1. Evaluation of Corporate Functions
The corporate functions in HealthCare Strategies Inc. include offering financial services and consultations, billing, data collection, systems development and the recent operation involving the software products for organizational management to its customers and clients. BIA of the operations shows that the most critical functions are billing and invoicing. The other corporate functions in order of decreasing importance include systems development, customer communication, and other mainstream operations like software development. From the BIA, it is notable that the functioning of the company after the flooding menace is dependent on the ability of the organization to access the critical servers which are essential for business operations. It is also important for the company to have its employees working from home and have their customers connected since the two are essential prerequisites for business continuity during flood disaster. According to Vongyer (2015), the most critical operation that should be a priority during the occurrence of the disruptive flood to the front-office services is IT infrastructure recovery which entails securing servers, data backup, and accessibility from different workspaces across the kingdom.
During the crisis, the attempt to access the organization's servers and having the workers communicating from home can lead to data loss, corrupting, compromising and interference from hackers such making data backup one of the vital parts of the business continuity. Shifting office and embracing e-invoicing and online billing will lead to the generation of enormous data and sharing of data files hence decreasing the chances of malware, hacking, and hardware failure from occurring. The corporate operation that entails billing, invoicing and financial processes in the BCP should entail the establishment of invoice processing and scanning hardware in diverse locations to alleviate business disruption in future in case of the occurrence of similar situations. The criticality of data backup follows Hiatt (2015) proposition which attributes business disruption to corruption and loss of data. As an integral section of the IT recovery plan, the concept of establishing the strategy for data backup entail the prioritization of data, selection, and implementation of the software and hardware backup procedures, backups scheduling and data validation. Other operations that will ensue in order of their increasing criticalness include workers working from their residence, employee relocation and front and back-office takeover.
2. Business Continuity Plan
The comprehensive continuity plan will involve four processes which include, in decreasing importance, infrastructure dependency and recovery, data backup and protection, back and front office takeover, and ensuring that workers work from their homes.
IT Infrastructure Dependency and Recovery
Floods may compromise the organization's infrastructure such as computer hardware and software products, scanners and other office equipment. As the foremost part of the BCP, the step entails the consideration of other alternate IT infrastructure in case flood. For instance, if the flood damaged the traditional billing and invoice scanners, the organization must consider purchasing a special type of scanners that have the capability of scanning and uploading the invoices to the organization's payment processing systems. The recovery strategy, in this case, will entail the use of a traditional scanner for scanning and email the billing statements and invoices in soft copy format. It is part of the e-invoicing strategy which augers well with employee relocation and working from their homes. The application of the special type of invoice scanners are hardware backup devices has the advantage of saving cost saving. According to Vazalwar (2015), e-invoicing and online billing has the effectiveness perspective of actual usage as it needs minimum activation lead time with the capacity of application few hours before the occurrence of any crisis. Furthermore, it provides flexibility among the workers by allowing them to work from their living rooms provided that they can have connection or accessibility to the internet.
As part of the BCP, data backup after the flood crisis entails the application of comprehensive software run as integrals of USB drives, cartridges, and tapes. The section of the plan addresses safe off-site storage, backup security, and frequency for backing up the data. Regarding data storage, it is essential to accord the backups similar security level just like the original data. The plan may also include the application of cloud striate as an online strategy for backing up the data. According to Hiatt (2015), cloud storage in the contemporary business environment is a cost-effective data backup solution especially with the proliferation of the internet.
Back and Front Office Takeover
It entails the establishment of an alternate front and back office after the occurrence of the floods to provide the station for working. The procedure entail cross training of the workers to adapt and acclimatize to the new front office through knowing appropriate approvals and codes (Vazalwar, 2015). The purpose of training is to ensure that the employees comprehend the daily operations of the alternate back and front offices which are achievable through the use of direct 1-1 communication and collaborations with office managers in all Healthcare Strategies Inc. branches.
Employee Working from Home
During the disaster, employee communication is key in ensuring business continuity hence the need to offer them opportunities to work from their houses (Vazalwar, 2015). The procedure entails the use of internet connection to foster online working and communicating with the workers. The plan also entails ensuring that the alternate FOs have adequate and reliable remote connectivity. It is also essential to relocate some of the employees to alternate FOs and backup stations while some work from their homes.
3. Temporary shifting versus Permanent Relocation
I would prefer temporary shifting of the corporate operations until the flood subsidize. The new temporary workstation will act as a backup workstation. Maintaining the old workstation is another way of increasing the size of the workplace by ensuring the effective reach of customers and clients who live around the workstation. Depending on the flood risk assessment of the area, the rationale for shifting corporate operations is reliant on the frequency of the flood occurrence (Vongyer, 2015). In the case of the frequent flooding, there is a need to consider permanent shifting of the workstation. Furthermore, the preference of permanent shifting will depend on the number of days that the flood will prevail. It is recommendable to have a permanent shift of business if the natural disaster results in inconvenience to a significant portion of customers for a longer period. On the other hand, the preference to establish a temporary workstation is reliant on the ability of the alternate offices to demonstrate investment value and the capacity to withstand the occurrence of a similar disaster. According to Wallace and Webber (2014), it is preferable to permanently shift business from the areas prone to natural disasters as it threatens the company survival. In nutshell, the BC risk assessment is the determining factor for engaging in a temporary or permanent relocation of business.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Hiatt, C. J. (2015). A primer for disaster recovery planning in an IT environment. Hershey, USA: Idea Group Publishers.
Vazalwar, K. (2015). HP GBS Global Front Office Recovery. Palo Alto California: Hewlett-Packard Development Company.
Vongyer, L. (2015). Flood Planning Business Continuity. Easingwold: Emergency Planning College.
Wallace, M., & Webber, L. (2014). The disaster recovery handbook: a step-by-step plan to ensure business continuity and protect vital operations, facilities, and assets. New York: American Management Association.
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