The Critical Nature of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Our CMO, Mariann McDonagh, is a New York resident. When Hurricane Irene hit recently, she found herself without power, cable, internet or TV for about five days. All she had left to communicate with was her smart phone - with a rapidly depleting battery and no way to charge it. Just a few short weeks later, San Diego’s power grid went down, leaving many of our inContact customers without power as well.

With all of these disasters hitting so close to home,  we were all reminded of how critically important it is for businesses to have a disaster recovery plan in place—for a lot of good business reasons. Here’s quick look at some of them from our disaster recovery whitepaper:

One uncertainty when it comes to natural disasters and planning for them is trying to estimate how long the impact will last. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has traditionally assumed that most basic services will be restored to most areas within 72 hours. That could mean that you are unable to take calls from your customers for as many as three days or more. Customers are unable to reach you having a direct impact on operations as well as finance

  • Agents that aren’t able to reach the office mean unmanned phones and customers that don’t get proper service.
  • Many natural disasters can render your office space unusable for days, weeks, or even months. This means that you will have to find alternative space to move your agents to if your hardware can handle it.
  • If you’re in a business where disasters may create a larger need of your product or service, your call volumes may spike. Having a system that scales up and down on-demand is critical.  If you are there for their customer in their time of need, they won’t quickly forget you.

While some of the losses from disasters are covered by insurance like property damage, other losses, such as lost sales, collections, and decreased customer satisfaction or a damaged brand cannot be easily recovered from.

  • A damaged brand has a staggering effect on a company’s finances by directly affecting consumer confidence and revenues.
  • Customers that cannot reach you will not be customers for long. Lost customers do not only have an immediate impact on finances. Winning new customers to make up for lost ones is expensive and time consuming.
  • Unsatisfied customers spend less with your company and also tell more people about their bad experiences, which indirectly impact your revenue numbers.
  • Disasters most likely mean you need to spend money on recovery activities like purchasing new hardware, office spaces, hiring new agents, and employee time spent in recovery efforts.
  • Disasters also have a direct effect on employees. They may have to quit because they were forced to relocate or have no means of transportation. Increased attrition is a costly consequence.

The bottom line is disasters and hardware failures come without warning, and if you are unprepared, they can have a disastrous impact on your company’s image and bottom line. And I’m not just saying this because I work here,  but because I believe it to be the honest truth: When systems fail, a premise-based system cannot compete with the affordability, flexibility and scalability of a cloud-based solution.

Want to learn how to better prepare for a disaster?  Read my next blog and get a few tips that may help you out.