A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is important for any tech company, and even though fintech is the ultimate digital business, it’s important that all Hydrogen clients take the necessary precautions in a time of crisis.
We know the importance of preparing a proper BCP all too well. In 2018, a steam pipe exploded directly next to our office in Manhattan. There were fears that asbestos had been sprayed into the air, and hazmat crews were on the scene for days. This shut down the entire neighborhood for an extended period of time. We had no idea if, and when, we would be allowed back into the office. Luckily, we had a BCP in place, forcing us to confront many of the issues below, that are surely on the minds of many fintech founders with the outbreak of Covid-19.
Do you have sufficient diversity in your data centers? Do you have local backups of your database? Cloud centers can be affected by quarantines and pandemics, just like any other office building. Make sure you take sufficient precautions so you can provide uninterrupted service to your clients.
Have you created a Plan B, if the majority of your support staff is sick or can’t work? Can you automate key support functions in a time of crisis? Some simple steps that can be taken here include: installing a backup support bot (e.g. from Hubspot or Salesforce) to answer simple FAQ questions, creating a backup global support team (Hydrogen has BPO partners that can help you with this), and creating a company wiki, training videos, and support guides, in case you need other members of the team to step into support roles, in the event of an emergency.
Have you setup team members for virtual working? This isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. If you have development environments, there are likely firewalls, and other security measures you have in place. You need to ensure your IT Security Plan accounts for Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Do all of your employees have laptops, or are their computers stuck in the office? if your office is closed for long periods, this is very important to consider. Do you have enough Zoom, GitHub, Jira, and other licenses to allow the entire team to work seamlessly through an interruption? If your company requires fast internet speeds and large amounts of processing power, you will want to consider having backup high speed networks and computers for your engineers.
Do you have a Vendor Management process? This is something most startups do not consider. A disaster will not only affect your business, but all of your vendors, service providers, integrators, and other partners as well. When contracting with any key vendors, make sure you understand their own BCP procedures. Will they be able to support you in times of need? Make sure you have backup vendors ready to go for all key parts of your business.
We hope everyone is staying safe, healthy, and continuing to innovate. Even if you don’t have many of these things in place now, it’s important that you start thinking about them for the future. This crisis has proven that you never know when something catastrophic will impact your business. Be prepared!
We are here to help; please contact us if you want advice from Hydrogen, or any of our global ecosystem partners.