Business Continuity Planning For Disaster Recovery

As hurricane season winds down, the attention of servicers moves from the Southern U.S. and focuses on other parts of the country that are cyclically threatened by seasonal weather and natural disasters. Regardless of the time of year, there always seems to be a reason to support claims for having a thorough disaster recovery plan in place.

These efforts are typically a seasonal priority. In reality, however, seemingly obvious threats are oftentimes not what interrupt business. Rather, unanticipated threats can be especially devastating without proper planning.

Smart and truly proactive business continuity planning must be a year-round, comprehensive and consistent initiative to thwart the uncertainties of life. Weather is hardly the only disruption with which to be concerned. Consider a fire, blackout, terror threat or even small power outage from construction across the street.

Spring, summer, fall or winter – it is necessary to have a multi-pronged approach that is applicable for any day of the year, in any part of the country. Three distinct components should help minimize possible disruptions to your business and to that of your clients:

1)    Workplace – the physical locations at which to balance a workforce;
2)    People – the actual people available to man various sites; and
3)    Systems – the data redundancies themselves.

To start, dual or multiple sites allow businesses to mitigate the risk of experiencing a total shutdown of operations and communication in the event of a disaster. Businesses can increase their resiliency through creating, operating and regularly testing strategically chosen operational sites.

Allocation of tasks among sites should be strategically selected as well, to ensure appropriate distribution of expertise. In the case of an emergency or shutdown in one location, having multiple site(s) ensures back-up support for the business, keeping activity flowing and uninterrupted. 

Personnel are obviously needed to man operations. It is important to build a strong workforce in more than one location, establishing a knowledgeable number of employees that are evenly distributed among offices. Regardless of the scope or severity of the situation, this approach also positions the business to better continue its operations without relocating individuals should a single workplace experience a crisis. 

In the event of an urgent situation, the absence of distributed experience could result in a lack of timely reaction, which could halt business and potentially impact clients.

Lastly, data is key. Without it, there is no business. If systems are unavailable, then everyone is affected. Consider all of the data that is stored on your systems – from contacts, financials, access to online platforms - to name just a few. All of these are imperative to run your business. If data redundancies are in place, your business does not falter. 

While the commonly used saying “Better safe than sorry” certainly applies to this situation, perhaps “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today” better suits the approach to finalizing a better business continuity plan for your organization. Put your plan in place today to stand up to the trials of tomorrow.

Caroline Reaves is the CEO of Mortgage Contracting Services