Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations across a range of sectors will have found themselves lacking the proper infrastructure to shift to operating remotely. Many took this in their stride, battening down the hatches, and are now emerging, relieved, into a semblance of normality. However, if the country experiences a second wave, as predicted by health experts, businesses will need to repeat and enhance the measures that were put in place to be ready to facilitate another prolonged period of homeworking.
So, what should businesses ask themselves when considering preparation and readiness for the effects of a second wave of COVID-19?
Is your business cyber secure?
While we know that a further increase in cyber-attacks exploiting the coronavirus pandemic is highly likely in the near future, taking steps to ensure your business avoids the damage caused by these breaches has never been more important.
as businesses increase their dependency on online services and platforms to navigate the current climate, they are becoming more vulnerable and susceptible to cyber-attacks.
You need to ensure that your cyber defences are up to date and able to withstand potential breaches, as well as exploring strong web filtering technology, two-factor authentication and encryption of data. It is also worthwhile to invest in cybersecurity training and education across the business and as far as possible, securing personal devices used for business that could fall into the wrong hands and cause issues further down the line.
Is your IT infrastructure built for a remote workforce?
For many companies, lockdown will have been their first venture into remote working. Rather than having months – even years – to prepare for such a move, changes happened quickly, with IT infrastructure having certainly faced a fair few challenges as a result.
Investment in technology is essential in order for employees to excel when working from anywhere. Lessons may have been learned from the initial lockdown;
Check, test and monitor connectivity and ensure employees are reporting back any issues to be resolved
Identify which parts of your operating systems are business critical and ensure that employees have access to this at all times
Ensure that a contingency plan is in place in the event of a system failure
Is your website capable of coping with an increase in demand?
For many businesses seeing a surge in demand for online services, such as e-commerce, or health and pharmaceuticals, experiencing a sudden increase in traffic to the website will inevitably lead to a slowdown for consumers. Or worse still, the website becoming unresponsive altogether. This can lead to a loss of sales, quotes or enquiries as well as placing lasting damage on the employer brand as trust and reliability is questioned.
Take a moment and ask yourself this question; is your website good enough to withstand an increase in traffic? If you are unsure or the answer is no, you need to identify the areas and channels of the website that experience the highest surge in usage and work with your suppliers to optimise your systems to enable you to manage this demand.
While we hope the country doesn’t face any further complications from COVID-19, organisations need to take key learnings from the past six months, in order to pivot their functions and ensure they are prepared for all potential challenges that may arise. All of these questions should be answered by businesses, no matter what the climate, but the pandemic certainly has increased the urgency in which this needs to be addressed. Making these changes and adaptations will never be a waste of resources, as your businesses will be able to withstand a range of interruptions, even if there is no second wave.
We understand that no two business challenges are the same. For help and advice with finding the best talent to help overcome your next obstacle, get in touch with one of our team today.