“To be prepared is half the victory.” The words of Miguel de Cervantes ring especially true in the world of crisis management. Even if you’re a pro at planning ahead, unforeseen incidents can still take their toll on business continuity, particularly when you assume you’ve got all your bases covered. Given the increasing frequency and severity of both physical and man-made threats (not to mention the cost), what can today’s organizations do to shield themselves from the unknown and make sure they’re ready to face the next disruption?
While no one can predict the future, successful business continuity is much more likely with a proactive strategy for crisis management. It isn’t just about moving to the cloud and giving your employees mobile devices. Avoiding the clash of expectations with reality starts with building a foundation of clear communications, so everyone knows the game plan and how to adapt when necessary.
These are three of the biggest stumbling blocks in the path of a reliable business continuity plan, and how your organization can use effective mass notification technology to overcome them.
3 Ways a Mass Notification System Can Correct Business Continuity Misconceptions
Misconception No. 1: Everyone Already Knows What to Do During a Critical Event.
In an ideal world, all your employees would know exactly what to do to maintain operations during a crisis. But even if you’ve put together a robust business continuity plan, practiced it and publicized it – and your employees know exactly where to reference it – there are bound to be a few questions that pop up when a real-world emergency goes down.
Given this reality, you need a way to reach everyone before, during and after disruptive incidents, whether they’re routine or unforeseen. By leveraging technology, organizations can take advantage of a mass notification system to keep all their stakeholders informed and connected when every minute counts.
Mass alerting gives leaders the ability to rapidly transmit information to the people who need it, at scale. That way, it doesn’t matter whether they know what’s expected of them or they’re unsure of the next move. You’ll be able to reach them quickly and easily when the time comes.
Learn how to communicate properly in a crisis with a comprehensive plan built on best practices.
Misconception No. 2: You Only Need One Method of Communication During Crises.
Everyone has their preferred mode of communication. Some people like emails, others prefer phone calls and still others like texting or in-app messaging. A unified platform will simplify the process for risk, security and business continuity leaders, while allowing each recipient to set their own preferences for delivery and even their language of choice.
Redundancy is another piece of the puzzle. If you’re relying on internal, self-hosted company email and your server gets knocked offline, you won’t be able to push alerts out with any sense of urgency. When a power outage throws a building or entire facility into darkness, landlines may go down and desktop computers may lose power.
Business continuity software with app-based mass notification capabilities can be a lifeline during these emergencies. And in the aftermath, read receipts and an audit trail can help determine who’s received your messages and who needs a reminder to log into the self-update portal to bring their contact information up to date.
Misconception No. 3: You Only Need to Worry About Communicating with Your Customers.
“The customer always comes first.” During critical events, this axiom extends to all your stakeholders. From your in-house employees to your supply chain and all the way up to your investors, everyone needs to know what’s going on, how it will affect them and the actions they can take to prevent damages and lost revenue while ensuring safety and well-being.
This also applies to routine emergencies such as minor systems breakdowns, product shortages and last-minute schedule changes. Failure to keep everyone who may be impacted informed is a preventable cause of frustration among employees, business partners and customers alike. During incidents of all types and severities, the ability to set up contact groups in advance makes it easy to make sure the right people receive the right information at the right time.
Whether planned or unplanned, the faster everyone gets up to date during disruptions, the sooner operations can go back to normal. No matter how your teams work, where your customers are located or what time zone your investors are in, mass notification technology keeps everyone in the loop with just a few clicks. Business continuity software that makes this process easy helps keep operations running smoothly.
Ready to Build a Better Business Continuity Strategy?
There’s no way around it – to protect your people, places and property you need a business continuity strategy supported by a robust communications solution. By identifying how you’ll keep everyone connected and practicing these protocols regularly, organizations can build a foundation strong enough to keep operations up and running while preventing business from going down for the count.
The best time to update your business continuity plan and test your mass notification system is before an emergency. Whether you need an upgrade or you’re brand new to communications technology, the experts at OnSolve can help risk, security and continuity professionals find a solution that works as hard as you do. To learn more about the role of critical communications in business continuity strategy, check out our ebook.