This past year made it clearer than ever that organizations need to have contingency plans in place in the event of an unforeseen emergency. That way, they’ll be prepared to make sudden and rapid changes to their operations like they were forced to do so abruptly in 2020.
Here are 5 lessons we learned about business continuity planning in 2020:
- Have a crisis management plan of action in place ahead of time
To avoid being unprepared for other catastrophic developments in the future, companies need to develop a crisis management plan that includes functional leaders with representatives from HR, legal, communications, finance, corporate security, IT, country leaders and business units. This team should meet periodically to review and update plans—and make sure that decisions and actions can be implemented quickly in the event of another disaster.
- Have the right technology in place to support alternative work arrangements
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, most organizations had to immediately shift to a remote infrastructure model—resulting in the need to expand videoconferencing, upgrade security and increase call center support. Companies should continue to invest in infrastructure and technology to ensure their remote capabilities are sufficient to maintain business operations when future disruptions occur. This includes everything from outfitting home offices with computers, monitors and headsets to setting up secure VPN connections and cloud access.
- Continually reassess supply chains
The pandemic caused disruptions in the supply chains for many companies. So it’s important that businesses need to investigate and identify additional and alternate suppliers and start cultivating relationships now to help mitigate and enhance material availability in case of future disruptions.
- Implement data redundancy plans
In normal times and periods of crisis, one thing remains constant: the value of a company’s data. It’s critical that proper backup technology and procedures are in place to ensure that data is protected in any disaster—fire, hurricane, flood or pandemic.
- Embrace cloud computing
Cloud computing is here to stay and will soon be standard operating procedure for companies of all sizes. When the pandemic hit in March, businesses that were already using the cloud had an easier transition to remote work. And COVID-19 only hastened cloud-computing implementation by those businesses that hadn’t yet embraced it. In just one week, demand for Teams, Microsoft’s premier collaboration tool, increased about 40%.
What you can do to help your customers be prepared
As their trusted IT partner, you can advise them on the steps they need to take to implement the measures outlined above. If they haven’t already done so, they should conduct a security assessment of both their network and wireless infrastructures. Studies show that the sudden transition to remote work models and the COVID-19 pandemic have heightened cybersecurity threats. With so many more endpoints to secure, companies need to be sure they’re protected. Partnering with Ingram Micro and leveraging our resources can help ensure you have what you need to do the assessments right.
The extensive resources available through Ingram Micro Cloud can help you assist your customers with the transition to cloud platforms. And our UCC experts can help advise you on the best way to augment your customers’ communication and collaboration tools. That way, they’ll be fully prepared for remote work scenarios moving forward.