Is your organization ready to handle the coronavirus epidemic? Have a look at what leading IT experts say you need to do to keep your operations running smoothly.
What will your business do if the coronavirus pandemic halts your regular business operations, making it impossible for employees to come to work? Do you know how hackers are levering the hysteria surrounding this deadly pathogen to gain access to your business data? If you’re not sure you’re ready to weather the storm that’s already upon us, it’s not too late.
Consider what leading IT managed service owners have to say about practical IT preparations to keep your business running smoothly in the midst of a local, state-wide or even nationwide disruption.
Get Ready for Working Remotely
Experts agree that businesses need to prepare so workers can do their job at home rather than at the office. In fact, Michael Nelson from TLC Tech relates that his own company is doing just that and immediately conducting test runs to ensure that there won’t be any problems if the firm needs to switch to a fully remote operating system. It’s a smart idea, as preparing now enables you to iron out any issues that arise while there’s still time to get in-house help and support.
There are a lot of things you need to consider when planning to allow workers who usually come to the office to work remotely. Mr. Nelson notes that you’ll need to consider if you will allow your employees to work from their home laptop or computer or send their company computer home with them.
As Tom Martinez from tca SynerTech points out, you’ll need telephone systems that will enable remote workers to communicate with you and each other easily. You may also need to move additional data to the cloud for remote access and collaboration.
Laith Pahlawan from The Orange Crew accurately notes that you’ll need a secure VPN to ensure your data is fully encrypted not only on the cloud but also as it transits to and from your cloud storage site.
Joe Cannata from Techsperts LLC recommends that companies set up Microsoft Office 365 and RingCentral to allow workers to operate from home with ease; however, Samantha Motz from Motz Technologies warns that rushing the transition from an on-premise storage system to a cloud storage one is never a good idea. This is particularly true if you have large quantities of data and/or huge programs stored on-site and transferring these to the cloud securely would take a long time.
Prepare for Hackers
Sadly, there are malicious third parties who are eager to take advantage of the coronavirus scare to breach your systems and gain access to your invaluable business data. Phillip Baumann from BoomTech Inc. warns that businesses should not only pay close attention to network security but also educate employees, so they know what types of threats they will face when working from home.
Common threats you’ll want your staff members to be able to recognize and deal with include phishing emails and bogus phone solicitations. Furthermore, as Ken Dwight from “The Virus Doctor™” points out, cybercriminals will often leverage breaking news headlines to entice recipients to open malicious emails and the coronavirus is providing plenty of fodder for these malicious third parties to use.
Put a Premium on Health
While IT professionals aren’t health experts, many of them know that even the best IT set-up won’t guarantee smooth business operations if your employees get sick. Adam A. Fadhli from Discovery IT warns that your business needs a formal, strictly enforced stay at home policy for sick employees along with an in-office hygiene policy to protect your staff members from infection.
Laith Pahlawan wisely notes that you should encourage your staff members to drink lots of water and eat healthy food. These seemingly simple health measures are some of the best, most effective ways to keep your immune system strong so you’re prepared to deal with anything that nature may throw at you.
Get Ready Now
Are you ready to transition to a remote work system? If not, now is the time to start preparing. As Ian Brady from Steadfast Solutions accurately notes, office access could be restricted with little or no advance notice. This is particularly true if your business office is in a large building with other offices.
Ilan Sredni from Palindrome Consulting recommends that businesses assess their business continuity plans with the coronavirus in mind and change company policy as needed to enable workers who don’t usually work from home to do so should the need arise.
You may also want to consider getting professional help from an IT MSP to draw up a plan and create a secure, efficient IT set-up that would enable your business to function smoothly should your offices have to shut down for an extended period of time. With advance planning and professional help, your business will be well-prepared to handle this crisis and move forward.
Interesting related article: “What is Telecommuting?“