How Business could have saved millions in the snow
As the infographic shows, the UK economy has been losing up to 1.2 billion a day during the current bad weather as up to 1/5th of the workforce has been unable to get to work. Over half of all these workers have no access to their work systems or the ability to work from home using systems such as Microsoft BPOS or Microsoft Office 365. The price of provisioning such systems has been prohibitive in the past but with a Cloud IT System the provision would be automatically available and with added communication facilities such as Web Conferencing meaning you can reschedule meetings online whilst trapped in your home.
It will be of no surprise to anyone to hear that the UK Economy has been hit hard by recent weather conditions. It is a trend that is developing during UK winters and the money that has been lost in the Economy is increasing. This is likely to be due to the increase in precipitation as reported over the past years by the Met Office and is projected to increase in the future.
So, it’s not the dropping temperature that is increasing the snow and ice problems but the increase in the amount of snow and ice we can expect when the conditions are right. Business owners and managers are aware this is a concern with over half of them stating lack of access to the workplace as a serious concern for their business – 73% of companies suffered staff shortages in November this year.
However, less than half have plans in place to keep their company up and running if they are hit by bad weather. With around 11% of businesses having to close at some point this year due to lack of access to the workplace, something needs to be done. Small business owners in particular need to make sure they are set up to deal with such weather conditions so they don’t join the estimated 2-3000 small businesses who have been pushed over the edge by the current climate.
The most annoying factor in all of this is that it need not cost a company any more money in order to protect themselves against being ‘snowed in’. A Cloud IT suite such as BPOS, ZOHO or Google Apps Premier would mean workers could access the exact same systems from home as they would at work.
Having your email Exchange in the cloud will allow you to up and downscale on demand as well as not having to call someone out to fix your server. To different extents they also have the ability to provision web meetings, conferences and presentations and the person you are ‘meeting’ will not need to have the same systems in place.
The mobile work force is on the increase worldwide and staff would have greater flexibility plus the opportunity to access information, and thus deal with issues, on demand. Regardless of the weather, if an employee doesn’t have access to the office system when they are travelling (or stuck) on a train for instance, then they are not as efficient a worker as they could be.
With an in house system, if power or the internet is lost from an office due to snow, wind, ice or flooding, then any link to your company email is gone. With a Cloud system this is not the case. The physical location of your office is not important, with 24hr cloud facilities there will always be someone taking care of your ‘sever’.
Perhaps the biggest bonus here though is the positive affect the Cloud computing can have on Global warming. By sharing computing power, rather than overprovisioning, we all help reduce CO2 emissions and thus are helping the plight that has lead to such increased snow and rainfall.