Corona versus data

08 Mar 2020 0 minutes to read Contributors

corona versus data

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit the headlines in recent weeks, with the World Health Organization declaring a global public health emergency. Since the outbreak, many organizations have implemented precautionary measures, such as travel restrictions. However, experts believe that the number of people affected by the virus will continue to rise, and health officials around the world are on high alert.

Business leaders also have an important role to play. Keeping your people up to date with the latest advice and guidance is obviously key. But, many organizations are going further and planning for how they will support people to work remotely.

The disruption could come from employees needing to quarantine or self-isolate at home in order to contain the virus. School closures may mean they simply can’t get to work. While it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen, it’s smart to have contingency plans in place for your database environment.

Here are five practical steps you can take right now

1.      Review your remote working policies and procedures

Many database management professionals are used to working remotely – but not all of them and maybe not all the time. It’s always worthwhile setting expectations, team protocols and objectives in advance. And, agreeing guidelines on workflows and communication procedures for any concerns and suggestions that may crop up.

2.      Run a technology audit

Run an immediate audit to ensure any team members who are not acclimatized to remote working practices know how to use the technology they’ll need to operate effectively. A laptop and a smart phone may not be enough. How easy is it for them to connect to your database environment and collaborate remotely?

3.      Pilot remote working in advance

Run a test with a pilot group to ensure your plans work well. You’ll need to ensure this is comprehensive; covering everything from secure and fast internet connections to robust data security practices. Running the tests in advance  gives you the opportunity to sort out any issues with the technology and highlights any gaps in your training or remote-working capabilities.  

4.      Make resource planning a priority

You can make contingency plans for remote working, but what if key members of your database team are hospitalized or seriously unwell and unable to work? You may need additional Database Administrators (DBAs) at short notice. If you do, make sure you get senior-level expertise to swoop in, understand your business needs and get you back on track - fast.

5.      Have a disaster recovery plan ready to go

If your business depends on being able to connect to your database environment no matter what, database recovery consultancy is a worthwhile investment. This doesn’t just apply to getting coronavirus-ready. With a little time and forward planning you can ensure you maintain database service and performance in practically any eventuality.

Your business needs to be resilient and ready for anything. Database recovery plans will cover everything from fires in your building to power outages. One relatively simple example of disaster planning is to ensure you have a database replication environment in place with the correct authority and access levels.

If you don’t have a database replication environment, it’s worth considering now. It takes a few days to set up and test. But it means you can quickly and easily move to that part of the system if you’re unable to connect to your main database.  

In testing times – be ready for anything

In the event of a virus pandemic, you will have a key role to play in reducing the risk to your employee’s health and safety as much as possible. People will be worried and need your reassurance. Supporting them to work remotely and flexibly is likely to be an important part of this commitment.

You’ll also need to maintain essential business operations and services. You may even experience increased customer enquiries as a result of shipping delays or product shortages.  It’s a smart move to periodically test the resilience of your database environment to reduce disruption and confusion.

This blog is not an exhaustive database management and recovery plan. It’s a guide to help you start thinking about what you may need to plan for in the event of a coronavirus (or any other) emergency.

We have developed powerful strategies to help organizations with database planning and disaster recovery to counter practically any crisis situation. Don’t miss out, contact us now to ensure you  minimize any disruption and uncertainty to your database and essential business operations.

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