Natural disasters and public health emergencies can strike anywhere at any time. And when they do, organisations need to be prepared to ensure the safety of their employees, customers and partners and minimise disruptions to their business.
When a situation occurs it is important to keep people working – not just to maintain productivity but to protect data and make sure customers aren’t left hanging. Organisations that enable mobile workstyles are way ahead of the game in this scenario as instead of having to get used to disaster mode as an entirely different way of working, people just keep using the same remote access tools they always do, just in a different physical setting.
This is where digital workspace solutions can be of value. Leveraging the automation, scale, and ubiquity of the cloud, such tools can give employees access to the applications and information they need to be informed, collaborate, and get work done. Remote access technologies make it possible for people to work wherever it’s safe and convenient, whether at home, in a hotel conference room, at a friend’s house or anywhere else.
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Prepare for the worst, deliver the best
Savvy organisations that already have digital workspace tech as a foundation of their business continuity plans can deliver the agility, speed and efficiency required to manage resources in the dynamic way that unpredictable business environments demand – and thus providing a competitive advantage.
A recent study conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that 69 percent of people who are currently unemployed or economically inactive would be willing to start working if given the opportunity to work flexibly. Activating these untapped pools of talent such as work from home parents, workers in rural areas, retirees, and part-time gig workers through digital workspace technologies could have a profound impact on the global economy.
Data centre continuity is another key consideration as most large organisations already have more than one data centre for scale and redundancy. If one comes offline for any reason - planned or unplanned - people should be able to switch seamlessly to another to access the same apps and data. Ensuring your infrastructure can support this response in terms of rapid, automated failover, load balancing and network capacity is vital.
A clearly defined team is also imperative when an emergency happens as people shouldn’t have to wonder who’s in charge. Creating a business continuity team with members in every part of an organisation is key and high-level support is crucial to making sure this task force gets the attention and resources it should. These individuals should stay involved in planning and testing throughout the year to keep the plan up-to-date and gain the familiarity they’ll need to perform under the pressure of an actual emergency.
Building a sustainable business
Sustainability is no longer lip service, but a key corporate objective. With increasing frequency, companies are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint, and remote working is a cost-effective and simple way to do it. With greater adoption of flexible working practices, companies can operate from smaller offices and reduce the number of commuting hours and vehicles on the roads.
Few things in business are certain. Except change. And the pace with which it is happening is faster than ever before. Maintaining continuity in tumultuous times requires flexible business operations and workplace technologies that allow employees to work securely from anywhere. Companies that adopt digital workspace solutions to create flexible digital environments that provide employees with everything they need to perform at their best can not only keep business moving, but quickly move ahead.
Darren Fields is Vice President UK&I at Citrix
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