If your business relies on Microsoft 365, you may have noticed that on Tuesday, September 29th, there was a multi-hour outage. Microsoft confirmed via their Twitter account that the "residual issue has been addressed, and the incident has been resolved." Still, for many, this was a wakeup call to the fact that they need to have a backup form of business communication.
Businesses are moving towards more modern workplaces. Many of our clients no longer utilise landlines and handle all communication electronically via platforms like Microsoft Teams, so when Microsoft 365 went down, they found themselves without any way to communicate to their clients or conduct their business.
For everything in life, to be prepared, you should always have a backup plan. In these cases of technology outages, we would recommend putting together a Disaster Recovery Plan detailing what to do if any of your virtual systems fail. That way if something happens, your business will be able to take it in stride with minimal interruption.
For example, in the case of losing your communication method of Microsoft Teams, your Disaster Recovery Plan should:
1. Plan how you will notify your team that the Disaster Recovery Plan is being enacted
2. Designate your secondary communication platform(s) for external communication and internal communication
3. Define where calls or messages should be forwarded to
4. Designate who will be in charge of setting up the call forwarding, be sure to include updated personal contact information for this person
5. Craft a generic message that can be posted to social media channels or on your website to inform your customers of the best way to reach you
6. Designate who will be in charge of posting your external messages, be sure to include updated personal contact information for this person and how to access the necessary accounts or website
7. Be shared with your team and kept in an accessible place so anyone can reference it if needed
If you are working with an IT provider, it is essential to share this information with them so they can help you adjust as needed if the time comes. Additionally, you can utilise their expertise to ensure your Disaster Recovery Plan is well detailed and sure to support you through a crisis. If your business could use help creating Disaster Recovery Plans for your solutions, we would be more than happy to help you out.