When it comes to business disruptions, the coronavirus pandemic is one that has impacted almost everyone, across the country. The COVID-19 pandemic is more widespread than most business disruptions a business owner may face. When it’s a weather disaster, it is usually very localized and if your business has multiple locations, some may be spared.
The coronavirus pandemic is a disaster that has given business owners a dual challenge:
- Supporting the needs of shareholders and clients
- Ensuring employee safety while assuring they can work from home
The infrastructure to support remote workers was found to be lacking by many of the businesses impacted during the past six months. Cloud computing and cloud desktops could have helped – and still can – organizations meet both challenges.
How can your business prepare for the worst cast scenario?
At WareGeeks Solutions we are proponents of business continuity and disaster recovery planning (BCDR). This plan helps you pivot in a crisis and would have helped you face the challenges of quickly sending employees home and dealing with cybersecurity issues that many entrepreneurs have faced.
A critical aspect of disaster recovery is having a plan for business continuity. If you have employees who can no longer come into the office and get to their office computers, how will you equip them to work from home? Will their work be unable to be performed because they can’t access the company network or their work desktops? If you had a cloud computing component in your disaster recovery plan, you would have been better equipped for the remote work situation.
Will you need to give your employees their work computers to take home with them or will your IT team download the necessary software on the employees’ home computer and get them set up that way? Does your IT team have a way to track desktops that have left the building or even the number of licenses needed to provide the employee access.
If you’re looking at your BCDR and evaluating how it met your company needs during the pandemic, do you see any shortfalls or challenges that you’d never planned for? If you answered yes, or if you still haven’t prepared your company’s BCDR, here are a few questions to find answers to.
Sending employees to work from home brought challenges you may not have planned for, now as you look at your BCDR, answer these questions:
- If your employee can’t get to the office or an alternative off site location to work, how will they perform their tasks?
- What will your IT team do to test the solutions you’ve put in place for the disaster
- What if you don’t have enough PCs than you needed
- What happens if the disaster is so widespread and prolonged that your employees or the company infrastructure is limited and cannot meet the client demand
Consider these items in your crisis management and business continuity plan
- How can you recover and be resilient? If your IT infrastructure is cloud-based it may be simpler to set up additional cloud workstations and desktops. Remember, though, business continuity is more than just allowing employees access to cloud desktops, but this can certainly be a step in the process.
- Is your company multi-regional? If not, should it be? Is it financially feasible to be? If one region is in the midst of a weather crisis or if the office is hit by a power outage or internet outage, having a different site from which to operate may help you continue to seamlessly provide service and support to employees and customers.
- During this global pandemic crisis it would have been virtually impossible to be fully prepared for. Because of this many companies had to rapidly pivot and adjust plans so it could protect its employees as well as protecting the businesses financial concerns. If you had one contagious person come to the office wouldn’t it be best to send him or her home, set them up with a cloud desktop and protect the rest of the staff? The answer is likely, yes, but your company would need to have the cloud desktop solution in place and ready to “flip the switch.”
Cloud computing and cloud desktops can open the doors to cyberattacks. Your IT department and the company CIO have to thoroughly consider all aspects of security and put measures in place to protect the company data once the data leaves its secure firewalls. Employee training on phishing scams and how to use a VPN or other security measures you deem important need to be continual and ongoing. During a crisis is not the time to think about training non-IT staff in cybersecurity best practices.
No one could have predicted coronavirus and its shutdown of the country. No one can predict weather disasters – hurricanes, fires, — but if your BCDR puts plans in place for them, your company will be minimally impacted because you’re prepared for the crisis. More importantly you’re prepared for the continuity of your business.
WareGeeks Solutions is a Roselle, New Jersey-based complete IT consultant and solutions provider. We specialist in Data Protection, specifically Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (#BCDR). We work with medium and large law firms and in the healthcare industry. If you have IT or security questions contact Seth at WareGeeks Solutions. For information or a consultation, call (877) 653-7146, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.waregeeks.com