Survey Says Telework Plans May Need Rethinking - InformationWeek

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12/19/2009
12:35 AM
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Survey Says Telework Plans May Need Rethinking

It is one thing to believe that your company has a workable business continuity plan in place. It is quite another for that actually to be the case.

It is one thing to believe that your company has a workable business continuity plan in place. It is quite another for that actually to be the case.As a recent Network World article notes, "there is a fine line between confidence and overconfidence." And apparently, too many businesses fall into the second category when it comes to business continuity planning: A new study suggests a number of IT organizations have crossed that line and have an inflated confidence in their companies ability to continue operations in the event of an emergency (such as a pandemic) that necessitates working remotely. The Telework Exchange set out to evaluate companies business continuity and mobile IT infrastructure resources. The groups study, titled Mobilizing Against Pandemic, found that 81% of government and business IT decision makers have written business continuity plans. However, both sectors reported implementation challenges and lacked assurance that employees could work remotely during an emergency. Remote access technology -- or the lack thereof -- plays a prominent role in the problem. According to the study, one company out of five does not provide its employees with remote network access, and more than one in three fail to provide mobile technical support.

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As I suggested in a previous blog post, there is a very real possibility that a flu pandemic or other public health crisis could force companies to put their business continuity plans to the test. Yet there are plenty of other situations, ranging from weather-related disruptions to garden-variety traffic jams, that can move remote access very quickly onto an IT department's front burner.

No company wants to get caught dealing with technology-related failures after they hurt its bottom line. And this one is clearly no exception to the rule.

The full text of the Telework Exchange survey is available here.

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