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The Five Key Business Continuity Questions to Ask Your Vendors

The Five Key Business Continuity Questions to Ask Your Vendors

Before we tell you the Five Key Business Continuity Questions to Ask Your Vendors. We want to know. Are You asking your vendors the right questions about their continuity plans? Are you even asking them any at all? If you are, and they are anything like the questions I see my clients get from their vendors, you’re not.

These days, many businesses are requiring their vendors and suppliers to set up Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Plans to remain as a vendor or given preferred status. In fact, I recently helped a client that was required to put in place a robust Disaster Recovery along with supporting documentation before they would even consider them as a vendor.

The problem with most of the questions businesses are asking their vendors are too generic, too broad, and nonspecific. Especially to the needs of the business doing the asking.  The worst part is, this has become standard practice and these questions are being shared with other businesses and professionals.

Here are some of the questions I am talking about:

  • Do you have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan?
  • What is your recovery time objective (RTO)?
  • What is the number of days for the resumption of services?
  • Do you have alternate sites?
  • Where are your alternate sites located?
  • What is your IT backup strategy?
  • What are your backup power arrangements?
  • What is your customer service backup strategy?
  • Can I have a copy of your plan?

As I mentioned earlier the biggest problem with these questions are they are not specific enough. Even if your vendor or supplier answers them, you still do not know enough information to know if they can support you after a major disruption.

Here are five specific questions you should be asking your vendors:

  1. In relation to the services you provide directly to us, do you have contingencies in place to continue providing uninterrupted services in the event of a calamity?
  2. If not what is your RTO for each service or product you provide to us?
  3. In the Event of a disruption, how do you plan to reestablish and maintain communications with our business?
  4. During a disruption that may cause you to allocate resources how likely are you to support the needs of our business, and what would be the timeframe you could support us?
  5. What are the dates of your last Risk Assessments, Business Impact Analysis, Business Continuity Plan Review, and Disaster Recovery Test?

These are the more detailed type of questions you should be asking your vendors. Use the above Five Key Business Continuity Questions to Ask Your Vendors to adjust your vendor questionnaire to ask more direct and specific questions.

Or Click here to Steal Our: Vendor Risk Assessment Questionnaire.

If you still need additional help send us an email to with Help with Vendor Questions in the subject line. We will have one of our experts set up a time to assist you with creating your BCDR Vendor Question setup.


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