when global lockdowns were implemented caused huge issues with many businesses not being able to adapt quick enough. Having a plan in place if lockdowns were going to happen again would be a smart way of thinking ahead, whilst enabling your business to function during times of normality.

Conduct a business impact analysis:

Carrying out a business impact analysis is a simple process in order to determine the criticality of specific activities your business does as well as associated resource requirements and what is needed during a business disruption. A BIA report could account for anything that is deemed a business disruption, so the findings are fairly general as they are applicable to a wide range of situations. 

The aim of this process is to establish a general understanding of your business, identifying its key products, services, critical activities and the associated resources that support them. In understanding your businesses core needs, you’ll understand how your business actually functions and what you will need during certain scenarios where key resources may not be available. 

Using the recent pandemic as an example, in a scenario where a brick and mortar office isn’t available due to lockdowns, IT equipment that is portable and adaptable is going to be vital. A business impact analysis is going to raise key points that you are going to have to account for if you want to still carry out your business as usual during times of need. 

Businesses in commercial sectors that can’t or don’t have the ability to support workers at home may have a hard time adapting to the new norm, as workers globally are expecting a hybrid approach to the working week. More and more businesses are implementing a split approach which leaves any business that can’t adapt in the shadows. 

Understanding what technology your business needs: 

Technology is vital for almost every business that functions well. Without a proper process to measure what your workforce does with that equipment can leave business owners and line managers the information they need to measure performance, especially if your workforce is going to work from home. Certain processes like receiving inbound calls may be important to listen back to if this is a necessity for your business to operate. 

Processes that would normally be dealt with in an office environment have to be re-phrased and re-imagined when your employees are working from home. A business that is looking to adapt to this new format of work-life should begin with equipping its staff with the right tools for the job. Whether this is in the form of laptops or computers that are able to be moved around is up to the business owner. You can also consider phone units or some way of making and receiving phone calls if your business depends on this to function.

If phone calls are an important business process for your company, ask yourself, if incoming and outgoing calls make up the majority of your businesses communication, have you considered how you’re going to ensure business continuity when your employees are working from home? Considering things like Teams Call Recording is going to be essential to stay ahead of the curve.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
Sam heads up Cheshire-based PR Fire, an online platform that has already helped over 10,000 businesses to grab widespread media coverage on their news at an extremely accessible price point.

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