When Disaster Strikes: Looking to the Cloud for Business Continuity
It’s a Monday afternoon. Calls are rolling in, there are countless voicemails to respond to, and business is humming along. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Courtney the sales manager knocks on your door with a perplexed look on her face.
“Do you know what’s wrong with the phone system?” Courtney asks. “There’s no dial tone, no access to voicemail, and no calls coming in.”
Ah, yes — the feared phone system failure. Whether caused by a clumsy utility worker, a big storm, or some other unpredictable problem, phone system issues can create enormous headaches. In fact, if your company hasn’t implemented any kind of disaster or redundancy plan, those failures significantly disrupt business continuity and productivity.
You can’t afford that kind of stagnation. So, you close your laptop, pull out your cell phone, and call your telecommunications provider. An hour later, you finally get someone on the line. Two hours later, you’ve diagnosed the problem. And, right around closing time, the phone system is finally working again. Problem is, you and your team have lost a day of productivity. And your customers aren’t happy.
A Simpler (and More Effective) Way to Manage Disaster Recovery
Until recently, the only way to ensure this scenario didn’t happen to you was to duplicate all of your systems and implement a complex disaster recovery plan. Both of those require significant investments in equipment and infrastructure, which is why many businesses have instead chosen to roll the dice and hope for the best.
Today, there’s another solution that is cheaper and much more efficient. Cloud-based phone systems have greatly advanced system recovery and business continuity in the face of an outage.
Because cloud systems are hosted virtually, there’s no need to worry about the types of disastrous scenarios that used to disrupt on-premise or landline phone services. If a phone line is cut, cloud-based systems are totally unaffected. If Internet service goes down, phone calls can be re-routed to backup cell phone numbers or other business offices.
Simply put, recovery and continuity is a non-issue.
3 Key Business Benefits of Switching to the Cloud
While that kind of peace of mind is pretty compelling on its own, there are a handful of ancillary benefits of the cloud to consider, as well. Here are three particularly important ones:
1. Cloud-based phone systems are less expensive up-front than on-premise solutions — and that’s with built-in disaster recovery and redundancy planning.
2. Unlike on-premise solutions, cloud-based phone systems are totally scalable. If you need to re-direct call flow from one site to another, it’s very easy to do without any disruption in call quality or service.
3. If a total outage strikes, wiping out your office’s power and Internet service, cloud-based phone systems allow employees to connect from anywhere — their home, a coffee shop, or wherever they can tap into power and a data connection.
With these benefits in mind, the question, then, is why you wouldn’t switch to the cloud.
Truthfully, there are still compelling arguments for on-premise phone systems, and it’s important to consider your goals before making any major change. But if connectivity, business continuity, system redundancy and reliability are important to your company, employees and customers, you’d be wise to take a closer look at the benefits of the cloud. If nothing else, it will help you better plan for network disruptions you can’t possibly anticipate.