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Business Continuity

5 Reasons your Business Needs a Standby Office Plan

18 March 2020

New Zealand has had its fair share of unforeseen and unpredictable events in recent years including the Christchurch earthquakes and the SkyCity fire.

While they may not have been black swans, a term coined by the writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb to describe highly improbable events with severe global consequences, both had a massive local impact on the people and businesses affected. 

A standby office plan is a strategic investment for New Zealand businesses to protect against earthquakes, fires, floods, power and network outages and any black swan events on the horizon. 

Think of a standby office as a way of getting your ducks in a row (excuse the mixed metaphors) and as a critical part of your Business Continuity Planning (BCP).

Here are five reasons why your business needs a standby office plan

1. Reduce staff downtime

Standby offices provide almost instant access to your business critical technology infrastructure when you can’t access your own premises OR need extra space in a hurry. 

Knowing how to get your business back up and running quickly reduces downtime and can prevent other potentially severe consequences including financial loss, a tarnished reputation and lost productivity.

“A standby office provides peace of mind to companies,” says Rhys McPherson, Plan B’s Systems Engineering Team Leader. “It’s reassuring to know their infrastructure will still be usable and their business can keep running as normally as possible during a disruption or a crisis.”

Reduce staff downtime

2. Increase business resilience

Ideally, you want to ensure your standby work site won’t be affected by the same potential disruptions as your primary location. These disruptions could include: 

  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Health and safety risks
  • Interruption to utility supplies
  • Fires, floods and natural disasters
  • Power and network outages
  • Interruptions to supply chain

Ensure your standby office site has a diverse power feed and backup power supply to protect against power loss, as well as a range of network providers on-site.

3. Extra Operations and Data Security

During a natural disaster or crisis, your business might be at increased risk of a company data breach. One of the main reasons organisations choose a standby office over employees working from home is the security risk.

If companies need extra space or cannot work from their own building, they generally think they can ask employees to work from home but it’s not always a viable option for a lot of companies, says Rhys McPherson.

“Some employees can work from home for a short time but invariably the wheels start to fall off,” he says. “If you've got temporary staff in a call centre, they need to work with a supervisor who can coach them through different scenarios. Then there are security issues. What happens if there’s a problem with technology? You can't have IT support driving around from house to house to help out staff who are having issues getting into the server. It’s just not practical.”

4. Additional Data Recovery Resources

The Plan B Standby Office solution is complemented by other Plan B services including server recovery and verification. We have a dedicated team of recovery engineers who are experts in their field. It’s what they do all day every day. 

If you need engineers who are experts in networking, data protection and backup, and customer care, we're available 24/7 so we can assemble a team, whenever and wherever you need us, to solve your technology issues. We can quickly connect your office or to your server infrastructure. This is crucial in order to stay connected.

5. Business Continuity and Peace of Mind

Business Continuity and Peace of Mind

You don’t want someone who will hand over the key to your standby office and leave you to sort it out on your own. During a crisis, you want to partner with a company who can seamlessly transition your team to a new workplace. That’s what we do. 

Our Planned Activations tests your business’ capability to respond to a crisis during a non-critical time. It simulates a “real” crisis. 

During your Planned Activation, our continuity experts assist your team with the technical challenges of working from another location. Testing your Business Continuity Plan helps you identify any weaknesses and come up with solutions before they become a problem.

Summary

We are a leading Standby Office provider in New Zealand offering fully equipped business work spaces with access to critical ICT equipment at short notice. 

Subscription to our Standby Office service allows access to an agreed number of seats at your nominated facility (or facilities) with the option of Shared (multi-subscriber) or Dedicated Suites. Our six locations nationwide, are in a permanent state of readiness and can be activated at the flick of a switch. 

Each workspace seat has a desk, chair, telephone, headset and a thin client terminal with LCD monitor connected to a windows 10 virtual desktop with Internet access. Every phone comes with a DDI and we can replicate your organisation’s own telephone system. We test our equipment every month to make sure everything is ready to go at the time you need it. 

Our standby offices can help reduce downtime, increase resilience, make data recovery a painless process, all while providing you with peace of mind that your business is protected and you can remain operational during a crisis.

What to do next

If your business doesn’t have a Business Continuity Plan, take our five-minute Risk Self-Assessment survey and check your current level of business continuity preparation.

If you want to know more about the Plan B Standby Office Suites, you can contact us here.

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