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Tough Times: What COVID-19 Can Teach Us About Business Continuity

In the San Francisco Bay Area, six counties have been instructed to shelter-in-place in an aggressive attempt to slow down COVID-19 transmission. The message is “work at home or don’t work.” It seems inevitable that we’ll see more of these shelter-in-place directives over the next few weeks. Some companies have prepared for this day and can seamlessly transition to remote working.  Fortunately, Workspot employees can easily work from home and continue to support our customers. For companies who have not prepared for remote work, or those that rely on face to face contact, it’s a really tough time. I am personally really worried about the toll this will take on small businesses, restaurants, and people in the service industry. For example, I have a wonderful housekeeper who has been helping me for many years. I have just paused her services to protect her and us, but I am continuing to pay her anyway. Think about ordering gift cards and take-out meals to keep local restaurants alive (you should disinfect the packaging). Spend time with friends and family on FaceTime over coffee or a “quarantini”. We had a great time with family on FaceTime a few nights ago! Take the opportunity to walk to the park and get some exercise outdoors. Find ways to help others. Although separated by at least 6 feet, we’re all in this together. The first lesson we can learn from this experience is that we are united by our humanity; I am pretty sure we will make each other proud.

How Cloud Desktops Are Helping Right Now

Right now, the Workspot team is swamped taking care of our existing customers as they expand their cloud desktop implementations to support remote work. It’s incredibly gratifying that our cloud desktop platform is providing so much value; that our customers have so much confidence in our solutions that in a time of crisis they turn to us for help, and that we are a strategic part of these organizations’ business continuity plans. Not only have their cloud desktop implementations delivered the business benefits of greater productivity and agility, but they also were well-prepared to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and keep their people safer and productive by seamlessly transitioning them to working at home. Some of our customers also chose to have pools of  “standby” cloud desktops which are always kept up to date, but they are not activated until the IT team declares that they need to be. During this current business disruption, the in-house IT teams are activating the DR cloud desktop pools – already pre-set with the corporate image and applications – with a single click. People can get back to work immediately from home, using their favorite device. Having centered their end-user computing strategies around Workspot, our customers can respond quickly to the current challenge, and rather than dealing with a temporary solution to get by for the next few weeks or months, they will be well-prepared for any future business disruptions as well.

At the same time, as you might imagine, we are receiving many more inquiries than usual and we are working hard to onboard new customers during this challenging time. What’s amazing is that we can deploy a brand new Windows 10 cloud desktop implementation faster than any other vendor. Once the initial implementation is live, customers can add new cloud desktops anywhere in the world – in minutes. This is another valuable lesson: Today it’s much easier for IT teams to be nimble and proactive and to react quickly to unforeseen business challenges.

Cloud Desktops Future-Proof Business Continuity

The best thing about the right cloud desktop solution is that adopting them now is not just a short term strategy to get you through the current situation. Some approaches to remote desktops are less reliable and the performance can be tricky for users. These are headaches you don’t need during a critical time. The most important thing for IT teams to learn as we navigate our way through this current crisis is that there are new and better ways to manage your “every day” desktops and workstations, and cloud desktops improve your overall business continuity and disaster recovery execution, today and for whatever the future brings us.

Today, you can set your expectations for end-user computing much higher. You should expect:

  • A turnkey service; after all, don’t you have better things to do than worry about desktop SLAs?
  • A solution that furthers your Zero Trust Security goals.
  • Flat rate pricing that includes Azure costs.
  • Initial deployment in days or weeks, not months and years.
  • To be able to scale up the number of cloud desktops you need in minutes – globally.
  • Happy, productive users who love the performance of their cloud desktops and GPU workstations.

When it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery, there are some really great capabilities to round out your readiness. This week Workspot announced new BC/DR capabilities, including an addition to our list of industry firsts. Today you can expect the following:

  • An easy way to back up your cloud desktops to the cloud and quickly restore them when needed.
  • *Industry first!* Cloud desktop replication in an alternate cloud region so you can quickly switch people over if your primary cloud region goes down for any reason.
  • Have always-up-to-date cloud desktops for disaster recovery that don’t incur any Azure costs until you need to activate them during a business disruption.

In our blog next week, we’ll dive deeper into why these capabilities are so important. In the meantime, you can learn more here.

What are Customers Experiencing “In the Wild” Today?

Today we held a Town Hall Meeting with three CIOs who described how their organizations have been able to react to the COVID-19 crisis. You can watch this on-demand now; there is some great information and insights to share from these IT leaders.

Be distant and be safe!