Expanded Cloud Use A Key IT Strategy To Combat COVID-19 Disruption
The spread of COVID-19 caused shutdowns in several countries. Business leaders have limited time to implement health and IT strategies before being impacted.
As local, state, and federal health agencies ramp up efforts to contain the spread of the sometimes deadly coronavirus, businesses are also dealing with potential disruption. Industry leaders have dual obligations that include protecting the health and welfare of employees, as well as minimizing the impact COVID-19 has on their operation.
By maximizing the use of state-of-the-art technologies and implementing a determined IT strategy, decision-makers can fulfill both duties. At 360 Smart Network, our team of experienced IT professionals would like industry leaders in Atlanta, Charlotte, and across the Southeast, to consider orchestrating a company-wide plan of action that keeps profit-driving endeavors on track and valued employees out of harm’s way.
Understanding The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Despite the best efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some misinformation persists. The coronavirus, according to the CDC, ranks among a “large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2).”
The recent strain of coronavirus that has taken lives can be spread by person-to-person contact, pass between certain animals and humans, and may render surfaces contaminated. As of mid-March, less than 700 cases were reported in the U.S., and the majority were the result of travel abroad and cruise ships. However, evidence of person-to-person infection has occurred in the U.S. and across the Southeast. According to the CDC, the demographics who are at heightened risk from coronavirus include the following.
- Older Adults
- People with Heart Disease
- People with Diabetes
- People with Lung Ailments such as COPD, among others
Although certain people are at increased risk, there are no certainties otherwise healthy individuals cannot fall seriously ill. That’s why employers are urged to take precautions to ensure safe work environments.
What Business Leaders Can do to Reduce COVID-19 Risk in the Workplace
Improved sanitation efforts are keys to minimizing the possibility employees pass the contagion through inanimate objects. This means continually cleaning shared devices with sanitization products such as wipes and disinfectants are advised. One of the challenges the coronavirus presents is that symptoms may not manifest for weeks, even though infected people are contagious. The CDC recommends the following measures.
- Wash hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds or longer
- Use hand sanitizers that have an alcohol content of 60 percent or higher
- Avoid contact with surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, and avoid sharing keyboards and devices
- Avoid hand to face or mouth contact
- End the practice of business handshakes until COVID-19 is in check
- Suspend the use of small spaces and poorly ventilated rooms
The CDC remains the primary U.S. health organization spearheading efforts to control and eliminate the contagion. While these are robust efforts that companies can take to minimize the spread, there are also determined strategies on the IT side that can protect valued team members and reduce disruption.
Expanded Cloud Use Can Minimize COVID-19 Disruption
One of the recent developments that has professionals concerned was the regional shutdowns in China and Italy. An uptick in coronavirus could prompt local and state emergencies to require people to stay home. In other instances, brick-and-mortar facilities that are compromised due to an infected party may have to be shut down and completely scrubbed.
Fortunately, the tech industry has taken the initiative, and organizations are rolling out Cloud offers. Shifting operations to the Cloud delivers virtual access to electronic files and data that an outfit may have been storing on in-house networks. Shifting necessary and profit-driving tasks to a Cloud-based system ranks among the best ways to avoid disruption. That’s mainly because valued employees can now work remotely, which also eliminates the risk of contracting the coronavirus at the facility.
Operations that are already utilizing the Cloud would be wise to enlist the help of managed IT professionals to secure additional endpoint devices. If you do not already have a Bring Your Own Device policy, now is the time to implement one. Start by ensuring your workers understand cybersecurity protocols when logging on to the Cloud, communicating, or sharing files. And enforce a privilege and permissions policy that limits data access. These strategies minimize risk, should a hacker penetrate your network via an employee device.
Contact A Managed IT Professional To Mitigate COVID-19 Losses
If your organization has not yet migrated to cost-effective Cloud use, consider this crisis an opportunity to catch up to others in your industry who are enjoying the benefits of virtual data access. By moving data to the Cloud and implementing top-tier cybersecurity protocols, goal-achieving tasks can be conducted remotely. There’s no reason to shutter your business due to the coronavirus threat. Contact 360 Smart Networks for an emergency IT management consultation today.
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Meet Our CEO Marius Nel
Marius has over 25 years of extensive technical and business managerial experience. After beginning his career in the R&D sector of mechanical engineering Marius made the switch to IT in 1996, first acting as a technical support engineer and later moving up to the departmental general manager of a large JSE-listed company. After immigrating to the U.S. in 2001, Marius began laying the foundation for what would eventually become 360 Smart Networks.