Business Continuity in Hard  Times
We are living in the world of dynamic changes – yes, we all know that. But how many of us think about new threats first? And how many of us could ever imagine that the first big test for their business continuity strategies would not be related to cybersecurity and virtual viruses, but to Covid 19 – an uncontrollable biological one affecting people’s organisms?

There are threats such as humanitarian crisis, climate change, war, financial crisis and pandemics, but they all seem to be given no priority; perhaps we even see them as not very realistic. They are all hard to predict, in scale, reach and consequences, yet can be overwhelming and chaotic.

Now, most countries are facing the seemingly insurmountable challenge of a pandemic. Trying to stop, or at least slow down the spread of the virus, many have decided to restrict international transport and limit operations at schools, restaurants clubs and shopping malls. Governments recommend that everyone should stay at home and work remotely. Are we prepared for that?

Well, as flexibility becomes not only a possibility but a must due to competition, market conditions and employees’ expectations, it is now much easier than it would have been 10 years ago. The rapid development and fast-growing popularity of cloud computing means businesses and employees can access resources necessary to do the job from almost everywhere. Notebook and smartphones parameters are better, and Internet connections are omnipresent, making it easier to be  always connected and in contact with co-workers and clients. Even before Covid 19, many companies had already made remote working one of their business continuity strategy elements.

How to protect your company in order to continue your business in a crisis situation?

There are some steps you can take, even in “normal” times, to improve your company’s flexibility and security.

Consider, for example, cloud computing. Your organization probably already uses it, as it’s not really optional any more – it’s the future. Experts compare the cloud’s impact on business with the revolution that smartphones brought to everyday life. Flexibility, access from anywhere, quick scaling up and down, security, speed – you cannot ignore these benefits if you don’t want to fall far behind your competitors. You don’t need to migrate everything right now and to one cloud provider. Take your time, compare vendors and different models. Public, private, hybrid? On-demand or reserved? Plan your strategy.

Many companies are testing remote working right now, and it is another element of a business continuity strategy that is worth considering. Some managers are afraid that remote working will lead to a decrease in their employees’ efficiency. If you are among them, now is the time to change your thinking. Your company probably employs many people who are have been at home with technologies since early childhood. TV, the Internet, computers, cell phones, smartphones, personal music players, applications for learning, meeting new people, planning diets, organizing the day or controlling budgets… they are ubiquitous, and multi-tasking is commonplace for those familiar with them. Remote working also has some benefits that should be obvious but are not widely discussed. The more employees work from home, the less office space you need. In the event of rapid company development, you don’t need to invest in renting new offices and equipment (apart from computers, of course), so there are no new costs (such as water, electricity and Internet bills) generated by obtaining extra space.

The world won’t slow down

A business continuity strategy requires back-ups, disaster recovery center services, VPNs, security, secure and rapid communication channels accessible to all your employees. Of course, all these elements require planning, costing, budgeting, time, and careful comparison between offers. But right now, when an unpredictable threat is already knocking on our doors, it is time to consider such a strategy. Seize the day, use the ideas and workarounds that your company has to implement in the current crisis situation and do not let them go to waste. Some timely resolutions can be lessons for the future, making you better prepared for another crisis. The future will come, come what may. We cannot predict what it holds, but we can at least to try to prepare.

Dagmara Skomra,
Product Manager at Comarch

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