London 2012: Business as usual?

2011-12-12T14:28:34+01:00

2012 poses major threats to London-based organisations.  Headlined by the Olympics, other tourist-drawing events such as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, The London 2012 Festival, World Pride 2012 and old-time favourites Wimbledon and Notting Hill carnival will inevitably present logistical and technological challenges to local businesses.

During a recently concluded meeting hosted by Frontier Technology, representatives from the banking, insurance, travel, legal, commercial and charity sectors expressed that it was essential to upscale their remote access, business continuity and security processes to ensure they are productive during The Games next year.  “We want to continue doing business during the Olympics.  To ensure that, I have to make sure that all safeguard measures are in their proper place soon” a delegate from an international auction house remarked.

Major events bring major problems.  While the country expects a considerable boost in the economy, the millions of extra tourists next year will also put a strain on our transport systems and infrastructure.  Paul Eskriett, Security Advisor of the City of London Corporation, enumerated the possible risks as: potential terrorist activity & criminal activity including serious and organised crime, possible public disorder and domestic extremism, non-malicious hazards such as pandemic or heat wave, and other contingencies like mass casualties, human infectious diseases, power failure and water shortage.  On a micro level for establishments, major concerns are staff transportation into work, staff absences and productivity, road closures throughout London and the UK, reduced communication, supplier relations, and security and hacking issues.

The Olympics period itself will stretch from the 27th July – 9th September 2012, however organisations should expect disruption beforehand due to the influx of tourists, journalists, team officials and athletes in to the country. In figures there will be 34 venues across United Kingdom, 9.1 million tickets sold, 14,700 athletes from 205 countries, 21,000 media & broadcasters and more than 800,000 more people using public transport each day. Furthermore to celebrate The Olympics there will be a host of cultural and social events occurring throughout the UK.  In addition to The Olympics in 2012 the UK will also be celebrating The Queens Diamond Jubilee from the 2-5 June, The London 2012 Festival from the 21June- 9th Sept, Wimbeldon from 25 June- 8 July and World pride from the 7-21 July.

Staff transportation into the office was flagged as most organisations’ number one concern. Many were opting to allow more staff to work from home and were investing in up scaling their remote working facilities. However, some organisations felt that this posed major security concerns, they were uneasy about letting staff access secure files outside of the office. One delegate expressed that senior management in his organisation preferred staff to work onsite at all times and were investing in an office outside of London to work from during The Games.

It was agreed by all attendees that remote working systems needed to be properly designed, have security measures in place and be regularly monitored to ensure they were effective.

All of the organisations present were concerned about potential security threats, terrorist activity and public disorder. They were urged to upscale and test their business continuity plans for The Games. If there is a business disaster, having retrievable data and near-instant access to your applications and information will ensure that your firm minimises revenue loss.

Internet bandwidth, during times of heavy user congestion, was also flagged as a major concern.  It was suggested that businesses should upgrade their bandwidths, deploy a WAN optimisation solution or tap a facility with greater bandwidth allocations to reduce communication issues. Unified communication systems were also highlighted as a favourable solution.

 It was suggested that UK organisations should conduct a business readiness analysis and technology audit to test their systems in anticipation for 2012. They should also ensure that their remote access systems, disaster recovery plan, security systems and communications strategies are able to cope with the on-going disruptions.

Frontier Technology’s Frontier Olympic Cloud offers an inexpensive solution for organisations to ensure they stay productive next year. It removes the complexities and costs of assembling in-house solutions which may only be used for a short time. It is a private cloud solution based on Frontier’s other cloud services. We transfer the data and applications that you want to be made available and safeguarded to our highly available, highly secure, compliant, tier 4 data centres which are located outside of London. They are then available to be delivered on demand to your employees from any location, from any internet connected device, using any type of internet connection.  Our technology ensures seamless access and the same efficiency as if you were working in the office. Furthermore we work closely with you and customise the system to meet your business requirements. After the Olympic Games, or however long you require, we seamlessly transfer your systems to your desired location without any disruption to your IT systems.

To find more about Frontier Olympic Service, please speak directly to one of our consultants at +44 (0) 845 603 6552 or email info@frontiertechnology.co.uk

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