1 SIPCOM Insight Guide Keeping your workforce connected through the Cloud
2 Protecting business infrastructure against unforeseen disruptions is more important than ever. Read this guide for insight on keeping your mobile workforce connected through the Cloud. What mobility means for businesses and employees The IT department, mobility and mitigating risk Hybrid cloud for business continuity Disaster recovery with Infrastructure-as-a-Service UCaaS ensures mobile workforce productivity
3 What mobility means for businesses and employees SIPCOM Insight Guide Enabling employees to work remotely or on the move has become imperative for businesses of all kinds. Research by Stanford University has found that remote workers are 13% more productive, take fewer sick days and enjoy a quieter working environment than their commuting colleagues. And of increasing importance, employees working remotely from home are able to better manage their own work-life balance, which translates into increased job satisfaction and improved productivity. Furthermore, with increased mobile workers businesses can save large amounts of capital on real estate, travelling expenses and office resources. If you don t have a mobile strategy, you don t have a future strategy. Eric Schmidt, Google executive chairman However, along with the many opportunities that stem from mobility - agility, productivity, engagement - there are fresh challenges for organisations to confront. One of them is business continuity. As companies become increasingly dependent on mobile access to data and applications, the need to safeguard this access against disruption from unforeseen events becomes more important. In fact, the sudden loss of mobile communications can have severe consequences for a business. As well as the more conventional aspects of their business continuity plans, companies must now envisage how to ensure that employees continue to communicate and collaborate through mobile technologies when disruptive events occur. Conversely, mobility can actually help to shape a business continuity plan and create a more resilient organisation. By establishing a more distributed working model, companies can build continuity into their operations because they become less reliant on a single point of failure. In the face of transit strikes, severe weather, a server or application outage and other events that keep employees from working on site, business operations can continue as usual, thanks to widespread adoption of smartphone and tablet use by employees. While on-premise systems get back up and running, mobile technologies can ensure that employees are able to make decisions, keep colleagues updated and respond to customer queries without delays.
4 The IT department, mobility and managing risk With the emergence of trends like BYOD, cloud services and the ongoing consumerisation of IT, there s been much debate about the role of IT in the modern organisation. If it is no longer responsible for maintaining hardware and providing devices, do companies still require an IT function? However, the growing importance of mobility and its complex relationship with business continuity proves that the answer to that question is a resounding yes. The responsibility for mobile technology continuity typically lies with the IT department, which remains responsible for maintaining Internet access, secure mobile devices and communications software. As the way technology is used in (and outside) the workplace continues to change, the IT function is becoming more sophisticated. Far from being made redundant, it is arguably more important to organisations than ever before. The emergence of BYOD and the cloud is rapidly redefining the responsibilities of the IT department, which means its capabilities are moving beyond service management and into a more strategic business role. For IT departments that operate as a strategic partner within their organisation, one of their main responsibilities is managing risk. A large part of mitigating the risk posed by unforeseen events - flooding, fire, extreme weather conditions, computer viruses or anything else that has the potential to disrupt business processes - involves developing a business continuity strategy. Business continuity in action: Hurricane Sandy Hurricane Sandy, which caused widespread destruction across the eastern United States in October 2012, emphasised the importance of business continuity planning. The storm inflicted damage worth $65 billion in the US (as well as millions of dollars in the Caribbean), making it the second costliest hurricane in American history. With southern Manhattan among the worst hit parts of the New York area, the resilience of business continuity strategies developed by the financial giants of Wall Street was placed under close scrutiny. As Risk.net observed in the aftermath, banks such as Goldman Sachs deployed successful anti-flood plans to protect their New York premises, but the severity and geographical reach of the hurricane meant their operations were still disrupted by incidents elsewhere. Employees could not simply work at home, as many of their properties were deemed dangerous or vulnerable to infrastructure cuts. Floods closed road and rail networks, while backup offices were inaccessible or not ready for immediate use. Agility through the cloud Let our experts create a customer solution to meet your business needs. North America +1 (718) EMEA +44 (0)
5 Deloitte disaster recovery planning expert David Sarabacha produced a list of ten lessons from Hurricane Sandy, in which he urged businesses to plan for events that have different impacts, in terms of both magnitude and duration. He said many organisations make the error of assuming a disruption will only affect them for between 24 and 48 hours. He also pointed out that a business cannot simply rely on employees ability to work from home. As Sandy demonstrated, this approach will quickly fail if people lack power and cannot access work data and applications from their properties. Hybrid cloud for business continuity We ve established that mobility and business continuity go hand in hand. But how can organisations ensure continuous access to data and key applications for mobile and remote workers in the face of a sudden disaster? What sort of solutions should they consider? Discussions about the cloud are becoming more sophisticated as organisations get to grips with the technology. Happily, many businesses have already moved beyond framing the discussion in terms of a simple should we use the cloud or keep this application on-premise? question. They understand that more than two options exist when it comes to deploying cloud services, and that the public cloud alone is unlikely to meet their requirements. Increasingly, the hybrid cloud is emerging as the preferred solution in a wide variety of different business cases - and business continuity is certainly no exception. This model involves combining services from a public cloud provider with a private cloud platform (often a repurposed version of the company s internal infrastructure). The use of hybrid cloud solutions is on the rise. In July 2013, a survey commissioned by Microsoft revealed that 68% of organisations were planning to adopt some kind of hybrid cloud model within two years. More recently, findings published by Tech Pro Research revealed that one-third of businesses have already implemented a hybrid cloud solution and another 37% are considering the use of hybrid cloud. Agility through the cloud Let our experts create a customer solution to meet your business needs. North America +1 (718) EMEA +44 (0)
6 SIPCOM Insight Guide Disaster recovery with IaaS IaaS is a cloud services model in which all computing infrastructure (storage, servers, hardware, networking) is owned by a third party and used by organisations on-demand. It s also a cost-effective, intelligent way to avoid expensive downtime and keep the mobile workforce connected - a pair of key objectives in today s always-on business environment. A 2012 survey by Frost & Sullivan discovered that strengthening business continuity plans and preparing for disaster recovery are two key drivers of IaaS adoption (cited by 38% and 35% of respondents respectively). The reason is that IaaS provides a consolidated infrastructure for disaster recovery. When a disruption or outage occurs, employees have access to the same infrastructure they use on a normal day, via their laptop, tablet or mobile device. There is no need to integrate disaster recovery strategies for disparate locations using different technologies, as each person in the organisation will use the same platform. The result is rapid recovery with no loss of data, even in the most testing circumstances. Next actions Disaster recovery remains a top priority for every CIO, however, with cloud computing services such as IaaS and UCaaS recovery needn t cost the earth and becomes much more cost-effective with significantly faster revival times. Speak to SIPCOM about implementing a hybrid IT disaster recovery strategy.
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