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There was just a month between the first case of COVID-19 in the UK and the nationwide lockdown. For many businesses, it was a scrabble to implement remote working across the company with staff health and wellbeing the main priority. Within that short month, businesses had to consider everything from staff and their families to finances and communication. Hopefully your business continuity plan supported you throughout the process, but it’s important to ensure your IT plan is secure for the future.

Your business might have easily transitioned to remote working, but there are measures you could introduce now to ensure your IT disaster recovery plan is cemented for the future. Of course, there are plenty of areas in your continuity plan that this pandemic may have tested, and you can adjust those accordingly. However, the ability for your employees to work from home has been proven to be crucial during this time. Your business must be able to function both in the office, and when this is not possible, away from the office. Here are our suggestions to strengthen your IT continuity plan

1. Ensure your team have suitable hardware

Following COVID-19, hopefully your business will have suitable hardware in place for your employees. From laptops to PCs, it’s vital that your essential staff have the equipment they require to do their job well. While a tablet or laptop may suffice for a short period of time or occasional days working from home, they can detract from day-to-day working if not set up correctly. Ensure your team have appropriate set ups in their home that allow them to work efficiently, without compromising their wellbeing, carry out DSE’s from home if necessary. If your team are able to transport their PCs, this would be recommended. Phones are not as easy to transport from home to your home office, so check our third point for suggestions on your phone systems.

2.Guarantee that your bandwidth can cope with remote working

Bandwidth is, simply put, the maximum rate of data transfer across a given path. The amount of bandwidth required is based on the resources you are using. A lot of cloud-based applications will continue to function regardless of Bandwidth, including Microsoft Office 365. However, Bandwidth will begin to affect your efficiency if staff need to utilise applications through your corporate network, such as CAD software, which needs to run through your VPN. In order for your employees to have full capabilities when remote working, it is vital that you establish the capacity of your bandwidth. Is your current service up to the task, or do you need to consider a new bandwidth solution?

3.Have a backup for your phone lines

For a lot of companies, keeping phone lines running is essential. While you can’t simply take your handsets home, you can easily access your phone systems through easy to use apps. There are apps that allow you to run your normal internal network through your employees’ mobile devices, so they run exactly as they would in the office. The applications allow direct line numbers to be set up on mobile devices, meaning personal numbers don’t need to be used and can be protected, allowing your phone lines to run as usual.

4.Keep everything secure

Security is of paramount importance when your business is running remotely. There can be security measures put in place for emails, document sharing and phone calling, and everything in between. If your current IT services are up to scratch, you will be in a secure environment when in the office. Working from home doesn’t have to compromise this.

5.Test your plan

Finally, it’s important that you test your plan frequently, so any changes can be made in a timely fashion. If you have a secure IT contingency plan in place, keeping it up to date will allow you to keep up to date with any updates or new solutions. By testing your plans, you will be able to spot any gaps and remedy those before implementing your plan.

If you need any help with disaster recovery or updating your IT contingency plan, get in touch with our expert team today on l.harding@peachtechnologies.co.uk

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