Make Remote Collaboration A Part Of Your Organisation'S Disaster Recovery Plan
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Make remote collaboration a part of your organisation's disaster recovery plan

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It is what hits us when we are unprepared that causes the most damage. India’s deepening power crisis wreaked havoc, when India’s Northern Grid Network collapsed at 02:30am on 30 July 2012 due to a surge in frequency, causing a massive power disruption that affected nearly 30 percent of India’s population, and spanned over nine of the northern states.

It is important to protect your business from the volatility and uncertainty that is beyond your control. According to a UN report in 2011, India ranked 2nd in the world for natural disasters, just shy of the other Asian industrial giant, China. Floods, cyclones, power outages and fires do happen, and it should be top priority that backup systems are in place to ensure that your business is able to function through and after a disaster. There is a myriad of technological tools available to provide companies with a contingency plan in the event of a crisis. However, it is alarming how many companies still do not have a sound and well tested plan to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery.

Remote collaboration solutions like video and web conferencing help a company quickly shift its crucial business operations online and allow employees to continue work in whatever location they are at. In the event of an outbreak of disease, damage in infrastructure, or civil unrest in the streets, employees might face the prospect of being unable to commute to the office for stretches of time. Companies may well have to employ teleworking as a key mode of operation, and it benefits the company to have such technology and operational work systems in place, so as not to further delay business functions. Meetings can be taken online with video conferencing, and project discussions can quickly be resumed if team members are able to continue their work through online document sharing platforms. Collaborative solutions such as web conferencing and video conferencing also allow employees to understand the situation on the ground, assess the impact of the damage and effectively decide on further plans on how to operate the business.

Besides having the appropriate remote collaboration solutions in place, companies should regularly carry out disaster recovery preparedness exercises to ensure that employees are equipped and familiarised with the skills to continue business functions through remote collaboration. It is also important to test out these systems and to upgrade them when necessary. A disaster recovery plan which is unfamiliar and untested by employees is as good as no plan at all. It would thus be best if remote collaboration was already worked into daily operations, such that employees are equipped with the skills to telework when necessary.

For any company, it is unwise to have no disaster recovery plan to protect and recover business infrastructure as soon as possible. Besides natural disasters, which India occasionally experiences, there is always the uncertain threat of health epidemics, damage in infrastructure, or crime and unrest which might disrupt the order and day to day operations. Being able to flexibly switch to operating remotely, and quickly introducing telework systems can make the difference in a company pulling through a disaster and not weakening or even collapsing.