By Dominik Birgelen, CEO of oneclick
All businesses, no matter the industry, size or age of the company, have experienced their share of challenges. Whether these are experienced through challenges to grow, addressing skill gaps and shortages or talent retention, every organisation experiences trying times. However, what’s different about the current climate is the sheer number of companies that have been hit simultaneously on a scale like never seen before.
When the UK first went into lockdown, business leaders were forced to make some difficult decisions – whether letting staff go or stop trading altogether. According to the Office for National Statistics, 20% of businesses either temporarily stopped or paused between the period of 20 April to 3 May 2020. What’s more, of those businesses still operational, many found that their turnovers were significantly impacted due to a decreasing customer base or a reduced scope of work. For instance, 61% of all UK organisations that continued to operate said their turnover had decreased, with almost a quarter (24.5%) reporting a reduction of more than 50%.
In addition to businesses facing critical financial challenges, many have had to transition to a working from home model. While some companies already had remote working policies in place, according to Deloitte, 25% of workers were working from home at least once a week pre-lockdown; meaning a vast majority of employees remained office-based. As a result, lockdown forced those not working from home to change their routines so that workforces were able to stay operational.
A robust and secure continuity plan; powered by the cloud
During the current climate, business continuity has been a hot topic of conversation as companies around the world brace themselves to face further financial challenges and make some difficult decisions to determine the future of their companies. However, according to a study from global consultancy firm Mercer, a quarter of businesses are developing their first business continuity plan as a response to Covid-19 and the current climate. Whatsmore, the study found that more than a quarter (27%) of businesses do not have a continuity plan at all and are not currently developing one. As fears of a second lockdown loom, these businesses could be making some significant errors that have long-term implications.
In order to have an effective continuity plan, organisations need to focus on two key areas. The first is providing the ability to remotely access data, app and software that enables staff to continue performing their roles effectively. The second is having a recovery plan in case their infrastructure is compromised due to cyber attack or data breach.
Now, it’s more important than ever for a business to ensure it has a continuity plan in place; particularly with new Government restrictions encouraging businesses to work from home, where they can. What’s more, business leaders need to make sure they are utilising emerging technologies that make their plans robust and resilient. For example, Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) has continued to gain traction – particularly as staff continue to work remotely – as it enables all IT services to be offered in the cloud. XaaS provides remote workers with advanced flexibility and security due to it encompassing other solutions such as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.
As businesses across the country rush to work remotely, these tools can be rolled out almost immediately as a direct response to companies needing access and the ability to store business-critical applications and data. A business’ key applications will run automatically through XaaS; providing employees with remote access to the tools they need to carry out their tasks but also delivering the additional flexibility of working remotely.
Security within the cloud has been a criticism of the technology with many enterprises raising concerns about storing confidential information online. However, cloud services providers will often be able to assist businesses in setting up a robust and secure cloud infrastructure, especially those that offer a cyber insurance model that further secures the entire company. In addition to being able to roll out hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures depending on the individual business’ needs.
From a business continuity perspective, XaaS solutions make it more viable for a business to operate in the event of an incident or disaster. As local lockdowns continue to be implemented in an attempt to restrict the spread of Covid-19, employees are being told to return to working from home. For those organisations that still find themselves without a reliable XaaS solution, staff productivity and overall operations could take a significant hit or stop altogether. Rolling out an effective solution to keep inline with your business continuity plan will enable you to carry on despite facing such an uncertain and anxious landscape.