When Hurricane Sandy struck a year ago, many businesses were unprepared to handle the communications outages, loss of electricity and physical destruction she caused. Even now 83% of businesses do not have an IT business continuity plan in place.
Businesses cannot afford lengthy downtimes when disasters strike, so they must be ready to recover from disruptions to business continuity immediately. Fortunately, today’s cloud-based technologies enable businesses to maintain their IT operations and communications channels even when they can no longer work from their main corporate office. Apart from natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, today’s knowledge workers require the capability to work from wherever they are, whenever they are needed.
8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGHT), provider of cloud communications and collaboration solutions, offers technologies that enable in-house and remote employees to continue working from any Internet-enabled location, despite unanticipated business continuity disruptions. From cloud-based telephony and contact center services to unified communications, 8x8 offers a comprehensive suite of services that helps businesses keep employees powered up and working strong. Additionally, since 8x8’s services are delivered over the public Internet, a business can activate full-featured enterprise class phone service in minutes, enabling it to promptly resume its communications capabilities following damage or disablement to an existing on-premise phone system.
“In this day and age, we’re seeing more and more of our employees work from home due to everyday demands, whether it be a catastrophic disaster or because their kids are sick and cannot go to school,” said John Imor, IT Director of Water Quality Insurance Syndicate. “With 8x8, we’ve been able to provide all employees, whether they typically work remotely or not, with the proper tools to continue to do their jobs outside of the office setting.”While catastrophic disasters like Hurricane Sandy do happen occasionally, most system downtime occurrences are caused by human error, unexpected updates or server room environment issues. In fact according to a survey by Acronis and the Ponemon Institute, 86% of companies experienced one or more instances of system downtime in the previous year, and 60% of the time human error was a factor. In addition, everyday disasters, like employees’ children getting sick, urgent family situations or even travelling can get in the way of traditional at-work procedures. A Census Bureau report revealed 9.4% of U.S. workers—or 13.4 million people—worked at least one day at home per week, a number that is on the rise compared to years prior. “Bottom line, a business continuity plan is not just for hurricane-sized disasters,” said 8x8 Sr. Vice President of Product & Strategy Darren Hakeman. “Smaller business disruptions, like the recent BART Strike in the San Francisco Bay Area, happen all the time. Organizations should have a communication and collaboration solution in place with built-in disaster recovery to handle both system downtime and disasters-in-waiting. This will ensure their customers are served and their business remains open.”