Disaster plans and recovery plans are an essential aspect of business that can’t go unaccounted for. To account for the worst you need to ask yourself questions early, what happens if your systems get hacked? Or there’s a storm that causes a power outage? There are countless ways that systems can fail, so having a disaster plan will protect your data and people.
Forgetting how essential your phone system is in an emergency would be a mistake. All disaster and emergency response plans require some form of communication. Emergency scenarios that require you to contact law enforcement and emergency services require access to phones. However, there are countless ways that phone lines can be disrupted, even by accident. Natural disasters and human-made interference could leave your phone line useless.
VoIP Backup Plans
VoIP systems are already set up to plan for some potential data loss related disasters. With VoIP’s being connected to a cloud, all of the data on it won’t be lost if a power outage happens, or something happens to the devices. Instead, everything is safe and secured on the cloud and easily recovered on other devices when the worst happens.
The system is meant to allow for access from anywhere on any colleagues connected device, which gives it a definite advantage in securing your data in a disaster. Other systems without a cloud need to be backed up and secured in another way regularly. Whether it be through a hybrid of cloud and external hard drive or all on the cloud, there needs to be a backup plan in place.
Another feature that is often offered by a VoIP system is a monitoring system that will help you get notified when your backup plans need to be put into action. This is a front line defence in the case of disaster and could help you avoid losing anything before it happens.
If your company is on a VoIP system, it requires internet connectivity to make phone calls and many other basic functions. Before you have a crisis that causes the internet to go down, make sure you have a backup plan in place. Is there another phone line that isn’t online or other backup methods of communication for the outage duration? Weather, maintenance, and many other reasons can cause the internet to go down, so you should be prepared to be able to go offline for indeterminate periods.
Talking to Your Provider
Whether you have a VoIP or otherwise, talking to your service provider is essential to understanding what they offer in terms of disaster recovery. They may not have outlined all of their disaster plans or recovery plans right off the bat, so bringing questions is essential. Some disasters may not even happen to you and instead happen to your service provider and affect you. Outline all of your concerns and set up a protocol of communication should disaster strike.
What to Prepare For
There will be a lot to keep track of when there is a disaster, and businesses often overlook critical aspects of their plan that should be included.
- When something goes wrong, be it a hacking situation or physical loss of property, there will be repercussions throughout the business. If something has happened or is happening, you must plan for who should be notified and in what order. Remote workers, colleagues or management on vacation, and everything in between should all be considered.
- Planning for Future Operations
- Depending on the circumstances around the disaster, there could be uncertainty in whether or not you should keep your doors open. When there is immediate danger, damage or concern, you may consider closure until you can relocate operations. Other situations may call for temporary closure, and you need to be prepared for how you can support customers in the meantime.
- Plan for All Hypotheticals
- Though there are more obvious disasters that could happen, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and other cataclysmic events, they are far from the only type of emergency you could be facing. Prepare for power outages, routers going down, the flu going through the workplace and all other potential minor setbacks. Having plans for the little crisis can help prevent the repercussions from becoming major hindrances to operations.
There is no disaster too small to consider, and any form of disaster could spell the end of unprepared businesses. Preparing a plan and ensuring that everyone knows what to do in the worst-case scenario helps with peace of mind and general everyday readiness.