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Calls for Businesses to Prioritise Connectivity

2 July 2024

A technology expert is urging businesses to ensure they have a secure internet connection – or they could see operations grind to a halt.

Juliet Moran, technical director of TelephoneSystems.Cloud, claims the importance of robust infrastructure is often overlooked, especially in a cloud based environment.

And she says businesses should have a disaster recovery plan if systems fail or they could lose access to essential services they rely on.

Juliet warns many business owners fail to take into account the impact if connectivity fails and relying on a cheap internet connection is insufficient to guarantee an undisrupted service.

She advises there are ways to overcome the potential issues including diversifying connections, investing in a leased line and utilising your VoIP phone system fully.

Juliet Moran, technical director at TelephoneSystems.Cloud, said: “Internet connections are not foolproof, nor is the infrastructure within most buildings. Businesses must develop disaster recovery plans for their internal networks and internet connections to ensure continuous cloud connectivity, even in the event of a system failure.

“Internet connections can and will fail, so having more than one connection via different methods is essential. A budget internet connection at around £35 a month is insufficient to guarantee continuous operation. Businesses should evaluate the potential costs of losing connectivity to their CRM, databases, communications, and other systems.

“We often encounter customers who are devastated when their infrastructure fails. SMEs frequently cite the loss of revenue, customer service disruptions, and reputational damage caused by downtime. Yet, many have not invested adequately in infrastructure to prevent such occurrences. The internet, once viewed as a cheap commodity, now demands more consideration and budget due to businesses’ increasing reliance on it.

“There are steps businesses can take to ensure they have continuous connectivity from diversifying connections, having spare hardware available and having back up strategies in place.”

TelephoneSystems.Cloud has this advice for businesses:

Diversify Connections

Avoid relying solely on two broadband connections as they likely share the same infrastructure cabling. A failure in the shared infrastructure will take down both connections.

Leased Lines

Consider investing in a leased line. Though it may cost around £350 per month, for businesses with more than a few employees, this is a necessary expenditure to ensure uptime. Leased lines operate on different infrastructure from broadband, allowing for automatic failover between connections, they also come with an SLA.

Mobile Connectivity

If a leased line is beyond your budget, consider using 4G or 5G. Modern routers can include a SIM card for automatic failover, keeping core services running during outages and with fixed IP SIM, your technology can meet the same security requirements as your broadband.

VoIP Phone Systems

Using your phone system over VoIP enables backup connectivity through an app on your mobile phone via 4G. To ensure this functionality, remember to log in and save your login credentials. This way, you can answer business calls on your mobile in case of an emergency.

Spare Hardware

Keep duplicate hardware on hand. Unpowered spare switches, which cost only a few hundred pounds, can be invaluable in minimising downtime. The cost of such spare hardware is negligible compared to the potential loss from a day without operational phone lines or network access.

Backup Configuration

Ensure that your configuration for your router is backed up. This ensures that replacement hardware is rapidly brought back up to your required setup.

Home Users and Remote Work

Home users are a valuable addition to a resilience plan, allowing staff to work remotely in the event of a major office fault. However, many companies overlook the need for resilient home connections for their employees. Providing backup internet solutions for home users can ensure continuous productivity.

Backup Strategies

When backing up systems, many businesses fail to account for the time required to restore data from the cloud. A system failure might reveal that backups could take weeks to download, causing unexpected delays. To overcome this businesses need to consider a multi-tiered backup approach with both local and cloud solutions. Local backups provide quick recovery options, while offsite cloud backups offer additional security.