Snowed in but logged on!

Well what a start to the year! It seems like everyone has been experiencing some sort of extreme weather! In most cases it’s proved a challenge for people to get to work. Last Wednesday, just like most of the UK, I was stuck at home; snowed in – car unable to move. Those with a 4×4 may have found themselves in a privileged position – able to at least get out of their drive!

Over the last week you could not ignore the continued weather reports in the media. Twitter streams such as #uksnow also provided instant updates on the weather throughout the UK.

Even our friends in Oz have been affected by extreme weather with Melbourne experiencing its hottest temperatures since 1908!

So how was it for you? How prepared was your company in either providing access to computer systems or alternative offices/transport during this peak of extreme weather? Lucky for me, my company has excellent plans in place for such events and all systems are securely available through the internet – so I was ok working from home. The cogs continued to turn; our operational teams were all in place, our data centres were manned, everything was working as normal.

However, not everyone is as fortunate. If you look at a report published after last year’s snow by the federation of small business (FSB), one in five people (a total of 6.4 million workers) could not make it to work – denting the UK’s economy at an estimated £1.2billion! Reports on the front pages of some news papers suggest that this year the cost is expected to be ten times higher! So how can you keep your business up and running and ensure that not extreme weather conditions don’t affect you?

This question leads me back to my recent post on hosted virtual desktop (HVD) [see the demise of the desktop]. The opportunities discussed in that post empower staff to access your systems anytime, anywhere. Therefore, HVD provides an effective solution to the issues of extreme weather and lost productivity.

Of course, you would need to have access to the technologies that enable you to ‘swing’ your IT and provide an ‘access anywhere’ service to necessary stakeholders e.g. employees and suppliers. But as long as employees have a half decent internet connection at home, you would be able to continue to deliver service to your customers…

In 2010 more organisations should start to pilot technology like HVD within a cloud/Infrastructure-as-a-Service … surely extreme weather alone is now a serious case for deployment? What’s your thoughts?

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