It can be easy to prepare internally for a disaster, but when outsourced services come into play, business continuity planning can become significantly more complicated. From local vendors that were also affected by the crisis to selecting the right services to support workflow through a disaster, outsourcing can be a critical component to a continuity of operations plan when done right. The trick is to leverage the proper management.
Separating outsourced services when it comes to process management can drastically change success rates for business continuity and enhance a company's business impact analytics. However, the first step toward optimizing these efforts is to decide what to outsource in the first place.
Many firms already outsource certain services, but essentials — from cloud support to unified communications — can also be outsourced to ensure they remain up during a crisis. The trick is to include the benefit a service will provide in disaster recovery during cost analysis, to determine if simply having the outsourced support will be worth it for recovery purposes alone.
The main advantage that outsourcing provides is flexibility. Companies need only invest in the service they need, and change their contract should their needs evolve. This adds into business continuity efforts – if a firm's own system go down, it can contact the hosted services provide to migrate to it quickly and ramp up its support temporarily for continued operational integrity. Of course, this could make more money, but it provides a failsafe solution for disaster recovery when it's most needed.
For firms considering outsourcing services as part of their continuity of operations planning, make sure that basic process needs are met by bringing on continuity consultants that specialize in business impact analysis and optimized recovery strategizing.