Recover Anywhere

Recent reports from the likes of Gartner and the CMI both point to the increasing focus on business continuity strategies – something hardly surprising when you consider the cumulative effects of business disruptions of late. Last year alone, insurance firm RSA estimated that the snow-driven disruption in 2010 cost the UK economy £1.2bn a day.

With the Royal Wedding this year and the Olympics in 2012, not to mention the inevitable striking in key areas like transport, there are more and more instances where the daily lives of working people can be affected during the working year. While the nature of the incidents themselves cannot always be predicted, the fact that these incidents will take place – on an increasingly regular basis – can be.

Amidst the disruptions, businesses have to know that the vast majority of their staff can be productive even if they can’t make it into the office. Yet, worryingly, our recent analysis of business disruptions found a significant rise in communication failures in 2010, such as disruptions relating to telephone or network outages, compared with previous years.

There’s no excuse for not having a productivity protection strategy – flexibility needs to be more integrated into continuity plans.

The emergence of internet and mobile technologies does, however, mean that such precautions are far less daunting than they used to be. The technology is now available and affordable to enable far more of your employees to carry on working as normal. Technologies such as Recover Anywhere, for example, offer businesses agility without compromising on security, enabling them to recover more people and more departments; faster and more cost-effectively than ever before.

Think of it like this: if unplanned events do disrupt your business, who do you want to have a higher percentage of the workforce active, winning business and serving customers – yourself or the competition? Can you really afford to have over half your workforce out of action for days at a time?

In line with coalition promises to “reduce the red tape burden” on businesses, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed that it is in agreement with Lord Young’s recommendation to relax rules in low-risk environments, which include homes. This removes what some companies had seen as a barrier to homeworking due to the cost and impracticality of conducting potentially hundreds of individual risk assessments at employees’ home addresses.

The announcement of a more sensible, pragmatic approach came as no surprise to SunGard Availability Services, which had been monitoring the HSE for the past 18 months as it developed its groundbreaking Recover AnywhereTM service.  This gives SunGard customers the opportunity to create a recovery environment that seamlessly combines physical Workplace recovery and telephony with virtualised desktop and telephony, allowing employees to work anywhere equipped with just a PC and phone.

In much the same way that organisations realised savings by divesting themselves of expensive, underused office space and shifted towards mobile working, this development also strengthens the business case for operating with a reduced office estate.

According to the first Post-Recessional Workplaces Review* conducted by the British Institute of Facilities Managers, two thirds of organisations are trying to reduce their office space by working differently and using their premises more effectively.

Replacing the considerable costs of establishing and maintaining a fully equipped recovery site on standby with an on-demand recovery service from a third party provider means businesses pay only for what they actually use. The expense becomes an operational rather than capital cost and firms can leverage even greater value from the changed business model by exploiting other technological advances to create efficiency-savings.

A leading daily newspaper and major financial services organisation are currently trialling Recover Anywhere, which will give SunGard the opportunity to refine the service still further.

Click here to see how RECOVER ANYWHERE works

*Source: FM World – 11 November 2010

Lighter touch is good news for firms considering homeworking - SunGard Availability Services