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Business Continuity Planning

The Power of LinkedIn for BC/DR

With the ever-growing amount of social media platforms, it’s inevitable that you find yourself using at least one form of social media throughout the day. As of 2017, 77% of US adults are on social media; odds are, you are using one of them. In the professional world, social media is a great way to network, build B2B partner relationships and form avenues of communication between other individuals in your industry. Here are some interesting facts about the platform that may boost your professionalism the most, LinkedIn.

As of 2018, LinkedIn has over 500 million members. Of those members, 260 million log-in monthly, and of those monthly users, 40% are daily users. That makes for a great tool to utilize in building beneficial business relationships with others in the business continuity and disaster recovery industry. In fact, amongst Fortune 500 Companies, LinkedIn is the most used social media platform.  Most users of LinkedIn are high-level decision makers who leverage the platform to accomplish a variety of business tasks. Whether its gathering news, marketing, networking, or hiring, the opportunities are endless. Ninety-one percent of executives rated LinkedIn as their number one choice for professionally relevant content. Content consumption has jumped tremendously over recent years, so it’s no longer just person-to-person interaction, it is also useful for reading and sharing business content amongst a large set of people, across many different industries, including business continuity and disaster recovery.

A tool so powerful is only beneficial if you use it properly, so put some time into creating a powerful, attention grabbing LinkedIn profile. Here are a few tips on how to spruce up your profile:

  • Be warm and welcoming: This might seem like common sense, but you want people to click follow, not unfollow.
  • Choose a Professional Photo: A clear, friendly, professional picture is important. Don’t have a photo of you with a group of friends from last week’s party.
  • Show relevant work information: List some achievements, projects, and overall professional experience that sets you apart from others or makes you more valuable.
  • Update your status: Activity goes a long way, it shows you care and that you are actively trying to further yourself professionally. Ideally, update your status once a week.
  • Build up your connections: Now that you have your profile all figured out it’s time to add some connections. Don’t go overboard, keep it relevant. Try to start with a minimum of 50-100 connections.

Social media isn’t going away any time soon, and LinkedIn is basically a must have in the professional world.  Now that I’ve thrown some facts and tasks your way, you have a good foundation to help you grow your LinkedIn profile. And may I suggest a great starting point, follow BC in the Cloud for up-to-date business continuity and disaster recovery news and insight.

 

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – Luxury or Necessity?

Over the years, the topics of business continuity and disaster recovery have become much needed strategies for all businesses alike. More and more businesses are realizing the positive contributions these strategies are providing to their business and revenue. Statistics prove that business continuity and disaster recovery are necessary in today’s ever-growing world of technology.

Increase in natural disasters

As a trend, the incidence of natural disasters worldwide has steadily increased, especially since the 1980’s, according to reports from the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and from global insurer Munich Re.  It’s known that over the past decades, weather has become more and more destructive due to climate change. With the costs of having operations down for even a few hours, can a company afford not to have a Plan B strategy?

Cyber attack’s more prevalent than ever

With the increase in technology, there is also an increase in malicious activity. According to McAfee Labs Threats Report in 2013, there is a steady growth in mobile and overall malware, a sharp upturn in worldwide spam, the emergence of the ‘Deep Web’ (an online supply for cybercriminals), and an increase in the use of digital currencies by cybercriminals to maintain anonymity for their illegal activities. Could a company afford to risk its sensitive information to the world of cyber-attacks?

Communication via technology is the norm

The growth in technology has also increased the necessity and expectation in the business world on the usage of these technologies. Technologies, such as Skype, GoToMeeting, and Join.me, are a constant everyday must for businesses to go about their daily interactions. Not to mention all of the other technologies used to fulfill day-to-day needs. Can companies afford not to have a recovery solution in place?

Business Computing World estimates that companies lose between $84,000 – $108,000 for each hour of downtime.  On top of monetary losses, according to studies by the US National Archives and Records Administration, 80% of companies without well-conceived data protection and recovery strategies go out of business within 2 years of a major disaster. Over the decades, there has been a clear, sharp increase of companies that have introduced BC and DR strategies into their plans. It’s clear to see BC and DR have moved from being a luxury to being a necessity in today’s business world.

Have No Fear, Notification Systems are Here!

How well does your organization communicate?  If the answer is not too great, then let me share a solution that could help you.  Notification software is a rapidly growing area in business continuity.  These dynamic structures allow you to reach your employees by personal or work contact information, fax, and even SMS text. Notification software includes a plethora of features, such as reaching employees based on geographic location, if a specific population is impacted by regional events.  Time is of the essence when your organization is critically impacted.  These advancements in communication not only allow companies to locate and confirm their employees safety but enables anytime, anywhere communication.

There are endless benefits to having emergency notification systems implemented within your organization.  A few of those benefits include:

  • Comprehensive Threat Response – organizations are able to quickly react to large scale threats like weather patterns and pandemics
  • Reduces the spread of misinformation – sending location or department wide notifications help control the message that is being conveyed and avoid misinformation from being distributed
  • Web-based system – system administrators have the ability to initiate notifications from any place they have internet connection
  • Real-Time Information – have to ability to provide real-time status updates on the incident that has occurred

These are just a few of the benefits an organization can appreciate when they implement an emergency mass notification system.  The terrifying truth is that anything can happen without a moment’s notice.  It is in these situations that organizations require flawless communication.

Now I ask you, if you haven’t already implemented notifications, what are you waiting for?

The Evolution of the BIA

BIA Evolution

As many of you can probably relate my first experience with Business Continuity was a sink or swim situation.  Right out of college I joined a company that was providing COOP (Continuity of Operations Planning) consulting for a state government.   My immediate responsibilities were to quickly learn the ins and outs of Business Continuity and COOP planning before going onsite to work with another consultant to conduct formal Business Impact Analysis for key state departments.  At this time (2003) it was very common for a BIA to be a long drawn out process taking months and months to complete face to face interviews and to document the findings.  Although the information being collected was invaluable there were some keys flaws I quickly found with this process.

  1. The information provided was not always accurate and many times required additional follow-ups and interviews to confirm the details, delaying the overall BIA report back to Senior Management.
  1. The combination of employees believing their department and functions/processes were always the most critical and the pressure of the face to face interview meant that the function/process ratings were typically identified as critical/mission essential from the interviewee.
  1. The information we spent so much time capturing was some times out of date and had changed by the time we were presenting the final BIA report to Senior Management.

Immediately following my consulting work with the State I was tasked to take the lead on implementing planning software for large companies with a focus on how to help automate the BIA and planning process.  Thinking about the pros and cons I learned during my first BIA experience I began implementing shorter more concise BIA questionnaires in the planning software, with clear help text to make it easy for users to go in unassisted and provide the information needed on a more frequent basis.  I also worked closely with clients to implement weighted questions and dynamic BIA approvals to ensure there were checks and balances in place forcing users to spend more time considering the actual criticality of their function/process instead of always identifying it as the most critical.

In a world where time and resources are limited and potential threats and risks are always looming companies now more than ever need up to date clear concise data they can use on the fly and access from anywhere.  Although having more information is nice what good is it if the information is old and not reliable?

To learn more about how BC in the Cloud can help automate your BIA and planning process go to www.bcinthecloud.com.