Remote work has created many challenges, both for employers and employees. Everyone had to adjust their lifestyle to the new reality.
While for employees, it mostly meant staying at home all the time and setting up a home office, business owners had to figure out the way for the company to work properly. For some, it continues to be a struggle.
In this article, you can find information on maintaining business continuity during remote collaboration, including implementing business continuity software, identifying priorities and critical processes, using secure technology, and many more.
Implement Business Continuity Software
Business continuity software is designed to provide you with an additional layer of security and protection for your data. Even if the whole network crashes or gets destroyed, this software will make sure that your company data is safe and available.
What it does is it identifies potential risks that could interrupt your business operations and suggests what procedures you should follow to mitigate them. Besides, it can estimate which risk factors might be more disruptive to your business, making it easier to evaluate the biggest threats to your company.
Choose a solution that works with all your collaboration tools and has a well-designed dashboard so that you can monitor your work at any time. Also, make sure that it offers multi-layered security and supports business-level security zones.
Business continuity software can be a huge help when you are dealing with a crisis. Nevertheless, when it comes to business continuity, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every company is unique, so it’s impossible to create a single solution that will solve all the issues. That’s why you should identify your priorities when it comes to recovering from a critical incident.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What data do we need to recover?
- Is it possible to lose some data without upsetting our clients?
- What are the most critical processes?
- How long can we maintain business continuity in a distributed environment?
All these questions will help you define what you need to do and how to achieve it. After you answer them, you will have an easier time coming up with effective strategies to combat the threats that need to be prioritized.
Use Secure Technology
One of the main challenges of working remotely is ensuring security. Insecure technology can lead to leaks of sensitive company data or cause other problems. And in case of a disaster or another critical incident, you might not have time to deal with it. That’s why you should use secure communication tools that are safe and reliable.
Use secure file-sharing services that encrypt and protect your files without slowing down the process of sharing them. You can also use remote desktop software or virtual private networks to ensure a secure connection between your systems and users.
This way, you will protect your business from cyber threats, such as computer viruses, data breaches, or phishing attacks.
Train Employees on Business Continuity
A part of a business continuity plan should be training employees on how to act in case of various emergencies like a natural disaster or a cyberattack. It is a critical task, as your staff is responsible for the largest share of day-to-day operations.
Ensure that all the employees know their responsibilities and how they can help recover from a crisis. To do it, you can enlist the help of a professional or, if you know the subject well, you can give a few lectures yourself.
Your workers are the first line of defense, so make sure that they know how to respond when something bad happens.
Create a Backup Plan
When it comes to business continuity, a backup plan is crucial as it ensures that your business recovers from any disruption or disaster. The first thing you should do is create an up-to-date map of your current IT infrastructure, including hardware assets, software licenses, and other necessary information. Then you need to find out where all the backups are stored and how long it will take you to access them in case of an emergency.
Remember that during crises, every minute counts. So make sure that your plan includes moving backup copies to an offsite location as soon as possible after their creation to keep them safe from theft or other incidents.
Establish Communication Channels
Communication is one of the most important elements when it comes to business continuity planning. You should have several communication channels available at all times so employees can reach you in case of an emergency. For example, if your local network is down, they should be able to contact you by calling your cell phone.
Besides, your company’s website needs to have a 24/7 support center with phone numbers and emails listed so everyone can reach tech support whenever they need it.
Making these minor improvements will make a huge difference when it comes to dealing with a crisis. In a tense situation like this, you have no time and resources to establish proper communication channels, so do it before it is too late.
Maintain Reliability of Systems and Equipment
One of the essential parts of a business continuity plan is keeping all systems and equipment reliable at all times. It includes physical security measures like alarms and locks, but also technical measures like software updates and regular maintenance checks performed by professionals who know how to fix any issues before they become huge problems.
A good idea would be to include the costs of maintaining equipment into the budget for redundancies and backups. In case of emergency, this money will save your business from complete collapse. Only when you are confident that all of your equipment works properly can you turn your attention to other aspects of running your business.
Test Your Plan Regularly
Once you have finished your business continuity plan, test it regularly so you can see how good it is in action! After all, you do not want to spend your time and resources on something that does not work.
One thing you can do is conduct tests on a regular basis. However, you should also conduct a few tests randomly. It is the best way to catch any issues before they cause severe problems to your systems or business processes.
Include several tests in your monthly agenda so you can track them and make sure that your company is ready for any critical incidents!
The Bottom Line
While there’s no denying that remote work brings us a lot of benefits, it also creates challenges that many businesses haven’t thought about before — one of them being how to maintain business continuity during remote collaboration.
Nonetheless, you can solve this problem with the right approach. It all comes down to identifying priorities and critical processes, using secure technology, and setting up a roadmap for the future. Additionally, keep in mind that you need to train employees on how to act in case of various emergencies and test your plan regularly to be ready when something wrong happens.
Trust us — it’s much easier to prepare for a crisis now than to deal with one during an emergency. If you do just that, you will improve the chances of keeping your business up and running for many years to come.
Przemysław is a content writer whose primary focus is to deliver high-quality articles on new technologies. His other main fields of interest are philosophy and philology.