How to Develop a Business Continuity Plan in the Telecom Industry?

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A business continuity plan (BPC) is a document that outlines a predefined approach and procedure for how a business will continue to run when coping with an emergency. The plan should cover how to reestablish office productivity and enterprise software so that the operations can continue.

This type of plan is quite different from a disaster recovery plan that focuses on reestablishing the business after the disaster; BPC aims to stay in business during the disaster.

A well-developed BPC contains variations of strategies for handling events, such as IT disruptions to networks, servers, mobile devices, and personal computers. It should also contain instructions on how enterprise software and office productivity can be established to meet all the essential business needs.

BPC should outline a manual workaround to keep running basic operations until all computer systems can be restored. As the telecom industry operates on plenty of different devices and elaborate systems, a well-prepared business recovery plan might prove vital in case of an emergency. With that said, below, you’ll find more information about developing BPC that will meet the needs of a complex telecommunications industry.

IT Departments

When it comes to a telecom company’s IT infrastructure, a BCP should detail how the IT departments will react to various problems. Your plan should also include instructions on solving problems that occur to different hardware and software components.

In addition to regular maintenance for all equipment used by your company, it’s imperative to develop a plan for dealing with any malfunctions that might occur. Suppose you have a sudden emergency that requires maximum attention from your team members working in the IT department. In that case, you should have a plan to ensure they have everything they need so they can quickly solve the problem and continue to perform their jobs without a hitch.

It’s vital to outline what type of resources will be needed by the IT personnel and how the resources will be delivered if they can’t access their offices due to damage caused by an emergency event. Such a plan can be complemented by installing one of the world leading business continuity software solutions.

Contingency Plans

Since the telecom industry is constantly evolving, it’s necessary to keep up with new technologies and innovations, so you can address any possible risks that could affect your business. With that said, you should also determine what you can do to stop potential risks from happening in the first place. Therefore, you might want to consider developing contingency plans for each type of risk.

Of course, not every disaster can be predicted and prevented. After all, you have no power over the weather or technical problems happening outside of your business (e.g., with your electricity provider); on the other hand, you can do a lot to protect your company from other threats, such as cyber attacks, system failures, and human error.

Technological Problems

As the telecom industry relies on technology, it’s essential to develop a business continuity plan capable of handling any technological problems. In this case, it’s necessary to have a clear idea of all the different types of devices your business uses.

Some examples of devices commonly used in the telecom industry are computers, routers, network cards, modems, hard drives, digital cameras, scanners, cell phones, smartphones, battery backups, UPS systems, generator systems, video surveillance systems, audio monitoring systems, etc.

After listing these devices and their functions, you should outline any backup systems for each one. Try to create a proper inventory and backups for easy retrieval during an emergency.

Testing

Testing is essential for evaluating whether or not your business continuity plan is sufficient for dealing with different types of emergencies. As there are plenty of different kinds of scenarios that can happen in your telecom business, it’s imperative to test your BCP for each possible occurrence so you know what steps need to be taken when an emergency strikes.

Whenever possible, you should also test your backup systems. For example, if you have backup hard drives stored offsite at another location within your corporation, you should verify that they are still viable for use. If they are no longer viable for whatever reason – they are too old or were damaged during shipping – you will need to replace them, ideally as soon as possible.

Planning a Business Continuity Plan

Developing a BCP requires a lot of meticulous planning that should include the following:

  • Understanding the risk of downtime,
  • Recording all processes and procedures,
  • Determining the critical business functions,
  • Identifying all internal and external stakeholders,
  • Developing functional requirements for the BCP,
  • Assigning roles and responsibilities in the process,
  • Evaluating the plan’s effectiveness,
  • Identifying its limitations,
  • Training employees.

As the telecom industry is faced with plenty of risks, it’s crucial to outline what could go wrong in your company. Some of these risks are natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, or fires; man-made disasters, such as power outages or computer viruses; or economic problems, such as bankruptcy or market collapse.

Conclusion

Business continuity planning is an essential endeavor for all companies. The telecom industry is particularly vulnerable to outages, so it’s necessary to develop a comprehensive business continuity plan. No matter the size of your company, you should create a BCP that can address different types of emergencies, including natural disasters or technical issues. However, when you have a solid BCP in place, you can rest assured your business runs smoothly and that you’re able to handle any type of emergency effectively and in a timely manner. The more thought you put into your BCP, the better prepared you will be to deal with any emergency that could happen in your business.