PRACTICAL SMALL TO MID-SIZE BUSINESS CONTINUITY IDEAS
Have you experienced frustration with unforeseen IT disasters or computers in general? If you recognize it, this article will help you understand and implement practical business continuity ideas into your business since COVID-19 is just another disaster that technologies are designed and made to save the day.
For those of you that own or manage retails stores and also sell off the shelves products to your customers, COVID-19 is not the end of the world.
There are other concerns in the business continuity area other than the coronavirus that can help you build a fail-proof business, and this article can be that guide for you.
WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW:
As we know, we no longer live in the day and age that we ask people which restaurant to try their new food or club to go on a Friday night. Everything happens on Google search, maps, or Apple Maps, and we decide where to go based on the number of reviews, distance, price, and kind of food served. So did the businesses adopt technology into their companies and increased customer experience and satisfaction.
Nobody expected coronavirus coming, not at least was prepared for the new measures taken by the Federal and the States nowadays. The new changes are for people to stay home and do not leave homes unless their family or friends need medical assistance or to get food. COVID-19 has been an unfortunate event by far, impacting the lives of so many of our loved ones.
MAKE YOUR PLANS FAIL-PROOF:
From the technology perspective, every business IT process is designed with having a failure in mind. So the practical question is how fast operability can be 100% again when it failed? Plan for the unexpected disaster, and chase the fixes no more.
We always know it's never a matter of IF a system will go down, but a question of the WHEN will it happen. Next, what you do is go to plan B or C. It's important to create quick and straightforward company-wide technical manuals on how things work when a particular system goes down, so nobody needs to panic about where to find instructions or who knows the right solution.
The most crucial element of stability is for the new process or system to have what was missing, which caused the failure to happen. Now we plan for failure. For example, if your computer got attacked by a virus or malware, don't replace it with another brand new computer, find a professional consultant, and pay for the right security software recommended to you to protect your system and, importantly, the customer data.
No computer is ready to be used right out of the box; it requires slight customization and optimizations to run at full functionality and speed, so never underestimate the value of the situation you are in now and all the work you did to get to this level. Challenges help to create a better ecosystem to run the business efficiently, and successful companies become fail-proof by keep on resolving their past failures and aiming higher discipline the next time.
In another way to say this, there is a cycle to success; Fail, Learn, and Build. Repeating this will give you indefinite results. After all, small, mid-size business owners are road warriors (or aka teleworks) and so do some of their employees in the company, productivity without interruption is the top success element in the businesses nowadays.
BEST PRACTICES FOR BUSINESS CONTINUITY (THE ESSENTIALS):
Cloud Conferencing and Meeting:
Use one of the industry's well-known tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangout to meet with clients, colleagues, and teams. Conferencing services allows you to forward active projects and pending tasks without being impacted by the distance, time, and risk of being sick with COVID-19 or whatever comes next.
Cloud File Sharing:
This tool tremendously shifted the way we work today; companies like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and OneDrive through their file-sharing services give you access to the company's latest and sensitive customer data securely at all times on any devices.
All you need is a secure and non-public network to access the internet, and you're all set from 1 person on multiple devices to thousands of employees getting file updates instantly. Depending on the package you signed up, files get backed up 24/7, and you get the file version control to revert in time to restore your lost data to date and time in the past you chose.
Bringing all your industry-specific Applications to the Servers in the Cloud, you've heard the world-class Cloud companies like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Oracle.
The Cloud Servers are capable of hosting all your applications, sensitive data files, run 24/7 backups, and scale from 1 to 1000 users in no time and work from anywhere in the world. These Cloud Servers are designed with the industry's highest standards in security and compliance to meet all your requirements. Your IT cost becomes predictable, and the budget scales up or down with the size of your company.
The essential aspect of this solution is to fail-proof your systems enough that Cloud companies can gain your trust to do business with you, and when the system fails, it can be restored to full operations at 100% in seconds, instead of hours or days.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) On-The-Go Connectivity:
VPN is another tool used by businesses for some time. Network firewalls come from companies like Cisco Meraki, Palo Alto Networks, Juniper, Sonic Walls, and others who manufacture these have this capability.
From anywhere in the world, you connect to the fixed company's location virtually on an encrypted tunnel to access the company's mission-critical data and get the job done as if you were physically at the office. Cloud Servers have a similar capability, with the exception that they can solve much more significant problems just as scalability, connectivity, and reliability. However, businesses use VPNs for a specific purpose, which is to connect to the data on-premise at all times.
We covered a few ways to enhance your business processes to make them smarter in times of crisis, so you and your employees can be even more productive daily. Please take a moment to let us know your feedback, questions, clarifications, or anything else you suggest to add to these solutions below in the comments section.
Let's talk to build you a fail-proof and optimized business processes. We've already done this for other businesses just like yours; we'd be happy to make the world a much better place for you.