During the pandemic, many people switched from being on-site full-time to working entirely from home or in a hybrid environment. This was a blessing for many during this period but also an emergency action. We were all sent home one day, expecting to return in two weeks. Weeks turned into months, and now many firms are transitioning to permanently hybrid or remote work.
Unfortunately, many companies forgot to address a significant change in operations and policies affecting both business and employees.
Revisiting your disaster recovery and business continuity plan
For years, disaster recovery and business continuity plans and policies have been a standard practice for large corporates. Small businesses don’t always have either of these in place. In either case, now is the time to modify or create them.
Disaster recovery isn’t limited to a building and other assets the firm owns. It applies to everyone in the company, including rank-and-file employees—not just the key owners. In today’s hybrid and remote workplace structure, you may have employees scattered throughout the country or even worldwide, so all employees need to be considered.
Of course, if you’ve never gone through creating a disaster recovery plan, then the idea of making one might seem overwhelming. To help you get started, here are some questions to ask yourself and your team.
Who owns the “keys”? This is often the manager or lead of a department or business section. For example, if the head of your tax department was unavailable due to a natural disaster in their hometown, who would be able to fill in? If your IT coordinator lost their home—or worse yet, their life—in a hurricane, does someone else have access and training to maintain the systems?
What can the company do to help? What resources are available through the company to help? If five employees located in California lost their homes in a forest fire, how far is the firm willing to go to help? Having guidelines in place minimizes the impact on business continuity.
Who is located where? Do you have single-employee locations where only one person is employed in that city? Do you have clusters where five or more employees live in the same town, and could all be affected by the same disaster? What do they do, and how would their inability to work affect the firm? Knowing where people are is crucial.
How can we implement a wellness check? If an employee working in Arizona hasn’t shown up online for a few days and isn’t responding to calls, does the company know how to initiate a wellness check for their area?
Are emergency contacts up to date? Many people designate an emergency contact when hired but may never update those contacts after a divorce, marriage or death.
Why is keeping the keys to the castle vital?
In small businesses, there is often only one person who has the keys, and no one has been trained to hold the spare. With no spare key available, everything can and will come to a standstill when something happens to the key holder. This doesn’t just impact the business; it can also affect employees’ lives.
In a remote work environment, disaster recovery is no longer tied to just the company’s location. When your work and team can truly be anywhere, it’s essential to have plans in place to help people maintain connectivity and productivity. This will help future-proof your firm for whatever challenges come.
Do you need help getting firm leaders in alignment on IT strategy?
Boomer Technology Consulting can help you prioritize IT projects and ensure they support the firm’s overall vision and strategic plan. Complete an interest form today to begin fast-tracking your firm’s success.
Erin Shively, IT Coordinator at Boomer Consulting, Inc., is excited to grow the company’s existing tech stack with new and emerging technologies. Her role includes troubleshooting technology issues, tracking and creating internal processes, and handling on-site tech set up for events at the Accounting Innovation Center.