During the month of September, commonly referred to as National Preparedness Month, we are reminded of the many types of weather-related potentially disastrous events — hurricanes, tornados, wildfires and winter storms. The average business loses $5,000 per hour when they are down. While many businesses have experienced power outages or flooding caused by natural events, many business owners are more aware than ever of the financial necessity of preparing their businesses for any unexpected interruptions – natural or man-made – such as stolen office hardware or cyber-attacks.
I asked Jeff Blackey, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Broadview Networks to share his thoughts with us.
In order to prevent revenue loss and remain connected and operational, businesses today must identify potential vulnerabilities within their organizations and plan accordingly. Here are three actions business leaders should take as they look to minimize the impact of natural and man-made disasters.
Back up Business Data
Eliminate costly downtime and risks of on-site failures by securing all critical communications and information exclusively in the cloud. The ability to access information is vital to make day-to-day business decisions and to keep critical communications with customers and clients intact, especially in the case of any disasters. Business leaders should make sure all pertinent data from desktops, laptops and servers are backed up in the cloud to make their business more accessible and flexible. When selecting a backup solution, be sure that data being transmitted will be secured correctly so that files, folders or entire systems can be recovered easily at any time. A 100 percent cloud-based solution provides optimal security with calls encrypted, and data kept secure in the cloud so that nothing is vulnerable on-site. If primary data is lost, corrupted or inaccessible, these solutions have a backup copy of the data stored safely in the cloud, provide recovery tools and allow quick restoration of files on demand easily – no matter the location.
Move Servers to the Cloud
Business data is irreplaceable, and the financial consequences of being unable to access key information and applications in the event of a disaster can be severe. For maximum reliability, businesses should look for a 100 percent cloud-based data back-up solution with multiple data centers to ensure undisrupted access to files if a regional disaster affects one of the data centers. Businesses should also consider transitioning servers to the cloud for improved scalability. With the ability to increase off-site server capacity through a web-based portal, organizations become more nimble in avoiding potential disruptions. Housing data and servers 100 percent in the cloud provides a much more secure way to store business information, with the added benefit of universal access for employees working off-site.
Offer the Ability to Work Remotely
As the demand for mobility and flexibility increases, businesses require a cloud phone system that meets their ever-changing needs. The degree to which solutions are cloud-based is key to the level of mobility and security a provider can deliver. As communication to clients and employees is most vital to business success during disasters, businesses must arm employees with the tools and capabilities they need, so that work is not disrupted if an office must close. Businesses should look for systems that include advanced features like mobile twinning, which sends inbound calls to mobile and desk phones simultaneously, the ability to re-route calls online and from anywhere, auto attendants that serve as virtual receptionists ensuring every call is answered and voicemail transcription that allows employees to check their office voicemail instantly, without ever touching a phone or stepping foot into the office.
National Preparedness Month is a great time to start preparing for any potential disasters to ensure business continuity. Putting the right technologies in place is critical in reducing the risk and impact of the unexpected on operations and financial health year-round. Enabling seamless remote work with cloud-based communication solutions and leveraging the cloud to house servers and to back up data are also foundational steps in minimizing vulnerability.
Jeff Blackey is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Broadview Networks, one of the top 10 UC cloud providers in the nation. Broadview’s cloud offerings include OfficeSuite® Phone, the easy-to-use hosted phone system that is 100% cloud-based using technology unique to Broadview. Mr. Blackey has more than 25 years of marketing management experience in the communications industry.
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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com
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