Managing IT During a Pandemic for Small Businesses

Most companies can handle the effects of a major storm or natural disaster, but when there are month-long closures, the response changes. Customer service can easily be handled through automation, but now, most of that has moved to remote work. Companies must focus on security and reliability as customer service moves to home offices. Most companies probably have a pandemic response plan in place; however, if it hasn’t been tested or practiced, there’s no way of knowing how effective it is. Here are some recommendations on managing IT during a pandemic.  

COVID-19 Response Team 

This is the first and most crucial part of managing IT during a pandemic. A pandemic response team is paramount and needs to include members from across the organization to brainstorm and execute new ideas. Developers, website administrators, database administrators, cloud architects, network managers, and key business leaders within the organization should be considered as part of the response team. As a result, each person can offer different perspectives and ideas that can help solve problems that may arise.  

Access to Remote Tools

More employees are working from home, which means that they are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data loss. Be sure that you supply your workforce with a virtual private network (VPN), and make sure that it’s fast and effective. Also, collaboration tools are essential to keep important information afloat in the organization.

Leverage the Cloud

Modern or newer companies most likely already have a substantial cloud footprint; however, older organizations tend to have a large number of outdated systems and on-premise data. Use this time to increase your cloud footprint if possible. There are numerous benefits as well, such as: 

  • Cost savings. Since your cloud services are outsourced, maintenance costs are reduced.  
  • Custom and integrated service. Cloud service providers are flexible and offer service plans that are best for your company. 
  • Centralized network services and applications. All applications and servers are in central data centers, and employees can access data within the same network. 
  • Disaster recovery. Data is safe and secured across cloud services and applications. When a disaster or a pandemic comes, business operations can continue as normal. 

Empathy and Understanding

Everyone is dealing with this pandemic in their own way. Some might be struggling more than others with adapting to the isolation of working from home. Either way, IT workers play an essential role in this migration. Most of them might be working late at night to fix customer related issues and develop solutions for remote workers. In addition, your IT department can offer support by managing conflict effectively and ensuring that others are protected and safe.

Keep Customers First 

Your customers are an essential part of the business at all times. However, during a time like this, communication with customers is vital. Be sure to consider the needs of your customers. Make sure that communication systems —whether it’s email or phone — are working correctly. Equip your remote and home-based workers with the right equipment and software to communicate effectively with customers. 

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