The entire business world has taken quite a hit during the pandemic. Some have had to shut down their operations entirely, others have had to send their teams home and adapt to remote work, while some have had to restructure their entire infrastructure. Although no business can adapt on a moment’s notice, the key takeaway from this situation can be that businesses need to be more resilient to crises and more adaptable to fast-paced changes in the economy.

To achieve that perfect duo for future success, your business needs a strong IT foundation based on a few, carefully selected capabilities. No matter if you run an e-commerce store, provide marketing services, or run a major insurance corporation, your IT is your greatest asset when facing a major challenge in the scope of this pandemic. Here’s what your IT should be capable of in order to succeed despite the odds and no matter the crisis. 

Disaster recovery protocols

Sometimes, in order to become more resilient, you need to face a crisis of pandemic proportions, in this case, quite literally so. However, the way you respond will define how capable your business will be to overcome any disaster and preserve your potential to grow.

Make sure that your disaster recovery plan is thorough and that it lists all the specifics of each role and piece of equipment you will need to perform it correctly. Regularly train and educate your employees on what to do in case of such an event, and always evaluate and adapt your strategy to your business needs and the changes in your industry. Preparing for every eventuality gives your organization a chance to survive and become more resilient than ever.

A robust IT infrastructure

Business growth, scalability, and security heavily depend on your overall IT infrastructure. Traditional models have their benefits, but also their challenges, while hyper-convergence enables your IT infrastructure to have greater flexibility, scalability, and security across the board.

Unlike traditional systems, robust hci systems help reduce the operational costs needed for your IT infrastructure while at the same time providing you with a centralized operation for all of your needs. Such solutions require minimal manual maintenance, allowing you to automate a large portion of your operations while letting your core IT personnel handle other, mission-critical processes for your business. With such an infrastructure, you can scale your business more easily and adapt to the changing needs of your industry without jeopardizing your core processes.

Multiple data backup strategies

Prevention should absolutely be the main portion of your IT strategy, but you also need to be prepared for that worst case scenario, and have a strategy to salvage your data and backup all of your core procedures. Depending on your business model, you can use different data backup solutions, from onsite to offsite backup. Relying on different storage solutions such as your onsite hardware and offsite cloud servers with high-end security increases your chances to restore your operations with greater ease and faster than you normally would.

All-encompassing cybersecurity

Your IT employees do have much on their plate, but cybersecurity is one of their core purposes to prevent data leaks, internal as well as external security breaches, and reputation damage. Much like so many other IT capabilities, this is an ever-changing segment of your business that requires continuous learning and adaptability to survive. 

Start with assigning your IT teams with employee education, so that you can eliminate internal risk, or at the very least reduce it significantly. With that taken care of, your IT should utilize the latest and most effective cybersecurity solutions to prevent various malicious attacks. Your business network needs to be impenetrable, and all the devices your employees use should be properly equipped with antimalware and antivirus software and the latest system updates. 

Ongoing audits and risk assessment 

Even though companies hope that the pandemic is an exception rather than the rule of what “business as usual” should look like, companies still need to prepare for potential threats. Internal risk assessment should be mandatory in your organization, to make sure that your employees, your workflow, and all of your processes are well-regulated, in line with the latest compliance requirements, and adjusted to meet your business needs. Think of it as quality control for your own security and productivity.

Few businesses that have come to life in the past decade have taken into account the extraordinary “what if” of a pandemic – and yet some of them have been affected by it beyond repair. Knowing how to prepare for the unknown is part of what your risk assessment should be all about.

After all, different factors can be a source of risk for the longevity and resilience of your business when you face a crisis. It doesn’t have to be as large-scale as the current pandemic, but it can still have far-reaching consequences for your growth potential. With that in mind, you need to ensure that your people as well as the tools you use are equipped to handle risk, deter threats, and allow your business to thrive. Everyone should know their role in case there’s a crisis, and how to implement the right protocols should a new crisis arise.

 

Your IT department will cover a multitude of crucial roles in your organization. IT is essential in building up your ability to survive any crisis and to meet the changing market trends, as well as deter any security threats. With the right strategy, your IT infrastructure and response plan will help your business grow and become more resilient to a variety of challenges in the future. 

Make sure to evaluate your current IT sector for the listed skills and capabilities, and ensure ongoing assessments to always recognize internal processes that require improvement. That is the only way your business can survive the ever-changing economic tides and the fickle nature of your industry.

Posted by Elaine Bennett

Elaine Bennett is an Australian-based digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. She writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more people and help them on their business journey.