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Lessons from lockdown – the importance of continuity plans

In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented businesses with a number of challenges. Throughout this period, we’ve found that those who have been able to action a comprehensive and well thought out continuity plan have fared best. Having the appropriate processes and technology in place has enabled them to act decisively and preserve business performance while minimising the impact of any upheaval.

Now more than ever there is a real need for businesses to improve their agility so they’re sufficiently enabled to respond to sudden changes. We’ve always emphasised the importance of establishing clear and up-to-date continuity plans to help customers prepare for any unforeseen eventualities, something the ongoing pandemic has brought sharply into focus.

With that in mind, here are 4 key considerations for businesses as they look to learn from their lockdown experiences and create long-term continuity plans:

1. Do your people have the right technology?

With so many of your people making the move to remote working, ensuring they have access to devices that help them work at their best all of the time is key to ensuring productivity. Equally, with many businesses exploring a return to the office, users may need a more flexible environment that allows them to switch between office and home working without major disruption. It’s imperative, therefore, that you are able to provide them with the tools they need, not just in terms of client devices, but peripherals and companion devices such as headsets, cameras, and other accessories.

By implementing the right device strategy from the outset, you can empower your people to optimise how they work while ensuring your business is equipped to respond in the face of the unexpected.

2. Can they access the apps and data they need?

As well as access to the right technology, your people’s ability to produce their best work is predicated on their access to the apps and data they need. Whether they’re working from a company PC in the office, their own laptop at home, or a mobile phone on the move, they expect to be able to access everything quickly and seamlessly.

So, whether it’s implementing cloud storage or deploying a remote desktop solution, any successful continuity plan will include contingencies for remote access from multiple devices so your team can take their work with them.

3. Is your data secure?

While empowering your team to work remotely can bring significant benefits to your business, a move away from the traditional office environment creates a host of additional security concerns. By allowing remote access from additional devices, your data is exposed to new cyber security threats. Everything from user error to the unauthorised duplication of confidential information puts your data at risk.

To successfully retain control of your data, you need solutions and management tools in place that guard access to specific apps, monitor their usage, and manage user permissions. Only then can you gain true visibility and peace of mind.

4. Is the right infrastructure in place?

The need to implement remote working has challenged several aspects of IT infrastructure.

Telephone systems, for example, have presented an additional obstacle for many businesses, with traditional setups unable to deliver the level of flexibility needed to properly manage calls within a remote environment. Equally, those heavily reliant on on-premises infrastructure have struggled to scale capacity in line with demand.

To establish a suitable IT strategy for the new normal, every corner of your infrastructure must be considered. Whether it’s implementing a telephony solution with soft phone capabilities to support remote calls, establishing a response plan to help manage your data centre remotely, or deploying cloud architecture to better scale with demand, you need an infrastructure built to support your business in the event of sudden changes.

Create your bespoke plan

Even before COVID-19, we helped many of our customers create robust continuity plans. Now, with the benefit of our experiences during lockdown, we’re even better placed to help your business prepare for the long-term, so you’re ready for the changing demands of the new normal.

To take your first steps towards better continuity, get in touch with a member of our team.