The last three months have been a whirlwind of change. Businesses have had to move swiftly to a work from home (WFH) model that allows their employees to be productive in a remote environment.
For many small businesses, who had not designed their technology strategy to support WFH at this scale, there were immediate technology limitations. Ongoing VPN connection issues, issues accessing company data, problems connecting to documents in company drives, and struggles verifying local hardware to work with remote tools. Sound familiar?
All this required prompt investment in new technology so that employees could get on with their jobs. As well as addressing the less obvious issues like security, data recovery, and work policies that come from increased remote access.
Now, as we move into the initial upswing, businesses are working on plans for the new normal. The actions taken now, and in the weeks ahead, will define them and their continued existence. Owners and leaders must discuss ways to keep staff productive and safe with the best technology tools available.
Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of it…
Businesses had to get going fast, which likely left them vulnerable. Technology solutions and procedures are typically qualified first and then deployed with a training plan. Reacting to the pandemic created a burden of rapid change for all involved and many bumps in the road.
With agile planning as our new normal, a strong business continuity plan needs to be structured for the remainder of 2020 and beyond. Businesses should be considering crucial areas like security, data recovery, and data governance. These key items will keep the organization moving technology forward and grow the modern workplace.
It may seem like an overwhelming effort to add these capabilities. Cloud-based technologies are a very strong option to meet these needs. They remove the burden of building supporting infrastructure and reduce the time to adopt. We have seen large companies adopt many of these capabilities in weeks, as opposed to months or years, so it is doable. The proof is in the numbers. For example, the number of daily active users for Microsoft Teams jumped from 32 million in the beginning of March to 75 million by the end of April. Built into the Microsoft 365 bundle, users have merely had to turn Teams on to add it to their processes.
The final consideration is access to data for on and off-premise assets. Using the Microsoft 365 suite allows for access to corporate data in a secured container. Businesses can manage data without the worry of scattering their information into multiple unmanaged devices. Keep in mind that there are growing concerns of breaches, and vulnerabilities that can take a toll on businesses. Security, backups, and modern workplace policies can protect you from these risks. Data is the lifeblood of any business, and a planned approach can avoid catastrophic events to your organization.
These areas only scratch the surface of the technologies that will need to be utilized to keep business operations agile, efficient and secure.
Nobody can predict when the coronavirus crisis will be “over,” but doing business in our new normal will likely to look very different in the future. Companies in every industry need to review their business continuity plan during this period of transition. They need to create a roadmap for long-term sustainability and survival.
Ready to create a robust WFH technology strategy? Talk to us today for expert guidance on business continuity planning.