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13 May 2020 | By Richard Holbrook
Businesses have recently faced the biggest business continuity (BC) test ever seen, forcing us to change the way we work. Whilst many businesses implemented their existing BC plans, others found a ‘quick fix’ to homeworking and inevitably, some were forced to close their doors entirely.
Although planning for a disaster should be inherent in any BC plan, a long-term lockdown is impossible to predict. From a technical perspective, for those businesses further along in their cloud journey, the ability to securely access company data and applications anytime and anyplace enabled a rapid rollout of homeworking. Whilst for businesses with on-premise infrastructure, gaining secure and remote access presented additional challenges.
As we look ahead to emerging from lockdown, it is now crucial to assess how well your business has adapted and determine how best to meet business demands moving forward. So, what are the next steps for business and IT leaders? Here are some key considerations…
1. Assess and progress
The pandemic has demonstrated just how suddenly life can change. For those who implemented their BC plan or indeed a temporary workaround solution, establishing how well that solution is working and whether it is sustainable long term is key. Businesses preparing to welcome back furloughed workers will need to ensure they can safely return to work – whether that is within the office environment or from home.
2. Review your security strategy
Whilst businesses rushed to enable employees to work from home, critical IT functions such as security may have been overlooked. With people working from home, the security boundary has expanded, and the use of video conferencing tools has increased, so it’s important to remain vigilant around cybersecurity. Ensuring all employees can access company data and applications safely and securely should remain a top priority.
3. Prepare for the long term
With employees around the globe settling into their home offices, a shift in attitude towards homeworking is inevitable. According to a Gartner survey(1), 74% of employers plan to permanently move a percentage of their workforce to remote working following the pandemic. Consider whether your current solution can accommodate homeworking long term and, if not, prepare to change.
4. Accommodate a new way of working
Social distancing will remain a part of daily life for some time to come, so office spaces will need to be set up for a safe, phased return of employees. And all remote workers will, of course, need to have access to the right technology and tools to work productively.
Whilst we can all do our bit to help control the pandemic, we can absolutely control how we react and prepare for the future. This is where Bistech can help. We offer IT audits to understand your IT needs, and help design your IT strategy with flexibility, continuity and remote working built in. To find out more, call our expert team on 03330 11 22 55.
(1) Gartner, ‘Gartner CFO Survey Reveals 74% Intend to Shift Some Employees to Remote Work Permanently’, 2020