Stephen Smith: Winning a gold medal in the business continuity Olympics

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With Olympics tickets allocated and successful applicants now certain of which events they will attend, many firms are already seeing a massive demand from employees seeking to book the same time off work.  This is putting severe strain on the business to maintain operational effectiveness.
This is a major headache for employers.  Small businesses in particular will be concerned as to how they are going to manage the avalanche of early holiday requests.  And that’s without the anticipated ‘double whammy’ of increased absenteeism and travel disruption throughout the three weeks of the Games themselves.
This will require a lot of flexibility on both sides, as firms look to create a schedule which allows employees to see the events of their choice as far as possible, at the same time ensuring that the business does not suffer through a lack of key staff.
The upside here is that SMEs looking to maintain business as usual throughout this critical three-week period now have access to affordable web conferencing and remote access tools.  These will enable staff to work from home – or another location away from the office – and remain fully operational, with no loss of productivity.
A recent survey from Citrix Online found that, though almost one third of SMEs were confident that they could cope with disruptions, twice as many still lack any continuity plan to combat any interruption to their business.
These don’t have to be unplanned events, such as the heavy snowfalls or the ash cloud experienced in 2010.  Planning a full year ahead to cope with extra demands for time off work is equally critical and, if handled effectively, can minimise the impact on the business.  At the same time, the greater flexibility which remote collaboration offers will allow employers to support those staff who are keen to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Web conferencing and remote access technologies are affordable, secure and simple to use.  They enable workers to attend online meetings, webinars and training events, regardless of where they take place. Employees can also access their desktops, including programs, files and emails so they can work from home or elsewhere as if they were in the office.
Those employers who are quickest out of the blocks in implementing these solutions will be in gold medal position when it comes to resisting business disruption.

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About Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith, Manager of Systems Engineering, Citrix

Stephen Smith, manager, systems engineering, EMEA, joined Citrix Online in 2004 and works closely with regional sales managers, account executives and client services in driving new business and client retention. Through a thorough understanding of client needs, this enables development of a strong value proposition and demonstrable RoI. He has a wealth of experience and joined Citrix Online from the NHS, where he was responsible for network design, implementation, support and maintenance. Prior to this, his early career includes senior network consultant at NCT Networks subsidiary, Artera Group Inc., and pre-sales consultant for TCP/IP network and server configuration.">

Stephen Smith, manager, systems engineering, EMEA, joined Citrix Online in 2004 and works closely with regional sales managers, account executives and client services in driving new business and client retention.

Through a thorough understanding of client needs, this enables development of a strong value proposition and demonstrable RoI. He has a wealth of experience and joined Citrix Online from the NHS, where he was responsible for network design, implementation, support and maintenance. Prior to this, his early career includes senior network consultant at NCT Networks subsidiary, Artera Group Inc., and pre-sales consultant for TCP/IP network and server configuration.

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