Don’t let your business lose out during the London 2012 Olympics
by David Sturges, CEO of WorkPlaceLive
The 100 day countdown to the London 2012 Olympics Games has started. With 10.8 million tickets on sale and an estimated population influx of up to three million people in London travelling at peak times – transport disruptions, public disorder, road closures or staff absences are likely to impact businesses this summer.
New research of 1200 organisations in the public and private sector by recruitment firm Badenoch & Clark highlighted that UK companies can expect high employee absences. One in six employees admitted they plan to take a ‘sickie’ to watch the Olympics and yet in spite of this, 30% of companies including FTSE 100 firms, public sector organisations and SMEs haven’t made any preparations to avoid the potential disruption. This is particularly surprising considering the fact two-thirds of organisations are expecting an increase in business during this three month period.
Currently, Transport for London (TfL) is campaigning to persuade individuals and businesses to change their commuting and working habits. TfL needs to reduce normal traffic by 50 – 60% at key hotspots such as London Bridge to accommodate the influx of spectators. Even then, there could be delays of up to half an hour. On peak days, there will be an extra 3 million people travelling on public transport in London. However, it seems that TfL’s campaign is having little impact on businesses – just 11% of companies have said they will allow staff to work from home.
It seems that UK businesses are underestimating the threat of Olympics’ disruption. However, there is still time for them to address these issues and put in place reliable contingency plans to safeguard business.
One way of ensuring ‘business as usual’ is by adopting Cloud Computing. Cloud has become a buzz word which represents many things; however, virtual hosted desktops in the cloud enable seamless remote working. Using Desktop as a Service (DaaS) technology, employees are able to access their company’s IT systems including emails, files and their own desktop securely from any location with an internet access. They don’t need to be in the office and they are not reliant on their organisation’s servers and technology to work. They can carry on as normal wherever they are based; they are not losing hours spent unproductively in transport delays and won’t have to battle in to the office on overcrowded trains.
From a corporate perspective, there are many additional benefits – including significant financial ones. Adopting cloud computing technology reduces the need for capital investment in IT and, all administration issues including software provisioning and updates, security, disaster/recovery are taken care of by the cloud computing provider. There is no longer any need for ‘energy draining’ servers in an office as everything is managed remotely.
Until now, one of the biggest barriers to cloud computing adoption has been fears about security. Understandably, companies have felt nervous about outsourcing their data and information to a third party supplier. However, serious DaaS providers will typically improve any company’s securities setting when compared to their existing situation.
If organisations want to move into the cloud, security considerations should of course be prioritised. For companies to have confidence in the security of their data, they should work with a trusted cloud computing provider that can manage and store their data in a secure UK data centre behind firewalls to ensure security is watertight.
Adopting DaaS is not only a good contingency plan for to minimise business disruption during the Olympics, it can help companies realise long term, strategic business benefits and cost savings. The cloud has the potential to enable companies to become efficient, responsive and innovative and gain a much needed competitive advantage in a difficult business climate.