The topic of business continuity has moved up the agenda of many organisations since the corona crisis. The combination of a cloud migration and a digital workspace with an integrated intranet is a huge boost to business continuity. We explain the benefits in this article.
Functioning business in the event of a disaster
Cyber threats such as ransomware and hacks, pandemics, natural disasters, disconnections due to failures: there are numerous threats to the continuity of your business. In a Gartner survey in March 2020, only 12 per cent of companies said they were well prepared for a crisis such as the Corona pandemic. Coronavirus was an eye-opener for most companies: since then, they have started to take their business continuity seriously.
Business continuity means ensuring that your business continues to function, even in the event of an incident or disaster. This requires the preparation of a business continuity plan, which details how your organisation will become and remain resilient. Many companies combine a business continuity plan with an incident response plan which oversees the response to incidents, malfunctions, cybercrime and data loss. They also have a disaster recovery plan which sets out how the ICT organisation can recover after a disaster.
Cloud: foundation for solid business continuity
Well-known benefits of the cloud are of course efficiency, flexibility and cost savings through pay per use. But the cloud has even more advantages, which are crucial for business continuity:
Access anywhere, anytime
Whether people have to work from home because of a pandemic or can’t go to the office because of a fire, a big advantage of the cloud is that people can access their applications and data anywhere, anytime.
High degree of security
Due in part to the secure-by-design principle, the cloud is generally more secure than applications and data on private servers. This reduces the likelihood of system failure or data loss and, of course, improves business continuity.
Improved physical security
Flood, fire, theft: On-prem servers at your premises are more vulnerable than the servers of a cloud provider in a data centre, as their physical security is usually state-of-the-art.
In the cloud, data is backed up in real-time or at least very frequently. Should something go wrong, for example due to a large-scale cyber-attack, then, by way of damage control, you always have a recent backup. Partly because of this, the recovery time for cloud-based services can often be reduced to just a few minutes.
Another case of damage control: with cloud services, equipment is readily available to take over the services in the event that the primary systems fail.
Disadvantage: lack of attention
In the face of all these advantages, there is also a downside. Precisely because the cloud has so many business continuity benefits, it can be tempting for organisations to skip the process of creating a solid business continuity plan after a cloud transition.
Intranet as foundation for business continuity
A modern intranet, which is a combination of a digital workspace with a cloud-based intranet, is the basis for a solid business continuity strategy. A modern intranet has the following advantages:
Online collaboration and communication
The modern intranet provides all the applications, documents and other information that employees need for online cooperation, communication and information sharing. For example:
Video calling and instant messaging tools that enable communication with each other, suppliers and customers.
A news module that allows company management to share important information with employees about the crisis situation and its own approach.
An address book, to enable people to quickly look up which people in the organisation are responsible for something and how they can be reached.
Real-time collaboration on documents, such as the Office apps of Microsoft 365.
A document management system (DMS) for collecting, tracking, sorting and storing electronic documents. For example, Workspace 365 turns SharePoint, OneDrive, and the network drive into an easy-to-use DMS.
A modern intranet makes it easy for people to share and look up information, so calamities can be avoided.
Maintaining social cohesion
During protracted crises such as the pandemic, social cohesion and corporate culture can crumble. Internal communication via a modern intranet ensures greater social cohesion, for example, because employees are able to share and like posts and create virtual communities. This prevents absenteeism and attrition and ensures commitment to – and therefore productivity – of the company.