Before Disaster Strikes: Why You Need a Business Resiliency Plan

Liz Alton

Do you have a business resiliency (BR) plan in place? The reality for business leaders—especially at growing companies—is that disaster can strike at any time. One study from Nationwide Insurance found that two out of three small businesses lacked a written disaster recovery plan. Here’s how to improve your BR plan, so that if a disaster strikes, your business assets are protected—and you’ll be able to continue to serve your customers.

Gather Essential Information

During a crisis, having the right information on hand makes it easier to communicate what’s happening. Gather updated employee contact data for the following groups and put plans in place for calling them during an emergency:

  • Executive team
  • Essential personnel who will lead emergency response
  • Customers
  • Partners
  • Vendors
  • General public as required

Risk Assessments and Response Plans

In many cases, an effective resiliency plan starts by looking at threats, rating their likelihood, and putting together clear response plans. For example, businesses in the Northeastern United States are more likely to deal with heavy snowfall and mandated office closures. Other types of issues require different and more-complex responses. Spend time thinking through what’s likely to come up and how to efficiently respond to those situations. Be sure to use action checklists, accountability, and feedback loops to confirm these steps have been completed.


Recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) both refer to the amount of time in which key systems must be back online or key data must be recovered. Look at your organization. What are your most important business processes, technology assets, and data reserves? When disaster strikes, how long can you afford for these systems to be offline before your business is impacted? Establishing these guidelines makes it easier to prioritize recovery processes.

Have the Right Hardware

Let’s say a disaster strikes and your physical office needs to close temporarily. Does your team have the right equipment to work from home? Look at what having the right technology in the hands of key employees can do to keep your business running when disaster strikes.

Have a Backup Plan in Place

Backing up your data is essential. Take a closer look at how you’re managing those backups. How often are they happening? What data is being backed up? Where are those backups being stored? With onsite solutions—such as hard drives—a fire or flood could endanger your data. As a result, companies are increasingly turning to the cloud to provide secure, offsite backup. Having multiple copies in different locations ensures no single emergency will compromise every copy of your data.

Disaster Recovery as a Service

It’s not enough to just have your data on hand. Companies also need a plan in place for getting back online as quickly as possible. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provides a unique roadmap to developing a business continuity solution that’s right for you. It also puts the technology solutions in place to get you back online as quickly as possible.

Disasters strike businesses every day. The companies that continue to operate smoothly and get back on track in the shortest time possible are the ones that have a plan in place. From communications protocols to DRaaS solutions, today’s businesses have more resources at their command to support business continuity.

Liz Alton is a B2B technology and digital marketing writer and content strategist. She has worked with a variety of brands including Google, Twitter, Adobe, Oracle, and HP, and written for publications including Forbes. She is a regular contributor to Connected, Connection’s official blog.