If you missed our previous BC/DR posts, we’ve covered:
- Real life examples of BC/DR in action
- How to create a business continuity strategy
- How technology can help you manage risk
Wrapping up our series, we’re highlighting four key takeaways for ensuring a successful BC/DR deployment. We asked our BC/DR expert, Mike Cybyske to come up with his most critical advice for anyone developing or deploying a BC/DR strategy. Mike is a crisis manager at Qwest and is responsible for overseeing our corporate Crisis Management Team.
Testing 1, 2, 3… – The only way to validate a plan is to test it. You should test your BC/DR plan frequently and strengthen it with the things you learn through testing.
Communication is key – During a disaster, buildings are evacuated and people may scatter. It can be difficult to locate the people responsible for executing your BC/DR plans. It is important to have in place a simple, effective way to communicate with all parties – one that will not be affected by the outage. Make sure department heads maintain up-to-date contact lists and have a centralized number that employees can call for information. Use new forms of communication technology, such as text messaging, or social media, to disseminate critical information if needed.
Remember your suppliers – The popular trend toward outsourcing provides most businesses with the option of offsetting workloads so you can still meet customer needs while you’re recovering. Make sure you know who the vendors and partners are that support your business. Consider your supply chain for daily business operations, and have a back-up plan. Also, validate that your suppliers can do what they say they can do in the case of a disaster.
Keep planning – Keep an eye on your changing environment and stay informed about new applications your business is using. Make sure new employees familiarize themselves with the plan as they come on-board. Also, be proactive in your planning. For example, if there is a large scale disaster, it can be difficult to get staff back in the area to take care of the issues that occur; particularly if you’re working for an infrastructure provider or bank, where the pain is severe and immediate. Work with state agencies now to determine necessary credentials and processes to get people back into damage areas quickly.
Do you have other key takeaways based on your own BC/DR planning?