How Has Your Business Continuity Plan Evolved as a Result of COVID-19?

by Neal Zimmerman 0 Comments

COVID-19 has been a little aggressive, wouldn’t you agree? It came out of nowhere, set up camp, and put everyone physically and mentally at risk–not to mention stretching your business continuity plan beyond anything you planned for. Firms went from in-office to at-home in a matter of days.

A BCP that Rises to the Challenge

There’s no doubt you had a BCP in place, but was it able to rise to pandemic crisis levels? In the crunch to keep business operations up and running, some firms traded security for moving people to remote environments quickly. After a while, they tried to go back and reinstate security features. Maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t.

Which one of these describes you best?

  • We’ve modified our BCP a bit to keep up with business needs, but we need to upgrade if we want to maintain business as usual while users work remotely. We want to be better prepared for the next crisis.
  • We’ve modified our BCP a bit, but it’s good enough for now. If we’re being honest, it could use some tweaks.
  • We haven’t done anything. Kind of wish we hadn’t put off testing, but it’s too late now.

You’re not alone if BCP testing was on the back burner because other things took precedence. We’ve talked to more than a few small firms whose BCP was “if we can’t get into the office, we’ll set up VPN and a remote desktop.” But they didn’t test it. They didn’t know if their VPN could handle the stress of 100% of the workforce using it—and sometimes it couldn’t. For others, the office desktop users were trying to access became inaccessible because of shutdowns or hung reboots caused by failed security updates.

Agio SkySuite and Desktop as a Service

Remote working is going to be around in some form or another for quite a while. More than a few firms are seeing savings in real estate and other costs of doing business. Firms realize they can function when people work from home, so it’s not pressing to have them in the office. But to be successful with any remote working policy and accommodate users’ needs, you have to have solutions that work. Agio SkySuite and Desktop as a Service enable a completely mobile workforce.

Agio SkySuite is a bundle with end-user services, managed IT, and IT as a service. You also get Office 365: email, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, remote helpdesk, and network management. And that’s not even all of it.

SkySuite’s Azure cloud elasticity means it’s scalable and can handle a sudden increase in users. You don’t have to worry about a load of people crushing your system. Let’s not forget Azure provides built-in redundancies and resilience based on your architected solution.

Agio’s Desktop as a Service (DaaS) eliminates the need for an end-user or client-based VPN. With DaaS, it’s easier and faster for users to access the data they need no matter where they are. If your employees have desktops in the office but are using their own devices at home, it can be cost-prohibitive to provide everyone with a corporate laptop. DaaS solves that problem by providing a uniform remote desktop accessible from anywhere at any time.

With SkySuite and DaaS, your newest BCP is airtight.

Unified Collaboration

One problem your firm’s BCP may not have planned for is employees using inconsistent collaboration platforms. Some have GoToMeeting; others have Zoom. Frankly, neither of those are as robust as Microsoft Teams (part of Office 365, which is part of Agio SkySuite). Moving your organization to a single platform like Teams means everyone’s on the same page.

Teams includes video and audio conferencing, instant messaging, document collaboration, and document sharing. Your people are organized much more effectively. If you have Office 365 and are using it for email only, you’re using about 1/10 of what you’re paying for. Get your money’s worth and implement Teams to keep your business running smoothly no matter what crisis pops up. We’ll show you how.

Summary

Business continuity plans can’t always keep up with the newest emergency. Find the sweet spot of SkySuite, Office 365, and Desktop as a Service, and you’ll know you’re ready for the next worse thing. Give us a call. Agio is here to help and get you set up.