The Olympic Games 2012 it will not be business as usual
Frontier Technology, The City of London Corporation, Vision Solutions and Microsoft have come together to educate UK Businesses about The Olympics 2012 and how to safeguard their firms during the event.
With roughly 500 days until the Olympic Games 2012 begins, it is essential for UK wide businesses to ensure that they have plans in place to minimise disruption to their firms during the event. The City of London and Frontier Technology have come together for the third time to host a seminar to inform UK business managers of how The Games will affect their organisations and contingency planning for the event. This time they were joined by Matt McSpirit, Partner Technology Advisor from Microsoft and Charlotte Cooper, Cloud & SPLA CPM from Vision Solutions who talked about technology that can be deployed to keep businesses up and running during The Olympics Games.
The seminar was attended by delegates from mixed business sectors including, legal, local authority, finance, publishing and charity. Despite of their differing backgrounds all of the organisations concerns were similar, staff transportation into work, road closures throughout the UK and reduced communication were top of the agenda. Most organisations already had skeletal contingency plans in place which they are looking to enhance in anticipation for the Games.
With 34 venues throughout the UK, 9.1 million tickets on sale and over 800,000 visitors using public transport on the busiest days – UK firms should not expect business to be as usual during The Games. Paul Eskriett, Security & Resilience Projects Adviser from the City of London Corporation informed companies of the risks that they should expect. Organisations should be aware of increased terrorist activity, criminal activity- including serious & organised crime and more public disorder & domestic extremism. On top of this there is a greater chance of non-malicious hazards such as pandemics and heat waves due to the huge influx of people in the country.
Businesses should expect almost two months of interruption during The Games period. The official opening ceremony will be held on the 27th July 2012, The Olympic Games will start on the 28th July and run until 12th August and The Paralympic Games will span from the 29th August until the 9th September. The Olympic Park officially closes on the 14th September 2012. Firms should however, prepare themselves for disruption before the opening ceremony, with an influx of journalists, athletes and tourists expected to come into the country.
It is essential for businesses to have effective HR policies in place during The Games to manage staff. Not only will there be delays of over one hour on public transport systems, organisations need to manage staff excitement. Some employees will want to be involved with the Games requiring time off to help and volunteer at the event. Some of the delegates stated that they were changing their working days during The Olympics; staff will come into the office early and leave early. Others were only asking key staff to come into the office, the remainder will log in remotely and work at home. 90% of the businesses present had remote working technologies in place, but few felt that their systems would be adequate to keep their businesses up and running during The Olympics and were considering upgrading their services and buying more licenses.
There are still many Olympics plans that need to be finalised with areas continuously being modified. Many meeting attendees were keen to find out which roads UK wide would be closed during the Games, however this is an area subject to considerable change with little information being published. It was advised that companies should stock on supplies and reduce deliveries to a minimum. The City of London has suggested that companies regularly check the following websites to keep up to date with the Olympics plans:
The Official Olympics Website: www.london2012.com
Olympics Transport Plan: www.london2012.com/making-it-happen/transport/transport-plan.php
UK resilience website: www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ukresilience
Schedule of events: www.london2012.com/about-us/nocs-and-npcs/index.php
Details of the nations and the regions group: www.london2012.com/about-us/the-people-delivering-the-games/the-nations-and-regions-group/index.php
The City of London stressed that Games are huge and will affect what all UK wide businesses will do between now and 2012. It was advised that everyone’s existing plans and arrangements should be tested and re-evaluated in the context of the Games time.
Matt McSprit from Microsoft informed delegates of the relevant technologies that they can deploy to minimise disruption to their firms during the Olympic Games or in fact at any time when there is an issue with staff getting into the office. With Lync 2010 Microsoft’s new unified communication system, organisations are offered instant messaging, a full phone system, an online meetings facility and video conferencing in one cost-effective package. It can be fully integrated with all Microsoft packages and has complete anywhere-access. The technology allows staff to work effectively from any location and has been proven to cut travel, phone, conference room and mobile roaming costs.
With increased terrorist activity and threats to security expected during the Olympic Games, it is essential to have a fully planned, well-tested business continuity plan. Gareth Jones, Frontier Technology highlighted this “Business Continuity is essential at any time but especially during a major event such as the Olympic Games.” He explained how technology can be deployed to safeguard firms. “If there is a business disaster, having retrievable data and near-instant access to your applications and information can ensure that your firm does not experience a significant loss in revenue. We at Frontier Technology provide private cloud computing for business continuity. We supply the entire infrastructure so it is a cost-effective solution with no capital expenditure required. Our data centres are located in Milton Keynes and Maidenhead. London is one of the areas most likely to be targeted by terrorism so we have deliberately placed our centres outside of the capital to provide extra safety.”
For more information about this seminar, The Olympic Games and technologies that can be implemented to reduce revenue loss please contact Frontier Technology: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 845 603 6552
Click on the links below to download the presentations from the seminar: