For many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized their operations. Now is the time to assess your business’s response to the pandemic and address areas that have caused issues during this challenging time.
While your company’s business continuity processes may have stood up to the test, your IT service continuity may have let you down. Now more than ever before, service continuity matters, meaning your IT company is still fulfilling its service-level agreements and going above and beyond to protect your digital assets at this time.
Your business’s IT really should have gone from being a significant component of your business operation to being at the forefront of your company’s response to the pandemic. Right now, the success of many businesses is dependent on a provider who offers robust IT services and who delivers reliable service continuity.
IT Service Continuity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Research from Gallup shows that 62% of Americans in employment have worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. This figure demonstrates just how many companies shifted from office-based working to remote working in a very short time.
Implementing this level of change at short notice is no small task. Your business continuity management processes should have ensured that your company had procedures to handle the current unexpected circumstances, but your IT company shouldn’t have left you in the lurch, either.
With your employees now working from home, your Managed Service Provider should be focused on offering your company the IT support that it needs. Your IT services should be proactively providing remote support as required or conducting safe onsite visits to provide IT support.
Ultimately, lacking service continuity is a huge red flag that it’s time to switch IT providers. After all, f your IT company can’t work 100% efficiently during the pandemic, how are they going to be a valuable partner for your business during the pandemic (and beyond)?
The importance of IT service continuity cannot be emphasized enough. Employees working from home means finding new ways to work, and new IT issues never encountered before may suddenly arise. These circumstances make you dependent on your IT provider to meet their SLAs and offer proactive IT support to get your business through this unprecedented time.
Why IT Service Continuity Matters
The pandemic has made businesses and their IT systems, in particular, more vulnerable than ever. Migrating your workforce to remote working in a short time can potentially lead to oversights and gaps in IT setup with potentially disastrous consequences.
Here are some of the ways that a lack of IT service continuity can impact your business:
On April 8, 2020, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a joint alert. The alert warned of the rapid increase of cyber actors using the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to launch malicious attacks on individuals and organizations. This alert highlighted the vulnerabilities of businesses navigating their way through the new world of remote working.
If gaps are present in your network’s security, a threat actor will be ready and waiting to exploit this vulnerability. The impact of a cyberattack goes beyond the stolen data itself. The consequences extend to the time, effort, and money involved, and the significant damage that will be inflicted on your company’s reputation.
Your Managed Service Provider has the responsibility of conducting risk assessments to evaluate your new networks and working conditions to ensure that any new vulnerabilities are addressed and patched. If they haven’t done this, it’s time to look for a new provider.
If your IT provider doesn’t work to their service level agreements when your business is facing its most significant time of IT challenges, the result is likely to be system downtime.
Downtime right now could not come at a worse time for your business. A 2019 Statista survey shows that 25 percent of companies surveyed globally said that downtime costs them between $301,000 and $400,000 per hour. This figure demonstrates why you need your IT service provider to deliver IT service continuity at all times.
If your business is experiencing increased levels of downtime, it’s a sign your Managed Service Provider isn’t offering the service continuity you need during this time.
Remote working was pushed to the top of the business agenda as a result of the pandemic, but as restrictions start to lift, it looks like remote working is here for the long term.
Research shows that almost 43% of employed Americans would like to continue at-home working. This demonstrates how crucial it is for your IT provider to proactively develop a remote working strategy with the correct automation tools to make this possible.
Both short- and long-term strategies should be part of your provider’s service continuity during the pandemic to ensure your business is not only protected now, but future-proofed for the coming years.
Getting Help from a Managed Service Provider
Business continuity alone is not enough; every organization needs IT service continuity to help them thrive whatever challenges they may face as a result of the pandemic or any future disasters.
Your company needs a Managed Service Provider that can develop strategies that strengthen your IT infrastructure and remote working systems. Above all, your provider needs to protect your business from the financial and reputational damage caused by data theft.
With a provider who offers business continuity strategies as well as service continuity, you can rest assured that your business will be well protected, even if other unexpected incidents disrupt your normal work functions in the future.