What happens if you wake up one morning and find that your zip code has been deemed a pandemic area for the swine flu and that no one can get in and no one can go out. Would your business suffer?
A recent poll by LogMeIn, Inc. found that the majority of small and medium businesses don't have a business continuity plan in place for the possibility of a flu outbreak or other events that could prevent employees from getting to the office.
I don't think businesses have a continuity plan in place for swine flu or otherwise, in fact.
Continuity planning is important - it's a detailed plan, with simple steps for all your employees to take, to ensure that your business can operate as optimally as possible, no matter the natural or man-made interruption.
One important aspect of this continuity plan is remote access to your data.
"With all the news and publicity around the flu this year, business managers are starting to think about the impact it could have on their employees, as well as on their business. It doesn't take a pandemic to disrupt your business, and everything from winter storms to major road works can cause lost work days and lower individual productivity," said Andrew Burton, vice president of consumer and SMB products at LogMeIn. "Being prepared and having a plan in place can make a big difference."
Having a central server with shared files is one of the first steps you can take to ensure you can manage remote access to your files. In many cases your employees might have critical data on their local desktops and it's important they can access these files as well.
Sit down with your local computer consultant and also someone who has expertise in continuity planning and find out how well you could survive if you could not access your offices.
Ramon Ray is the editor and tech evangelist for Smallbiztechnology.com