How do you prepare for a pandemic without panicking? As they say, “Keep calm and lean on your trusted advisers.”
We are in a state of national emergency, thanks to Covid-19. Life and business as we know it are different this week than they were last week. By now, colleges and K-12 schools in your area are probably closed. Businesses are either temporarily closing or changing the ways they do business.
To slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, we are all practicing social distancing. You and your colleagues may be working remotely, taking classes online or just waiting it out on the sofa.
Businesses and schools that can keep operating should see to business continuity by doing the following things.
- Clearly communicate an organizational remote work program to all employees. See this article from Forbes on remote work.
- Provide immediate training to instructors on how to conduct distance learning classes.
- Make sure robust security is in place for all teleworkers and at your headquarters.
- Test your network capabilities and rapidly add bandwidth to meet the uptick in demand.
- Utilize all available backup links to maximize bandwidth for critical applications.
- Install a failover and load balancing device to ensure communications seamlessly continue in the event of a carrier or ISP failure.
- Use the load balancing device to prioritize business critical traffic over less important traffic.
Students and employees should prepare themselves for remote work by doing the following.
- Bring your laptop and charger home every night.
- Make sure you can access all the training and job-related resources you will need to work from home (WFH).
- Test your VPN to be sure you can connect to your school, office and third-party sites.
- Make sure your apps are up to date and you know all your passwords.
- Install and test the videoconferencing software approved by your school or company. It may be Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting or another platform.
- Install and test the instant messaging app recommended by your school or company.
- Test your VoIP capabilities for seamless phone calls.
Not all organizations will be able to operate under social distancing conditions. Places like bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms will shut down to safeguard public health. Other places will scale back operations due to reduced demand. Organizations with established policies around remote work and business continuity plans may continue with an evolved teleworking business model.
In the upcoming weeks, we will all put enormous strain on the internet infrastructure. We will consume unprecedented amounts of bandwidth from home for work and entertainment. Businesses will be faced with exponential growth in VPN traffic. Schools and online learning platforms will gain thousands of new users overnight and into the foreseeable future.
Companies that have remote work and business continuity plans are ready. Those that recognize the instantaneous need to shift into remote work mode are upgrading their systems as I type. Fortunately, technology offers ways to respond quickly and vendors up to the task.
Ecessa has been providing business continuity solutions for over 20 years and can help you rapidly deploy a failover and load balancing device. Please contact us at 800.669.6242 or visit us online at www.ecessa.com to learn more. We are on hand 24 X 7 to support your office and remote teams. We are ready and honored to be your trusted advisers.