When an emergency or disaster strikes a business, employees have to recover operations quickly and get back to full productivity if the business wants to avoid becoming one of the nearly 40% who never reopen their doors after a disruption. With statistics like this, your company should have a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan in place, with specific consideration to the people on the front lines tasked with keeping everything up and running—your employees. Here are some of the key features of a BCDR plan necessary to help your employees do their jobs: Offsite work capabilities Many companies these days allow employees to work remotely. But when a disaster occurs, additional employees may need to work off-site, especially if the safety of the office is compromised or if employees aren’t able to physically get to the facility. A unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) system can help keep everyone connected, as this disaster recovery (DR) solutions will enable organizations of all sizes to continue business as usual by automatically rerouting calls to any location and any device–landline phones, mobile devices, and PC-based softphones—to maintain telephone service. In this instance, a hosted PBX solution is an ideal option for supporting working remotely in case of an emergency or interruption, as the core communications infrastructure is housed elsewhere Succession plan Disaster is a case of “all hands on deck,” but there may be situations when key employees are unable to work or are not available. If that happens, you’ll need to fall back on a succession plan, which replaces those key individuals with other employees who have been trained to step in and assume leadership positions or other roles on short notice to execute the…. IT checklist A BCDR plan is not complete without identifying an IT team responsible for overseeing and implementing the technical portion of the plan which helps your employees access their online work environments and data. This team needs to be responsible for creating and managing an IT checklist, which should include: Mapping application dependencies Today’s business environments comprise a vast network of interdependent components–many of which are essential to their operations. Before disaster strikes, it’s imperative to understand the relationships among them and then map dependencies to inform an overall strategy for maintaining (or restoring in some cases) normal operation. When you understand application dependencies for data migration to a cloud platform, you can: A formal DR policy Disaster Recovery policies are living documents that guide you through all possible scenarios and contingencies in case disaster strikes. Plans should specify designated hot and cold sites in case the primary facility is uninhabitable, consistent objectives or timeframes for getting back online, and data backup protocols such as a 3-2-1 plan (in which at least 3 copies of mission-critical data are kept, stored on 2 different devices, and 1 copy physically kept offsite). While it’s impossible to plan for everything, continuously poking around for weak spots through periodically or regularly scheduled practice drills will help to ensure maximum coverage. Downtime and outages are a fact of life in today’s digital, data-driven environment. Having well thought out plans and the right systems in place may not be able to fully prevent them, but can help to ensure that you’ll at least have a business to come back to after the problem has been fixed.