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Olympic disruption fears start to mount

Linda Endersby

With only a week to go until the Olympics worries are mounting over the effect to business over the summer event. 

While many who live or work in London are being advised to work from home or take holidays, businesses still have a minimum requirement to carry on their day-to-day activities and are finding it hard to compromise.

A recent survey from Citrix showed 42% of SME’s in the London area expect to suffer disruption yet only 21% have put a business continuity plan in place.

While the effect on London’s road and rail is urging the home working practice, the Cabinet Office also warns that the internet could suffer too with more employees using remote links to access their work systems, so flexible working should also be introduced to help traffic both on and offline.

Meanwhile some channel providers have found their workload increasing due to the home working demand and expect it to peak as last minute arrangements are sought.

“We have experienced a huge increase in requests from companies hoping to put home working plans into force before the games,“ said Gary David Smith, co-founder of Prism Total IT solutions.

“For many companies this will involve using cloud technology, but they have to consider the security and storage of their data, backups and how the cloud would cope with Internet shut-downs “ continued Smith

IT security provider SecureData has created a ‘How-To’ guide for businesses to ensure they are set up successfully for the change in working practices necessary to avoid problems.

“To avoid further disruption its extremely important for organisations to work fast to establish their objectives and goals in order to understand the best remote access solutions that should be used to fit the specific needs of the business, “ said Alan Carter, solutions consultant at SecureData.

In addition internet service providers themselves are under pressure to change aspects of their service to avoid bottlenecks and failure.

In its publication Preparing your business for the Games the Cabinet Office says that besides potential breaks in service, internet providers may introduce data caps during peak times to try and spread the loading and give more equal service to their entire customer base”

With only one week to go unless plans are already underway to change the infrastructure, the best that organisations can do is to be as flexible as possible in terms of the location and hours of business for their employees, in order to ease the load for online resources. 

While the road and rail problems should only affect those in London, the online problems could be much further reaching.


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