Business Continuity - Preparing for a world of unknowns
Carrie Whamond from AlternitOne (A1) details the importance of setting out a business continuity plan and what this could look like in terms of IT infrastructure and support.
Energy bills are soaring. According to the International Monetary Fund, the energy crisis is hitting Great Britain extremely hard and is the worst hit country in western Europe. The current sanctions on Russia has led to issues in energy supply globally. Britain is competing with other countries for energy from a limited pool; a situation none of us were likely to have thought about at the beginning of this year. It’s a great example of how things can change domestically and globally with little or no notice.
Back in August, Bloomberg, shared an article detailing government emergency energy plans which revealed that the UK could organise blackouts in early 2023. In a ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’, industries and households would be subjected to a 4 day power shortfall. Should this worst-case scenario come about, businesses in the UK would need to have business continuity plans in place that would enable them to prepare to maintain business, even when the lights go out.
On a fundamental level, by establishing a business continuity plan, firms can set out clear and consistent procedures that their business leaders and employees can follow. The plan is likely to include specific procedures should infrastructure be affected by outside actions. In this circumstance, the cloud becomes critical for business. One of the major operational challenges during infrastructure shut downs would be maintaining ongoing communication and having the capacity to access key files on a network. Both smartphones and tablets, in theory, remain operational through power shortages – providing they are charged. Assuming these devices have the right connectivity, they will be able to connect to the cloud, but caution should be shown with endpoints to ensure the correct cyber policies and functions are also in place.
Just last week, Bloomberg shared an article entitled ‘banks dust off lockdown plans to beat possible power blackouts in London’, suggesting banks may be set to reinstate strategies for shifting to offsite locations and home working. Where the banks go, the rest of the market will have to follow as everyone will be faced with the same challenges. It is worth considering this now from a business continuity perspective. Ahead of this worst case scenario, staff can be given cybersecurity training, to refresh training given during the pandemic, so they are armed with the best knowledge to help protect themselves and the business both, in the workplace but also from remote working locations.
Alternit One is an outsourced technology and unified communications provider who specialises in cloud design, tailoring systems to suit the needs of our clients. Should the event of organised blackouts arise, firms need to have abusiness continuity plan in place that recognises infrastructure outages. It is also key that business continuity supports regulatory requirements. Engaging with A1 can empower you to build a plan that ensures your IT infrastructure and teams are able to continue to operate should a worst case scenario event be put into place.