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COVID-19 presents us a new way of doing business  

By Admin

Added 1st April 2020 04:46 PM

As more and more people are required to curtail their movement to limit the further spread of infection, the demand for digital communication services, such as teleconferencing, e-commerce and remote working will rise sharply.

COVID-19 presents us a new way of doing business  

With the coronavirus pandemic and eventual lockdown to stop the spreading of the disease, companies which had prepared in advance by boosting their technology stand a chance of continuity

As more and more people are required to curtail their movement to limit the further spread of infection, the demand for digital communication services, such as teleconferencing, e-commerce and remote working will rise sharply.

COVID-19 | BUSINESS

The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in various industries, not only in Uganda and the region but also worldwide. Industries, such as tourism, hospitality, logistics, production, technology, sports and entertainment have been hit hard by the pandemic.

As of March 25, the confirmed cases were in hundreds of thousands and deaths, tens of thousands across 196 countries, areas or territories, this according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The number of deaths outside China, where it all started, have now surpassed those inside.

Millions are now under lockdown in some parts of Europe, Asia and Africa as the threat of the disease looms.

In all this ‘madness', some terms on how to contain the virus have come up related to how we work, do business, run operations and generally live life.

Cancelling or cutting down on nonessential travel

Cancelling or cutting down on nonessential business and meetings 

Working from home

Maintain social distancing

As infection rates of COVID-19 increase, the virus has implications for the business community across the entire economy.

For purposes of this article, I will focus on how COVID-19 presents us a new way of doing things and what organisations can do about it.

Digital communication

As more and more people are required to curtail their movement to limit the further spread of infection, the demand for digital communication services, such as teleconferencing, e-commerce and remote working will rise sharply.

For this to happen, two things are critical — connectivity (in terms of internet connection) and ease of data transmission and data access.

Is there a voice and data/internet package for your staff?

A smartphone can be used to tether if fixed internet is not available.

Events

The latest social distancing warnings presents a new way of hosting events as physical meetings are being ditched for online ones.

Can that training be streamed live to your target audiences? Can that board meeting be hosted online to limit movements and one-on-one engagements?

Correct & fake news

The world's largest tech companies are combining forces by ensuring that everyone has access to accurate information, stopping misinformation and harmful content.

They are also supporting global health experts, local governments, businesses and communities.

Businesses will now have to use information about the virus and how it affects their customers, partners and most importantly, staff 

Customer data

In the last few days, companies have been sending out emails, newsletters, SMS or even making calls to their staff, clients and partners on how they are dealing with the crisis and what the next steps will be for the business.

Do you have accurate customer data — telephone numbers (primary and secondary mobile lines, as well as landlines, where possible) and emails for your business?

This crisis is increasingly showing businesses what they need to have done regarding data management.
For those without updated information, grim times await them.

Cloud storage

With people increasingly working remotely, a key issue arises — how will staff access sensitive files, data and information from the company servers?

Before this crisis, Cloud Storage looked like a foreign thought. Right now, it is going to be the norm to have primary and secondary data backups.

Already, some Cloud platforms are providing credit to purchase services in order to ensure business stability.

Remote networks

Remote working means remote corporate networks must adapt as well.

Here comes in software-defined — Wide Area Networks (SD-WANs) or Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

If you are a small enterprise that only needs to connect a handful of sites, an internet-based VPN can make sense.

However, where scalability, performance, reliability and operational agility matter to your organisation, Cloud-based SD-WAN wins the day.

Data security

With the changing work styles, there are many new threats to corporate data security by way of data breach.

Be it employee information, customer payment info or business strategies, every organisation is worried about the security of their sensitive data.

Securing data within the corporate network through data encryption is important; ensure your firm has adopted key security measures to prevent unauthorised access to stored data, as well as the sensitive data in motion that is being accessed by staff working remotely.

In a nutshell, for many large and medium businesses, responses to the coronavirus outbreak will centre around how effective the use of technology can fully support business continuity.

For those that had planned for a time like this, well-done on advance planning.

For those that did not, the time to act is now so that your business operations do not collapse during this trying time.

All the best.

The author is the general manager of Raxio Data Centre

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