Contributed By


Kevin O'Toole

Senior Vice President, Product Management at Comcast Business

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Have a Plan for Any Sized Disaster – Big or Small

May 02, 2018

Before you are faced with any type of disaster situation, it’s necessary to develop and implement a strict business continuity plan.

All businesses know the negative effects of network downtime, especially downtime that’s unforeseen and unprepared for.  Disasters can range in severity and frequency, but they all have an impact on your business.  In fact, network outages cause an average of 324 hours of downtime a year—and it doesn’t matter who your network provider is. A majority of these 324 hours are the result of random events that cannot be prepared for, but instead require a backup plan in place. 

Oftentimes companies don’t put disaster plans in place because they aren’t in hurricane or tornado territory, or they believe something like that is so rare it probably won’t affect them. But these major natural disasters aren’t the only reason to take effective measures to protect your business.

Business owners often fail to plan for the smaller, more frequent disasters that are likely to strike. Thunderstorms, power outages, equipment failure or even human error can all cause network outages for a business—just as severe as those caused by natural disasters. This means the inability to place orders, receive payments, do inventory reports, etc. for an extended period of time – causing you to lose revenue and perhaps even business to your competitors.

Before you are faced with any type of disaster situation, it’s necessary to develop and implement a strict business continuity plan. Without one, your business may become part of the lost $700 billion per year due to internet downtime.

Given that most companies today rely on uninterrupted network connectivity in nearly every aspect of their business, thinking about – and planning – a network business continuity plan needs to be a fundamental piece of your overall risk management strategy.

Use these tips from Forbes to develop your business continuity plan…so you’ll be ready for anything.

1. Define potential risks. It is crucial to begin your business continuity plan by identifying any and all potential threats or risks that can disrupt your business.  These can include any type of risk from human error to being located in an area that floods frequently.

2. Determine how those risks will affect operations. Once have your list of possible risks that could affect your business, consider how each risk will impact your business. Severe risks will require a lot more planning ahead then the smaller, more frequent disasters.

3. Develop your business continuity plan. This is the most important phase, where you will determine how your business will reduce interruptions in the case of a disaster, how you will recover from them, and the resources you will need to protect your assets, staff, and business as a whole from further compromise. 

4. Implement your business continuity plan. Once your plan is finalized, distribute it to all key members of your business to ensure they are comfortable with all steps outlined in the business continuity plan. One of the very first steps should be to invest in an automatic internet backup connection to keep your business up and running even if your network is out.

5. Review, review, review! Your business continuity plan should be reevaluated regularly to ensure it remains relevant and up-to-date. Make corrections as necessary, and give it a test run to see how it works.

As said in step number four, one of the simplest things to do to ensure business continuity is to invest in an 4G LTE automatic internet backup connection.  It will provide peace of mind, ensuring that your network remains up and running for up to six hours during a power or network outage.

Now, this may not help in a natural disaster situation that lasts weeks, but during a more common outage it will provide your business with the internet connection needed to stay in touch with your coworkers, clients, suppliers and branch offices. 

Read more, 5 Steps To Developing Your Business Continuity Plan.

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