Emergency communications plan vital for business continuity

Emergency communications plan vital for business continuity

Nov 19, 2014


Companies should consider emergency communications (EC) as an integral part of a disaster recovery plan, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) has stated.

The BCI said many enterprises understand the importance of EC systems, but some may wait until it's too late to implement the right procedures.

A new report by the organization revealed only 13.5 percent of firms admitted not having an EC plan in place, with many policies also fairly comprehensive.

Statistics showed that 81.2 percent of respondents were prepared for an IT outage, 77.8 percent could communicate following a fire, and 76.2 percent had protection against power cuts.

Extreme weather conditions (75.6 percent), security-related problems (70 percent) and natural disasters (74.9 percent) were also commonly accounted for.

However, of the 13.5 percent of businesses that didn't have an EC plan, two-thirds admitted only an organization-changing event would encourage them to implement one.

According to the BCI, this is the business continuity equivalent of shutting the stable doors once the horse has already bolted.

EC systems enable companies to contact staff to ensure they are safe during a disaster, as well as keep stakeholders informed of progress in dealing with the situation.

They are one element of an effective disaster recovery initiative to overcome catastrophic events, with many business leaders also relying on backup data and standby databases to help avoid downtime

The BCI research was performed in conjunction with unified communications company Everbridge, and the firm's chief technology officer, Imad Mouline, claimed enterprises must be prepared for many different types of emergency.

"Fluctuating global threat levels, sophisticated cyber attacks and an ever growing mobile workforce present increasingly diverse and complex risks to business interests," Mr Mouline explained.

"In this unpredictable environment, business continuity practitioners are consistently faced with the challenge to plan for the unexpected, while ensuring the safety of their staff and communities and protecting their businesses from both financial loss and reputational damage."


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