Hurricane Ian is a reminder that you should review your disaster recovery plans and have discussions with customers to ensure you are prepared to help clients, employees, and your business in the event of a true emergency. It is a reminder of how fragile homes, businesses, and lives can be, as Hurricane Ian rolls up Florida’s coast.
MSPs and solution providers use it as an opportunity to review disaster recovery plans and to have conversations with customers to ensure that business continuity expectations are realistic and possible. Harold Loving, CEO, TeamLogic IT Jackson, a Jackson-based solution provider that helped clients recover from Hurricane Ida in 2021, says it is important to take proactive steps to protect your clients and business.
Loving stated that he felt like the company was prepared for Hurricane Ida. “Some of our clients who purchased continuity products from us were better than those who didn’t.” We are concerned about power outages in our region of Mississippi so we made sure our clients who have generators were fueled and serviced. It’s not our responsibility, but I recommend MSPs use their problem-solving skills and knowledge to help their clients. Your goal is to prepare your clients at the same level as you prepared your business.
CompTIA published a series blog series that described how to help tech companies manage their employees, customers, and business during a disaster. Here are some highlights:
How to manage employees
If you don’t care about your customers, you can’t help them. It is crucial to manage employees during a crisis. Your business and the businesses of your customers may have been affected by a disaster. This could also impact your employees’ lives. To ensure that you can help your customers, it is important to first assist them.
John Motazedi (president of SNC Squared), a Joplin, Mo.-based solutions provider, said that “this too shall pass”. It’s hard for six days or six weeks or six months but you will get through it. It all comes down to your attitude. Your leadership style and presence will determine how your team adapts to change and works through it all.
Here are four things to keep in mind:
Your employees should be available and safe.
Practice, prepare for multiple scenarios
Be flexible, but stick to your plan
Communicate early and often
How to manage customers
Cloud and other technologies make it easier for customers to prepare, secure, recover and restore business data faster than ever before. However, tech providers must ensure that their clients are prepared for the worst-case and unexpected. Disaster can strike at any time, anywhere.
Jennifer Mazzanti, CEO, eMazzanti, a Hoboken-based solution provider, said, “It’s a discussion for now, but for the future too.” She was referring to the conversation that Jennifer Mazzanti had with eMazzanti. The company is a solution provider based in Hoboken, N.J., and was impacted by Hurricane Sandy and the 9/11 attacks. What happens when you are unable to stay in the same space anymore? What are your options if staying put is not an option? These are conversations customers should have. Clients will judge you on how you respond to an emergency.
Here are four tips to keep in mind:
Before you start, review your expectations and parameters.
Prioritize your responses based on customer requirements and value to your company
To alleviate doubts and concerns, be transparent.
Treat your clients as if they were family
How to manage your business
It is important to have a business continuity plan. This plan must be practiced and drilled so that it can be executed correctly in the face of any disaster. To test different outcomes and your response, you can hold tabletop exercises.
Vince Gremillion, president and CEO of Restech, a Metairie-based solution provider that survived Hurricane Katrina, said, “If you haven’t revisited your plan in awhile, do so.” Make it real. Put pressure on the group. This is the best way to predict your level of preparedness. Do not tell me what you’ll do. Show me.
Here are five tips to keep in mind:
Make sure you have the resources and time to be ready for anything.
Customers and employees can count upon you to be a rock
It’s okay to be different.
Get to know your peers and ask for (and receive) help
Volunteer to help your community when it is most in need
For more information, see this checklist on how to survive a hurricane or other emergency situation.