In the past, business continuity planning may have been far from a priority in the minds of many business executives. However, the recent global pandemic, a significant increase in the threat level of U.S. hurricanes and wildfires, and long term climate implications have led many companies to realize the importance of planning for the unknown. After all, 90% of companies fail within two years after a disaster, and 40% never reopen (AccessCorp). As frightening as these statistics may be, it is heavily influenced by the fact that 75% of companies don’t have a continuity plan, at all. (CCS Technology).
Why Does a Business Continuity Plan Make Such a Crucial Difference?
A survey by ITAC found that 98% of businesses say one hour of business downtime can cost over $100,000. When multiplying that number by days or even weeks, companies’ financial burdens amidst a disaster can easily be unsustainable unless they can continue generating revenue. Businesses that can continue to offset their costs during a disaster are far more likely to weather the fiscal storm than their competition. Well prepared businesses may even find themselves at a comparative advantage once the dust has settled. With less financial strain, fewer backlogged processes, and a minimized need to rescale, these commendable companies are primed to push ahead on current and more important matters.
Where Your Business Continuity Plan Should Start!
Like all solid business plans, a continuity plan should begin with clear and defined objectives. Make sure to note what scenarios the plan should cover and set measurable goals to ensure your plan is meeting expectations. What level of productivity do you wish to maintain? What profit margin do you believe your company can meet? These metrics will help you test your plan’s viability in the event of a disaster to ensure it’s getting results.
After setting these goals, it helps to establish an acceptable downtime. Doing so will assist significantly in deciding when and under what conditions your plan should activate. Finally, it’s time to set priorities. Understanding what business-critical functions you can support during a disaster will help maintain a reasonable revenue stream. It’s also essential to account for the other processes and operations your business-critical functions rely on.
For example, a business-to-business (B2B) company needs access to customer contracts to complete their sales. By storing the contracts off-site in a cloud repository, they could easily share contracts with their customers no matter their location. If, however, all their contracts are stored in a physical, on-site file cabinet or on a digital server in their inaccessible office, the sale would have to be put on hold, or worse yet, would never occur.
How an ECM Solution Can Help
ECM software like Square 9’s GlobalSearch can help protect business-critical documents and allow for easy and secure access during a crisis. With SOC compliant security and easy to implement access controls, GlobalSearch can give you everything you need to keep information flowing, no matter the circumstances.
If you would like to learn more about our ECM software, GlobalSearch, and how this solution ensures business continuity for organizations to maintain essential functions in unexpected disaster contact, Square 9 Softworks today.