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Operational Resilience: Covid night terrors

The national office lockout required for us to “stay home, stay safe” would not have been possible without the IT platforms developed since the launch of the iPhone in 2008. IFAs and clients can stay in touch by Whatsapp, email, Zoom all the while with investments managed and moved online. For many businesses, the flexibility of technology and the rapid spread of uptake right across the older more tech resistant population has opened up a new era in efficient advice delivery.

But the new communications ecosystem has a flaw:

It is very vulnerable to shocks, as a large number of Virgin Broadband customers discovered last week.  An Internet provider (ISP) outage can maroon you, your workforce, and your clients.  Without the ability to revert to pen and paper at the office, what steps can you take to protect your business?

Resilience is key.

Using a different phone data provider from your home broadband avoids some of the threat of having all your connection capability with one company. You might lose data or voice capability, but with different suppliers, you reduce the risk of losing both at the same time significantly. Buying a spare data dongle from a rival ISP gives you an alternative route to the web.

For PC Users, keeping anti-virus software up to date is especially important, particularly if you are sharing your computer with others, as many are doing with homeschooling and families together all day.

But what about things outside your control. Huge amounts of record-keeping are now cloud-based. This is a good time to check with your cloud providers just what steps they have taken to keep your data safe and accessible during the lockdown. Data Engineers and computer hardware maintenance people are stretched at the moment increasing the risk of a data lockout to their clients. Without access to traditional files in the office, how will you cope?

The element you control is in your hand or on your desk, and how it connects to the internet. A small investment in resilience today could avoid Covid Night terrors.

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