Preparing for the Unexpected
Let’s face it, we’ve all been taken by surprise by COVID-19. Many ad-hoc recovery plans have been torn up and thrown away as our whole way of life has been (thankfully temporarily) affected. However, companies with refined disaster recovery protocols are continuing as near normal operations as possible and are therefore best placed to, at a minimum survive, and, in some cases, thrive in these uncertain times.
Gartner analyst Sandy Shen said, “This is a wake-up call to organizations that focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience.” When traditional channels and operations are impacted by the outbreak, the value of digital channels, products and operations becomes immediately obvious.”
But with a complex matrix of digital products in the market, where should businesses focus their efforts?
A great first step to identifying weaknesses in disaster and emergency planning is to initiate role-playing activities to test the effectiveness of remote operations. Developing a clear understanding of the tools that work for your team, and of the training needed to ensure remote-working technology is operating efficiently, generates a basis for improvements, enhancements and fast roll out whenever required.
Most technical challenges can be easily overcome, however, it is the cultural aspects of remote work that concern many business leaders. Stressing the importance of maximising productivity by not overworking, setting up a quiet place to work and taking regular breaks is key to maintaining morale and the quality of the work being produced. Suddenly not having a commute to ease employees into the day and the temptation to jump on to the laptop at the very first opportunity can impair productivity and could, in more extreme circumstances, lead to burn out.
Keeping a sense of team can be a major issue for businesses not used to having the majority (or all) employees working from remote locations. An instant messaging tool like Slack with its intuitive user interface, clearly defined channels and group call functionality can help employees feel they remain part of the team and is a great way to maintain regular communication between staff at all levels.
Gartner analyst Roberta Witty believes, first and foremost, companies have to care for their workforce. Access to the right tools and the ability to notify employees ‘en masse’ builds confidence and gives leadership teams a platform on which to ‘control the rumours’ and ensure all stakeholders are accurately informed.
Before even discussing the best tools for the job, there are certain best practices to consider. Use of corporate-issued laptops (or other hardware) to stay within the rules set out in Europe’s Global Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), deployment of applications running in the cloud and a requirement for employees to use multi-factor authentication all contribute to a “zero-trust” network access environment. This affords businesses enhanced security, while enabling employees to access their apps and data from anywhere.
There are a large and growing number of collaborative tools on the market so it can be difficult for businesses to decide which best suit their particular needs.
Stan Lowe from security vendor Zscaler had this to say, “Without email, places come to a screeching halt.” Access therefore to top-line applications is clearly of the utmost importance, however, there are certain apps that can help streamline communication, project management and team work and businesses should consider these carefully. Here’s a useful list of popular collaborative tools, some of which – Slack, Asana, Google Docs – are Clydewire staples – https://resources.workable.com/tutorial/collaboration-tools
Lowe also suggests “never let[ting] a crisis go to waste” Leaders can examine the areas of their business that need to be more robust and make the necessary changes, put well-considered plans in place to ensure improved continuity if we ever face another crisis of this magnitude, and learn valuable lessons about how to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of communication.
Being ready to emerge from lockdown with operations being minimally or completely unaffected, will also enhance an organisation’s reputation as reliable, resilient and perfectly positioned to help clients achieve their goals.
How Can Clydewire Help?
We are working incredibly hard to ensure our clients are in the best possible position in a post -COVID-19 world.
We have developed agile continuity processes in our own business and can help you take the steps to secure your company’s short, medium and long term future:
- Remote Working Consultancy – development of robust remote working procedures and processes
- Systems Audit – a comprehensive audit of your current systems and processes in order to identify issues and create a plan for the adoption of coherent and practical enhancements
- System Integrations – installation of, and training in, system integrations that drive successful remote working ecosystems
- E-Commerce Consultancy – detailed business analysis and development of plans and schedules for migration to Magento 2 or another more suitable platform.
- Extended Magento Support – delaying major capital investment by moving your existing E-Commerce repository to Open Mage, thus extending support and ensuring business continuity
- System Support – ultra reliable, advanced system support backed by our three-tier-engineer structure and proprietary Clydewire OnCall™ monitoring software.
We’re all set up for video conferencing and are taking every opportunity to engage with our clients and prospects. If you’d like to have an informal chat about the challenges you’re facing and how our services might be able to help, send a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch to arrange a time for a virtual meeting.
For a friendly chat about how Clydewire can help you make the right decision for your business, and on our AWS expertise, give the team a call on 0141 308 1029