Many homes and businesses have been affected by the adverse weather over the past months; this has led to property damage, stock damage, and lack of business continuity.
Many have now discovered that the age old method of holding all services on-site may not be as safe and secure as once thought. With the developments with cloud technologies in recent years, as well as the increase in speeds for internet connectivity thanks to FTTC and leased lines, many business are now opting to go cloud. Here are a few ways in which cloud technologies can keep your business running, whatever the weather:
One of the first things to be affected by weather is the on-site phone system. Unfortunately, this is also many clients’ main point of contact with the business, so there is a massive impact as soon as this happens. Most offices still have a call manager held on-site, which handles all call routing. If your office is cut off, there is no way of routing your calls, as they are all fed into the now-disconnected system. With a hosted voice product such as Horizon, all call handling is managed in the cloud; on-site hardware consists of your phones and an internet connection. Handsets will register when they are online, so if you lose connectivity in your office, your call manager will know that calls cannot be routed to those handsets, and can automatically re-route calls to any other location. This way, calls are not lost, and your clients can still reach you, regardless of the status of your office. The call manager is controlled via a web portal, meaning you can make changes to call handling at any time from any location, with real time changes – so no waiting 24-72 hours for a call divert to activate.
There are many, many benefits to Office 365 over a perpetual Office license, but the main focus here is moving to a cloud based email client. When your mail server is held on-site, your email will grind to a halt if you lose connectivity. Even if you are checking your email via your mobile phone, or any device at another location, your email will still not work. This prevents clients being able to contact you via email, which can have major impact. With cloud based email, such as Office 365, you no longer have this worry. Your email is stored securely in Microsoft’s data centres, so no matter what has happened to your connectivity, your email is safe and secure, and most importantly – still operational. You can log in from any location using Outlook Web Access (OWA), ensuring no matter where you log in, your user experience is the same.
Surprisingly, not all businesses regularly back up their data. For those that do, many rely on backup devices on-site. This is an improvement over no backup at all, but your backups can still be more secure – if your office is destroyed, any data backed up on site could be lost. To ensure your data is as secure as possible, you can implement a multi-tier backup system. This means that not only is all of your data backed up onsite on a NAS, but your business critical files can be stored in cloud storage, so that even if your office is destroyed, your important files are still intact. Loss of communications and data are headaches that add to the seriousness of damage due to adverse weather, but they needn’t be worries at all. Upgrading to cloud technologies can help many areas of your business more resilient, whatever the weather.