Over the last month, Texans have seen firsthand the importance of disaster recovery and business continuity plans. We’ve all been battered by the winter storm and power outages that have rocked our state over the last month, and we’ve been forced to contend with frustrating connectivity issues that were largely out of our control.

All this came at a time when many Texas businesses were already devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, worried about the volatility of the stock market, and anxiously awaiting the second round of PPP loans.

Despite being frustrated from dealing with this multitude of challenges, it’s important to use this experience as an opportunity to examine your technology plan. How resilient was your unified communications strategy in the face of outages and other stressors? Moreover, how can we be better prepared for the next disaster that reaches our doorstep?

Today, we’ll discuss the factors that will continue to affect the business outlook in 2021 and guide you through a plan to leverage your technology so it supports your employees as they work diligently to serve your clients and customers.

What Factors Will Affect Our Outlook in 2021?

There are a wide variety of factors that will continue to challenge our productivity and success as we move further into 2021.

The Pandemic

Even as the vaccine rollout continues, the pandemic will have an outsized effect on our business outlook for 2021. Businesses have been roiled by supply chain delays and other health and safety challenges and have had to adopt new methods of work to keep their staff safe.

Cybersecurity challenges related to the pandemic also continue to grow. Malicious actors have used the global shift to remote work and our anxiety around COVID-19 to attack our security, using scam sites, phishing attempts, and ransomware which has increased in prevalence by 72% since the beginning of the pandemic.

Infrastructure: power and water

The recent deadly power outages that swept across Texas have shown us that our traditional infrastructure is not as robust as we thought. The storm that caused more than 4 million people to be without power was a major stress test for our cloud services and business phone systems, and many businesses’ disaster recovery strategies were woefully unprepared.

Vertical markets

If you’re trying to keep the same business model you were using 2 years ago, your company may be in trouble. Many vertical markets from oil and gas to hospitality, retail, and more have been disrupted by the pandemic. Those that have not kept up by strengthening their technology and improving their business continuity plans will be left behind quickly.

Leveraging Our Technology to Ensure Greater Success in 2021

Some situations, like extreme weather events, are out of our control. All we can do is leverage the tools we have to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to succeed.

Fortunately, help is available. Our IT outsourcing experts have extensive experience working with businesses across Texas to ensure every aspect of their technology is disaster-proofed and flexible enough to remain functional, no matter the situation.

Here are some ways for your technology to support your success in 2021.

Saving money

To be flexible, businesses need to be willing to make changes to free up both money and resources. An outside IT expert can help identify areas where you can save money, offering options like cloud-based VoIP solutions that are flexible, scalable, and customizable to any budget.

Improving your technology doesn’t have to be expensive. In most cases, upgrading will lower your overall spend by streamlining your unified communication strategy, giving your in-house team more time to focus on core business goals.

Better disaster recovery

Even if your in-house IT team has formulated a disaster recovery plan, chances are it doesn’t have the multiple redundancies you need to stay online when everyone else is down. Affiliated Communications uses a tried-and-true system that we call Disaster Avoidance as a Service. Our fail-safes include multiple data centers and cloud-routing disaster recovery to keep your phone lines open and your staff productive wherever they happen to be.

More productive remote work

Being able to supply services outside of your facility (on Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, or whatever happens to be running) is a great way to ensure the success of your company, no matter what happens. Having these options gives your staff the flexibility to be more productive remotely since they won’t have to worry about disruptive outages affecting their connectivity.

More reliable unified communications

Even as we embrace cloud phone solutions, many companies are realizing that their traditional WANs (wide-area networks) are not capable of handling the high traffic that’s part and parcel of moving to the cloud.

Instead of using an insecure internet connection, IT experts from Affiliated can help you set up an SD-WAN from a company like VeloCloud, which offers multiple high-bandwidth, inexpensive internet connections, keeping your unified communication and business phone systems safe, secure, and connected.

What Have We Learned?

The unprecedented pandemic, combined with a devastating winter storm, has been a reality check for many Texas businesses. As we recover from these challenges, we need to ensure that we’re learning and growing – not just building back to the same standards we had before.

Don’t lose hope. Instead, channel your frustration into a technology plan that can help stabilize and support your growing company, no matter what happens in the future. Customers and clients are forgiving but will quickly lose trust in a business that fails to learn from its mistakes.

How Affiliated Can Help Improve Your Disaster Recover Plans for 2021

As you move forward in your recovery, start the process of looking for an expert partner who can offer the technical expertise you need to build back better.

At Affiliated Communications, our goal is to design and build unified communications strategies that help our partner organizations reach their business goals. From telecom maintenance to overall managed services, we’re there with you every step of the way to ensure you know your options and have access to cost-effective solutions that will be there whenever you need them most.

Get in touch today to have a no-obligation discussion about how we can help get you back to work faster.