Disruptions in business can force your organization or client to close its onsite processes and cause temporary interruptions in operations. Preparing for these disruptions with a business continuity strategy is critical in ensuring productivity is not impacted and operations can continue at a normal capacity. According to a study in Forbes, over 8 out of 10 businesses have experienced unplanned downtime in the last three years.
You can deliver a disaster recovery solution to your organization or business with the right strategy. Implementing a resilient cloud-based voice and messaging service can ensure your company is prepared for outages and emergencies.
What Is Business Continuity, and Why Is It So Crucial?
Business continuity involves preparing to maintain operations and critical functions during an interruption or emergency. Sometimes called disaster recovery, it is a proactive approach where the business develops a strategy to navigate outages, natural disasters, cyberattacks, and other emergencies.
Business continuity ensures that the organization can operate at an acceptable capacity during interruptions and disasters. Even relatively short-lived interruptions in production and operations can be costly. For small businesses, a disaster can result in the permanent closure of the company. According to a study in Business.com, natural disasters result in 4 out of 10 small businesses failing, and they cause another quarter of businesses to fail within the year. Planning for disaster recovery can mitigate the risks of failure during and after an unforeseen event.
What Challenges Should a Well-Planned Disaster Recovery Strategy Address?
Your company or client’s continuity strategy should provide comprehensive preparedness for various emergencies and events. Plan a strategy for working offsite and recovering from a network outage while continuing operations onsite as necessary. Your plans may include preparing for the following:
- Natural disasters and weather events
- Workplace illnesses and pandemics
- Onsite renovations and temporary closure of the premises
- Fires and onsite hazards
- Utility issues
- Network and power outages
Top 5 Business Continuity Strategies for Uninterrupted Operations
Various disasters can have dramatic and long-lasting impacts on businesses. The right strategy will ensure your company or client is ready to remain productive and operate at its normal capacity even during a disaster. These strategies will help your organization or client navigate outages, natural disasters, and unplanned shifts to remote work.
Strategy #1: Leverage the Reliability of Cloud-based Communications
Cloud-based communications, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), offer inherent reliability and scalability benefits. Since messaging and calls are handled over the Internet, they’re more accessible and can dynamically scale to meet your client or company’s capacity requirements. When the organization no longer needs the capacity, the cloud’s elasticity allows it to scale back to normal levels without wasted investment in equipment or infrastructure.
Cloud-based solutions offer greater reliability than traditional communication options. Traffic can be rerouted to another network if there is an outage to ensure inbound calls are received and outbound communications remain functional. The leading VoIP and SIP trunking providers guarantee delivery with dynamic physical failover to a working network during an outage. That way, your business or client’s voice-critical applications will maintain availability with over 99.99% uptime.
Strategy #2: Maintain Business Operations Remotely
Remote communications facilitate disaster recovery by allowing operations to continue outside of the office. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations had to quickly transition to remote office environments. When you have a continuity strategy in place to work offsite, productivity and operations can carry on without having an onsite workforce.
Your organization or client can unify its communications in the cloud and benefit from seamless access to calling and messaging from any location. Cloud-based communication solutions allow users to access the business phone system from anywhere with a stable internet connection to deliver a consistent calling experience. Teams can collaborate remotely to maintain productivity levels and stay on task.
While many companies implemented remote work policies as a reaction to the pandemic, a communication solution that permits remote work, including VoIP and SIP trunking, can prepare your client or business for other emergencies. From onsite construction to natural disasters, the organization can quickly accommodate offsite work demands.
Strategy #3: Minimize Interruptions with Voice Resiliency
Integrating resilient voice communications into your disaster recovery plan can help your client or company avoid interruptions. Mission-critical voice applications can benefit from resilient voice solutions, maintaining seamless communications regardless of network interruptions. A resilient voice communication solution will respond to outages by rerouting inbound calls from unstable networks to familiar working networks.
In the past, organizations would be required to port phone numbers to another carrier to navigate network outages. The process could be time consuming and costly. Modern VoIP calling solutions allow you to assign direct inward dialing (DID) phone numbers to departments and individuals within the organization. When there’s an outage, a resilient network with dynamic physical failover will ensure inbound calls reach the intended recipient with DID.
Strategy #4: Reduce the Risk of Cyberattacks
Cyberattacks are a common threat to the modern business world. They can bring down your networks and communications, leading to interruptions and data theft. When you integrate your company or client’s communications into their software and systems using an application programming interface (API), it can provide enhanced functionality but also create a vector on the public internet for cyberattacks. Approximately 6 out of 10 small businesses fail within six months of a cyberattack or data breach. A disaster mitigation and recovery plan will ensure your client or business is prepared for and defended against malicious actors.
Partnering with a reputable cloud-based communications provider for your APIs ensures your client has updated software to reduce the risk of cyberattacks. It provides business continuity and can save your company or client from financial and reputational damage. Established communication API providers maintain network security to protect your cloud-based services and offer security-enhancing features like toll fraud detection, network monitoring, and destination restriction.
Strategy #5: Utilize Remote Call Forwarding to Ensure Inbound Calls Are Received
As mentioned above, your business continuity strategy should allow your company or client to prepare to work remotely. VoIP and SIP providers can ensure calls are delivered to the intended recipient even if the user is offsite. Remote call forwarding is a feature that routes incoming calls to the intended recipient’s VoIP phone in another location or mobile phone.
VoIP calling works over Wi-Fi, LTE, and 5G devices, so users in remote locations can receive calls like they would from their onsite phone. It ensures callers have a seamless experience reaching the correct department or user.
How to Ensure Your Communications Provider Supports Your Organization’s Business Continuity Strategy
When you select a cloud-based communication partner, it’s critical to consider whether the provider will support your disaster recovery plan with scalability, mobility, and resilience. The right partner will help your company or client grow to meet its calling and messaging demands and respond to emergencies quickly.
Scalability to Ensure Consistent Growth
While your organization may be prepared for disasters, a sudden spike in inbound calls can result in dropped calls without a scalable communication solution. Scalability is essential to help your business or client take inbound calls as demand increases.
A scalable communication solution will allow the business to increase and decrease capacity to normal levels without a significant investment in onsite hardware or infrastructure. It will provide flexible metered pricing, so the business will only pay for the calls made during a billing cycle.
Reliability to Guarantee Delivery
Reliability and resilience are crucial in ensuring your business or client can meet its calling and messaging demands. A reliable communication partner will offer exceptional uptime and availability, guaranteeing calls and messages are received 24/7. Communication providers offer resilience with dynamic routing to transfer calls to a new physical network when there is an outage. Security features like network monitoring and up-to-date APIs will protect your business or client’s communications from cyberattacks.
Remote Availability for Distributed Workforces
In addition to reliability and scalability, a communications partner will enable your client or organization to work offsite as necessary. A mobile solution will optimize the company’s productivity while users are working remotely. It allows users to access calling and messaging from an internet connection and provides consistent service, regardless of location. Features like remote call forwarding will ensure inbound calls are sent to their intended recipient on a remote IP phone, mobile device, or software-based phone.
Guarantee Continuous Operations with a Reliable and Resilient Communications Solution
When facing unexpected disruptions, organizations must adopt strategies for business continuity to maintain operations and productivity. With the right plan in place, you can help your company or client’s strategy come to fruition with resiliency and adaptability.
With Flowroute as your partner, your communications can continue uninterrupted during outages, disruptions, and emergencies. Our HyperNetwork™ ensures your voice and messaging applications are protected and reliable with network monitoring and dynamic rerouting. You can implement our secure APIs with version control to keep your integrated communications systems working around the clock. Get started with a resilient voice and messaging solution designed for a robust business continuity plan.