With the COVID-19 pandemic compelling most of the world to impose a lockdown and businesses to transition to remote working, an IT team can significantly support small businesses and help them keep functioning.
An IT team, whether outsourced or in-house, can support small businesses in five common areas, according to requests from their company’s clients. These areas are discussed as follows.
Areas in which an IT Team can Support Businesses for Business Continuity
1. Enabling work from the home facility for call center employees
Your IT team can re-route customer inquiries automatically to the mobile of an agent.
2. In-home appointments
When employees of a company are visiting homes for deliveries, installs or repairs, make the arrangement for automatic COVID-19 pre-checks with customers to ensure that visiting them is safe for the employees.
3. CEO broadcast to colleagues
An IT team can facilitate broadcasts of the CEO to employees through video or phone via several conferencing media, like Webex, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams.
Although face-to-face meetings with colleagues or customers are most effective with no replacement, it has been proven that video meetings are more effective compared to voice calls. As a matter of fact, 93% of employees state that video calls lead to an improvement in client relationships and interactions. Video calls are simple, but hearing someone’s voice along with seeing their face can be quite valuable for remote workers.
4. Emergency communications
The communication system should be ready to be used by a workforce that’s dispersed suddenly during an emergency. For example, when an issue arises, an employee should be able to call an emergency number and explain what the problem is. This recording should be sent to other employees who can then decide to schedule a conference call for determining what should be done next. The use of this system has been quite common in the last few days.
5. Upgrading bandwidth
As millions of employees are working from home in these times, a considerable broadband strain may occur. To address this issue, small businesses will have to request their IT teams to upgrade the potentially ‘capped’ broadband packages.
Nevertheless, as reported in Financial Times, the chief technology officer of Cloudfare (US web infrastructure company), John Graham-Cumming, stated that although internet access patterns were changing, any considerable global slowdown has not been yet. He stated that it appears that enough capacity is there, and nothing indicates that this will result in a problem.
Network and Security
In addition to the front-end tools for collaboration, the focus of small businesses along with their IT teams should be making the office network-accessible as well as ensuring security in a remote working environment.
A common problem faced by remote workers is that they aren’t able to access applications and files they use at the office.
This problem can be resolved through a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which can ensure that all workers can connect to their company network, which makes them feel they are virtually in the office while working from their homes.
Moving to a remote working environment suddenly brings with it various security implications. Connecting to the network through home-based systems heightens the risk of cyber threats.
Addressing this should be included in the business continuity program. To address this, businesses along with their IT teams should remind the employees of the cybersecurity policies, give practical advice to prevent any threats, and make sure that all devices include updated security software installed on the endpoint devices, such as mobile phones and laptops.
What if a Small Business isn’t Equipped with the Right Technology?
Some businesses may not have the technology for supporting a remote working environment. This can hinder business continuity during natural disasters and other adverse times, such as this COVID-19 pandemic. Having the technology to support remote working should be a part of the business continuity plan of businesses of all sizes.
Fortunately, there are several companies that can help you deploy the technology immediately.
eWay Corp is a leading IT company based in Iowa as well as an AWS partner, which can provide your business with all the resources and support to move to a remote working environment immediately. From Microsoft Office 365 to Zoom or Microsoft Teams, to VPN, we can equip your business with all the necessary technologies and cloud-based tools to help make your business processes much smoother and easier in the lockdown scenario. We can help you run your critical business functions smoothly avoiding any business disruption due to the lockdown.
If you’re a small business in need of the technology and resources to set up a remote working infrastructure, we’ll be happy to assist you! Give us a call today at 877-487-3929!