Top tips to keep your business ‘always-on’

08 April 2021

Michael Cade, senior global technologist, Veeam

Michael Cade, senior global technologist, Veeam

Maintaining customer service standards has proven a really tough task for many businesses during the pandemic. But customers aren’t going to stay around for long if service slips – they’ll quickly start looking for alternatives if they don’t feel what they’re paying for lives up to their expectations.

It’s a tricky thing to manage. The nature of modern business is that an effective IT strategy now has an impact on all kinds of other activities. Keeping systems protected and available provides the strongest platform for employees to perform at their best, and helps businesses stay as agile as possible. Here are four tips we’ve found particularly useful for businesses to bear in mind, in order to help them meet customer expectations and deliver great service, no matter the challenges in front of them.


1. Proactivity is key

The threat of cybercriminals and software bugs don’t go away just because security has slipped on the priority list. Businesses should make sure they’re investing in strong and reliable backup and disaster recovery solutions to proactively protect their data. An effective disaster recovery plan could be the difference between a successful business and a struggling one.

It all starts with an impact assessment – firms should be getting a clear understanding of where disaster recovery fits within their overall strategy. Identifying the apps and processes critical for maintaining consistent quality of service is highly useful. From there, setting things like ideal recovery targets is much more straightforward.


2. Invest in AI

Businesses are more successful when employees are given the space to focus on the most important tasks – especially those that are more creative and require more complex decision making and planning. The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning has the potential to change the way businesses work and lighten their load.

Administrative tasks currently take up significant amounts of time. Lengthy reporting processes and internal emails can crowd out the time that’s needed for other activities that might add more value. AI software can thrive in these kinds of routine environments. The potential time savings could be immense too – analysis from McKinsey found the average professional spends 28% of the working day reading and answering emails. Optimising the workload for employees means that individuals can focus on the priority actions needed to meet customer demands.


3. Data is crucial for productivity

An increase in workload can be challenging but it should not result in surprises. Analysing data around productivity and customer interactions can help balance capacity and more effectively plan for employee absences. Organisations should encourage all departments to extend their IT ability, and start using the performance metrics they might already have at their disposal in smarter ways.

Becoming more data-driven allows businesses to ensure that productivity remains consistent even during crunch periods, and also that time is being invested in the right way. The ability to make informed decisions based on the very latest information can be hugely useful. Businesses produce huge amounts of data, but if there isn’t a culture that understands the importance of it and takes its value seriously at a high level, it will remain more of a burden than an advantage.


4. Always backup

While urgent priorities can always crop up, teams with a reduced workforce shouldn’t have any major issues if proper plans have been put in place. However, a team that doesn’t backup their data is putting themselves at major risk. It seems obvious, but this data can often represent serious time and investment, as well as being the very foundation of a company’s continued operation.

A progressive business takes safeguarding data seriously. It’s not just a case of staying operational – it’s also part of staying compliant with the likes of the General Data Protection Act (GDPR) and other data protection legislation. Putting reasonable measures in place to safeguard data is now a basic expectation of data controllers by the Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO). 

The Veeam 3-2-1 rule, which involves keeping three copies of data on two different media, with one offsite, has been a common rule of thumb for good reason. Having a robust Cloud Data Management strategy which includes automated backup solutions is crucial and provides the peace of mind that allows employees to focus on the things they do best.