Developing and maintaining a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan is a demanding and resource-intensive activity. It’s easy to see why so many businesses adopt a “set it and forget it” approach to disaster recovery. But if the last time you reviewed your plan was before the COVID-19 pandemic, you likely have considerable gaps that may leave your contact center vulnerable to risk and financial loss.
Allowing your strategy to get stuck on the back burner because of time constraints can be disastrous for your operation. Contact centers have complex processes and systems, and many blindspots that are easily overlooked.
And the pace of change is accelerating: Customers’ expectations and demands are rapidly evolving, staff turns over, new channels are added, new software releases and upgrades, and cybercriminals are becoming more cunning. It’s a good idea to review your plan frequently (i.e., quarterly, biannually) to ensure you’re addressing all of the changes in your business, staff, systems, and emerging security threats.
Regularly reviewing your BCDR plan will not only ensure that your operation is aligned with current and future business needs, you’ll be prepared to respond quickly and effectively when the next negative event occurs.
The checklist below provides key questions to help guide your team in its BCDR review and planning efforts.
Is Your Contact Center BCDR Plan Up to Date?
- When was your BCDR plan reviewed last?
- Do you have regularly scheduled reviews?
- Is the frequency adequate for your business? (Depending on your business and environment, you may need to schedule quarterly reviews, bi-annually, or at least once a year.)
- Have you considered all the possible threats and discussed what you would do to address each one?
- Have any new risks emerged since the last review?
- Have you estimated how long it will take your operation to recover from an incident or outage, including new risks?
- Have you calculated the cost of downtime for your contact center and the financial impact on the organization?
- Have you identified and prioritized mission-critical processes, systems, applications, personnel, and other resources?
- Have you also determined interdependencies with other business functions?
- How will customer interactions be routed during a system outage or disruptive event?
- Do your current policies and processes for data retention and storage adhere to the latest compliance regulations and standards?
- Is supplier and vendor information up to date?
- Have there been any personnel changes that affect the makeup of the BCDR team?
- When is the plan invoked? Are the specific triggers and guidelines documented? How is the team notified?
- Have specific BCDR roles and responsibilities been established, so each team member understands what to do in an emergency?
- Do you have multiple contact information for each team member, and is it up to date?
- When was the last time the BCDR plan was fully tested?
If you haven’t ticked off all the boxes on your checklist, you may be leaving your contact center vulnerable to new potential threats. The risk landscape is continuously evolving — your BCDR plans should be frequently analyzed and updated based on recent events and predictions. While no plan is entirely foolproof, staying consistent in your efforts will help you be prepared to handle any new challenges that come your way.
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