How this plan should look like cannot be said in general. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for developing a business continuity plan (BCP) or for growing your company. A veritable flood of publications – from books to blog posts to podcasts – deal with all aspects of business development and management. But one thing runs like a thread through all the advice on maintaining continuity: you cannot take enough precautions. Always expect the unexpected.
Business continuity plan in changing environmental conditions
Economic and environmental processes, new laws and regulations, changes in society, attitudes towards work-life balance and technology: all of this can quickly change operational continuity impact. How executives deal with such changes is critical to a company’s persistence, that is, its ability to respond appropriately to changes in environmental conditions and threats.
An organization that continuously develops processes for dealing with changes and does not try to cope with every change spontaneously has the edge: it has one A head start over the companiesthat are not designed to adapt to a dynamic environment. Occasionally, changes lead to a crisis. In this case, an important part of your leadership role is to keep your business running. Ensuring the safety and health of your employees and at the same time satisfying your customers is a test of the fire for your leadership skills in the event of a crisis.
Ensure business continuity plan with processes and technologies
Even in the age of hyper-automation, your employees are at the heart of your company: They ensure that operations run smoothly and that customers receive the best possible care. Therefore must man at the center of continuity planning stand – both the employee and the customer. For this purpose, your employees should be equipped with suitable tools, processes and guidelines so that they can also serve customers in an emergency. It is best for your employees to drive with clearly defined and previously tried-and-tested processes that offer them alternatives to do their job.
One of the most important aspects in this context is the ability to communicate with your customers on different channels and in both directions. This means: The customer should be able to send your employees inquiries and requests via their preferred communication channel. This also means that your employees can communicate with each other across different countries and time zones. This is most likely possible with cloud-based communication and collaboration tools that are accessible anytime and anywhere via voice, video or messaging.
The home office is already widespread even without a crisis
No matter whether you experience problems with the website or major, general crises – cloud-based communication solutions ensure that your business continues to run smoothly. With them, teams stay connected without losing contact with the customer. Cloud technology also ensures that data and resources are available even in the event of a disaster. In this way, a company remains capable of acting even if something unexpected occurs.
Even if there is no crisis, your company will have changed in another way. So the number of employees working in your home office has probably also increased in your company – a trend that seems to be accelerating. According to the Global Workplace Survey, published by International Workplace Group, a provider of flexible workplace solutions, half of business people worldwide do not work at one of their main locations two or more days a week. In addition, flexible workplace regulations apply in 62 percent of companies worldwide.
Business continuity plan: tendency towards a more decentralized way of working
Although disasters are driving the spread of the mobile workplace significantly, the trend towards a more decentralized way of working is increasing even without a crisis. Because studies suggest that people work more effectively in the home office and are more productive.
Instead of trying to stop this development, entrepreneurs should take advantage of the opportunity to take the office with them wherever they go. They can prepare for the changed conditions: with technologies that enable productive, efficient and unproblematic mobile work, and thus represent a pillar of continuity.
Communication platform from the cloud
A cloud-based, mobile office solution, for example, allows companies to control telephone systems remotely, connect employees sitting at different locations and make information easily and easily accessible. In addition, there are also communication platforms that always provide employees with the usual voice, video and messaging functions in the same quality. No matter whether they are in the café, the kitchen or another office.
In any case, there is no shortage of technologies with which companies can support mobile working. However, the focus of every technology stack should be a communication system that enables employees to work anywhere. This ensures operational continuity no matter how far apart the members of a team are.
About the author: Sanjay Macwan has been with Senior Vice President Enterprise Engineering and Networks since 2018 Vonage. As head of the enterprise platforms and development team, he is responsible for driving innovation and development for the company’s enterprise solutions. In 2019, Sanjay Macwan was also appointed Chief Information Security Officer, responsible for the security of the global service infrastructure. He is also responsible for the company’s information security and risk management programs and its portfolio of compliance certifications. Throughout his career, Macwan developed and led technological innovation programs in various industries that established digital transformation, more efficient operations, and a sustainable culture of innovation. He is also a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and the inventor or co-inventor of 41 US patents in the fields of mobile technologies, multimedia, content, IT security and cloud.