Many companies - outside of the retail industry, at least - slow down over the Christmas holiday period, but an unexpected disaster can strike at any time. So how can you protect your business over the festive season?
- Plan ahead. Every festive period brings similar problems both in terms of IT and personnel issues. One major risk that can affect any business is power failure, the effects of which can be felt long after electricity supply has been restored, so be sure to plan around such eventualities. With careful planning, every organisation can have the correct plans in place to operate under all circumstances.
- Factor in the weather. As we all know, the weather deteriorates at this time of year, which brings an increased chance of business disruption. For example, phone lines could go down, pipes could freeze (which could affect your IT cooling systems) and transport could be disrupted. Have back-up plans in place for such events.
- Remember the heartbeat of every organisation is its staff. While everyone will understandably want to be left alone during the holidays, you should still be sure to have contact numbers for all key staff to hand in case of an emergency.
- Think green. Turn off any lights, power systems or even servers that do not need to be up and running during the festive season and you will save money as well as doing your bit for the environment.
- Communicate. If you’re planning on closing the office at any time over the Christmas break, make sure your customers are aware of this. It’s also a good idea to provide suppliers and customer contacts with details of how to reach staff in case of emergency.
This was first published in December 2008