What Steps Are Involved in Protecting Your Business with Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Services
Have you been following our short series on business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) services? If so, you’ll recall that last Tuesday, I talked about the importance of having BC and DR plans in place. (This is something the COVID-19 situation we’re still dealing with has made abundantly clear.) In Thursday’s post, I touched upon the difference between business continuity and disaster recovery services.
I also highlighted the value of having an “At Ready” Outsource relationship in place to help when your in-house printing operation is “maxed out.”
It can help you handle an influx of business activity without having to quickly hire and train to address a short-term situation.
And it puts systems in place to take over during a disaster situation to ensure communication and the mailing of critical documents to customers, governmental agencies, and others protecting your revenue stream.
BC & DR Services? Great Idea. But What Does It Require?
This week, I’m going to share more detail about what’s involved in establishing an “At Ready” outsource relationship with a trusted print partner.
On Thursday I’ll finish up the series. We’ll look at a typical fee structure as well as how to assess your current processes to ensure a secure and effective service plan.
Today, I’d like to focus on the “anatomy” of a disaster recovery plan.
It Takes Work to Work Properly
It’s a contract. But it is definitely NOT a “set it and forget it” situation. In these dynamic times, a business continuity and disaster recovery plan only works if it is kept fully up to date.
During a disaster, there is no time to make sure everything is properly set up. And it’s a terrible time to learn that it wasn’t! This is how we ensure that doesn’t happen:
It is more than a mere “relationship.” It is formulated based upon a contract, usually for a three-year period. And it is based upon a Statement of Work (SOW) governing the actual responsibilities it entails. That turns an intention into a commitment—something both parties can rely upon.
Quarterly or Annual Validation Testing
This only makes sense. It’s why fire drills and simulations are conducted for critical systems in public safety and other areas. Periodic “run-throughs” to make sure systems operate as planned is an extra measure of security and peace of mind.
A Monthly Meeting
Another typical requirement. A monthly meeting of key personnel ensures that your business continuity/disaster recovery plan doesn’t slip “under the radar.”
Companies and corporate goals can change and evolve from month to month. So do the business, economic and physical environments in which they function.
Meetings keep everyone on the proverbial “same page.”
A Monthly Checklist
Another typical practice is a checklist that the parties responsible must run through to ensure every part of the plan is up to date. Common items on that checklist include:
- Verification of connections (This ensures that file transfer protocols remain valid and accurate)
- Program updates and document changes (This identifies any changes s to the program itself or to the documents it covers. The system is updated to accommodate them.)
- Updates on any changes in the requirements or delivery information for critical client documents. (Changes must be input into the system.)
Identifying Any “At Ready” Outsource Work Needs
As I mentioned last week, outsource work keeps systems charged and serves as a continuous “dress rehearsal” for systems that will be essential for disaster recovery.
The inclusion of such work as an overflow channel aids in preparedness and often can lower subscription fees as a result.
Declaration of Priorities
It is important in advance to prioritize which services will be given the highest priorities at the time of a disaster.
In the face of potential unknowns that could impact available time or capacity, what must be accomplished first?
A typical sequence, for example, would be payroll, followed by federal, state, and other checks, then all other critical documents.
But each business must specify those things with the BC/DR partner.
Better Than Solving Problems – Preventing Them
The purpose of Superior’s business continuity and disaster recovery services is simple: help you mitigate risk.
Whether due to a temporary surge in workflow or a full-blown (think COVID-19) disaster, the vital documents that drive your business will be created and delivered. That includes invoices, checks, policies and claims, regulatory/legal documents letters and notices and many others.
Our partnership with Digital Data Centers gives us access to one of the most trusted national resources in delivering business continuity and disaster recovery services. Their advanced data protection capabilities coupled with Superior’s expertise in business efficiency comprise a formidable resource in your corner.
A Superior Partner
We’ve helped businesses thrive in literally every business climate for nearly 100 years.
As an ISO certified organization, our processes must meet strict standards for consistency and performance for our customers. As a result, we have earned four consecutive Best of Print and Digital awards thanks to the positive “grades” those customers have given us.
Check in again on Thursday, when I will wrap up a few final details on what is involved setting up Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery services.
Today’s post may have made a BC/DR plan sound like a lot of work. But it’s really not when you have Superior guiding you through it. And it’s a lot less work than trying to rebuild your business after going through a disaster without one.