It’s Time to Rethink Operational Resilience for Remote Work

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Operational resilience allows companies to keep operating in the face of a failure scenario, including loss of facilities, loss of network providers, natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires, and yes, global pandemics.

The arrival of COVID-19 launched these business continuity plans into operation, and in many cases, even the best-laid plans were developed considerably on the fly to cope with full lockdown. However, with so many working remotely now and for the foreseeable future, it’s worth revisiting your business continuity approach for potential gaps.

Operational resilience and COVID-19

Those involved in operational resilience planning know it requires us to anticipate and adapt to these types of events. The pandemic scenario was always a plausible one, and cloud services are playing a major role in supporting plans that foresaw distribution and segregation of workforces.

Responding to the pandemic required activating remote work continuity plans, including scaling up VPN bandwidth, deploying new desktop video applications and remoting call centre agents, to name a few. Many companies were able to adapt and are now fully dependent on their remote workforce.

But operational resilience is often fluid, and optimizing our business continuity plans through the lens of COVID-19 requires fresh thinking.

At the basic level, it’s worth considering whether key staff working from home have the type of resilience that you would expect. For instance, do they have multiple network connectivity options, resilient power and the capability of remote staff to triage and deploy alternates?

Beyond the most basic resilience needs, it’s important to consider how reactions to the pandemic may have created new single points of failure.

Mitigating communication risks

COVID-19 drove the adoption of video usage from the desktop. In response, some businesses have simply extended their existing productivity software to incorporate newly developed video features.

This approach has created a single point of failure for critical communications. If it fails, that could pose a huge problem. Previously, the responding teams would co-locate to mitigate the loss of “command and control” mechanisms like communications. However, this approach is no longer available while staff are at home.

That’s why companies need to rethink business communications to enable continuity for remote workers even if your interlinked software stack fails.

If your productivity hub includes critical collaboration features like email and file sharing, having your video communications solution live separately from that makes sense from a business continuity standpoint. Zoom integrates well with leading collaboration platforms, yet exists in a separate ecosystem. Even if Zoom is not your selected video product, it can act as a business continuity option for crisis command and control.

Having Zoom as a supported option facilitates your staff to operate in a multivideo world, where clients and partners may have different solutions for video interaction. And you can have peace of mind knowing that as a CIO, you can manage your employees’ use of Zoom.

To learn more about all the ways Zoom helps bring teams together to collaborate in a frictionless video environment, visit CDW.ca/Zoom.

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