How to Avoid a Business Calamity during a Network Disruption

Consistent and reliable communication is the lifeblood of just about all modern businesses. But these days, circumstances like network outages are disrupting this vital flow and this can potentially affect your business operations.

Recently, widespread network outages in the USA have been grabbing headlines, and while the news can seem a bit unnerving, it is a stark reminder of the importance of having a trusty communication contingency plan in place.

Even a brief network outage can significantly disrupt business as well as personal lives, and emergency response efforts.

But when you have a well-defined backup communication plan, which may include making use of offline messaging apps, designated radio channels, or even printed materials, your planning can ensure that information and work continues to flow during periods of network disruption, and that your company experiences minimal downtime.

The Devastating Impact of Network Outages

Network outages not only affect business communication, instead, they can have a far reaching effect on your company’s overall operations.

Loss of productivity is one of the biggest issues with network outages. If you have a number of branches and your network goes down, your employees may be unable to access essential resources or collaborate effectively, hindering progress and deadlines.

Disrupted communication can lead to frustrated customers and this can potentially damage your brand reputation, not to mention that if it is just your network that has gone offline, your clients might just choose to spend their money elsewhere, at a company that is fully operational.

And the most detrimental effect of an outage is naturally going to be the lost revenue, especially for businesses reliant on online transactions or remote operations.

Strategies for Effective Communication during Disruptions

The best way to stay ahead is to consider every possible scenario and to have a plan for it. This can be included in your business continuity plan’s communication section, and it is worth implementing some of these strategies before rather than after you are faced with a network issue. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Invest in a Reliable VoIP System

A cloud-based VoIP system offers several advantages during network outages. Unlike traditional phone lines, which can be affected by local network disruptions, VoIP calls can be rerouted with little to no effort to alternative endpoints in another location. This ensures your business remains accessible even when the primary network is down.

  • Implement Alternatives

Having alternative communication channels available in case of a primary network outage, can be a business saver. Some reliable alternatives could include:

  • Additional Mobile Phone Networks
  • SMS Services
  • Secondary Internet Connections
  • Develop a Communication Plan

Having a clear communication plan in place will help you stay calm while also helping you to respond effectively during network disruptions. This plan should include:

  • Designated Communication Channels: Decide on your preferred communication channels during an outage, such as SMS, social media, internal messaging platforms, or a designated backup phone line.
  • Communication Hierarchy: Clearly state who is responsible for communicating updates to different stakeholders, such as employees, customers, and partners (this will prevent the waters from muddling).
  • Communication Protocols: Set up clear guidelines for the content and frequency of communication during disruptions (this is important if your business operates in a communication heavy industry such as finance).
  • Regularly Test and Update your Plan

Don’t wait for a crisis to test your plans. You should be regularly conducting simulated scenarios to identify potential weaknesses and to refine your strategies. You should also keep your communication plan updated to reflect any changes in your technology or business structure.

And if you don’t have certain things in place, like a VoIP system or alternative networks, now is the time to invest in such additional features.

* At 24/7 IT Services, we can help you plan for any IT or network calamity though our business continuity, networking and VoIP solutions. Contact us today for more information.

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