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A “disaster” can take many forms. The ones that usually come to mind are natural: flood, hurricane, fire, earthquake. Disasters can also be caused by humans and include cyber security incidents such as a DDoS attack or a data breach. Either way, you need to have a business continuity plan in place, or you risk having to recover from catastrophic downtime.

According to research from Statista, in 2019 25% of global businesses reported that the average hourly cost of downtime was between $301,000 and $400,000. Most businesses can’t afford financial costs that high in addition to the damage done to their reputations when their systems are down.

It’s time to prioritize business continuity planning. Here are four steps for creating a plan that will keep you up and running no matter what kind of disaster strikes.

  1. Securely back up your data. This is the most basic yet crucial component of any business continuity plan. If your data isn’t continuously and securely backed up, your operations will come to a grinding halt in the face of a disaster. Cloud backups are a smart choice, especially when the off-site backup server is in an entirely different geographic location as the main storage site.
  2. Put together a business continuity team. Employees from all areas of the company – IT, the executive suite, office managers, etc. – should be involved in developing and maintaining a business continuity plan. Everyone should be aware of and accountable for their roles so that the plan will be executed smoothly when necessary and business will continue on as usual.
  3. Create specific guidelines. Your plan needs to include actionable procedures to complete in the event of a disaster. This includes failover plans for data connectivity and communications systems, priorities for what needs to come back online first, and delegation of responsibilities to specific individuals.
  4. Train and educate your employees. Once your business continuity team has developed a plan, your whole staff needs to be trained on it. Conduct exercises so that everyone is aware of their role in keeping the business running should a disaster occur. Employees should be aware of the stakes of a disaster and the important part each person plays in the business continuity process.

Unfortunately, disasters are bound to occur. The good news is that with a strong business continuity plan in place, the impact of any type of disaster on your business will be minimal.

The experts at Access One are here to help you put the pieces of your business continuity plan in place – from cloud backup to voice solutions that stay online in a disaster. To keep your business up and running no matter what happens, contact Access One today.