Leading the Business Solutions Group at HKBN JOS Singapore, Jayden takes charge in designing and building solution suites for local government agencies and enterprises. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, he has a customer-focused vision that propels his team to constantly build new competencies, explore latest market needs and trends to be able to provide relevant solutions for customers.
Coronavirus Outbreak II – 6 Key Considerations for Business Continuity and Competitiveness
The empty streets in Singapore and stock-out surgical masks demonstrate the recent outbreak of COVID-19, also known as Novel Coronavirus, is spreading societal uncertainties faster than the virus itself. The government have implemented travel restrictions, quarantine orders, contact tracing and Leave of Absence (LOA) for employees who have travelled to China or in contact with infected cases. With the recent change of risk posture to DORSCON Orange, organisations are encouraged to step up business continuity plans (BCP) for flexible work arrangements and team segregations to curb the widespread of the virus.
At such times, how do organisations ensure that employees under quarantine, LOA or flexible work arrangements remain productive? Threats can also present opportunities. Many organisations may have a BCP or have digitally transformed the way of working to allow employees to work remotely. Technology today plays a crucial role to allow such flexibility. But organisations that are able to take full advantage of digitalisation will not only minimal disruptions, but also empower the business to be more competitive during market uncertainty.
Businesses can turn to these six key considerations for successful BCP to empower competitiveness.
To facilitate flexible working arrangement, employees need to be equipped with devices that allow mobility – for example a laptop instead of a desktop. Though most organisations provide laptops to employees, there are still handful of desktop users. To support them working remotely, some organizations subscribe to short term laptop lease, others have taken a step further by adopting the Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model. Aiming to ensure a secure BYOD policy, organisations can adopt Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). It allows employees to access enterprise applications remotely and securely via any devices. These technologies enable business to remain productive at unforeseen circumstances, such as complying to quarantined orders.
With travel restrictions in placed due to the current pandemic, employees need to find an alternative way to work with their overseas counterparts. Video conferencing and conference calls can facilitate seamless communication between employees, minimising the need for face-to-face meetings and unnecessary travels. Users can also take advantage of the “share screen” and “take control” functions within the unified communication tools to enhance remote collaboration and technology support.
Information is the key to success. Employees need to be able to access work information promptly and securely outside the office. Organisations can either use network drives with VPN or cloud content management platforms to allow employees access real-time information and collaborate within the team. In addition, organisations can also leverage enterprise applications on Cloud like sales management platforms, finance modules and marketing automation tools to drive flexibility, efficiency and productivity.
Business processes should never be halted simply because the team are separated physically. Business Process Automation ensures orchestration of the process, and continuity of any required approval processes. This platform provides a digital audit trail to trace the bottlenecks and streamline processes. If suitable, organisations can also use digital signature to speed up approval to eliminate any physical copies and their associated cost.
As part of the business continuity plan, organisations should always cater for an alternative work environment in the event of contingencies. When deciding a disaster recovery workplace, organisations need to consider a long list of requirements – price, location, office facilities, network support, backup support, security, and the list goes on. What organisations often forget is the importance of working with a trusted technology partner that understands their critical infrastructure. In short, organisations need to ensure that their disaster recovery workplace is equipped with workstations, network and meeting rooms to help them get back on their feet and minimise disruptions during such critical moments.
It is crucial for organisations to adopt the rule of Security by Design. In every technology adoption, security consideration must start from the initial stage, instead of leaving it as an afterthought. There are many security solutions in the market – network security, system security, endpoint security, cloud security, identity and access management and more. But security solutions do not follow a one-size-fits-all model, it is dependent on the organisations’ infrastructure and the technologies implemented. For instance, organisations using cloud applications and have data stored in the cloud should adopt Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) ensure security policies are enforced when employees access the applications. With the right protective measures in place, organisations can safeguard their assets and data while focusing on the core business with a peace of mind.
Building a digital workplace is not an overnight job, but rather one that requires meticulous planning and understanding of the organisation’s needs and culture. With the vast variety of technologies available in the market, it is imperative to have a trusted strategic technology partner to advise and customise solutions that cater to your organisation.
Fighting virus outbreak and driving business continuity may seem daunting, but at HKBN JOS we believe organisations can take these steps to stay agile and competitive. It is time to review your BCP strategy to empower your business to turn threats into opportunities.