Johannesburg - Businesses have been encouraged to look at cloud technology as a way to deal with electricity constraints, which are proving to be a headache for the economy.

The move would also see companies focusing on their core business and worrying less about infrastructure issues when there are power outages.

The technology allows people to work from anywhere and to handle various tasks at the same time, creating better employer/employee relations, according to research from Mimecast.

“It is critical businesses guarantee that they have capabilities in place in order to combat the effects of power outages,” said Christelle Hicklin, a customer experience manager at Mimecast.

“Companies are currently not equipped with disaster recovery strategies and business continuity plans in order to deal with issues of power outages.”

With the recent spate of load-shedding across the country, the question is whether South African businesses have plans in place to ensure that their employees have the ability to work even when the power is out.

The latest constraints in electricity supply do not talk to the needs of the economy, such as productivity.

It was critical that businesses guaranteed they had capabilities in place in order to combat the effects of power outages, said Hicklin.

She said she believed that many companies were not equipped with disaster recovery strategies and business continuity plans to deal with issues of power outages.

To combat this, businesses needed to adopt cloud technologies, Hicklin said.

“By adopting cloud infrastructure, companies have the ideal platform to allow employees the flexibility to work securely off site,” she said.

An added benefit of using cloud technology was its scalable model, which reduced costs and improved productivity.

In addition, it gave users the ability to manage their systems without having to contact their IT departments, thereby allowing for greater efficiency.

Hicklin said the benefits of cloud technology would ensure that no matter where a person was, he or she could work and provide continuity in a similar way to people working at the office.

Rather than investing in other parts of infrastructure and instead of bringing in generators, she urged companies to invest in other areas that would focus on core business in order to grow their businesses.

“By permitting users the capability of working remotely during power outages, it leads to improved employee satisfaction, and hence greater productivity during times of disaster recovery,” Hicklin said.

It was therefore essential for businesses to implement business continuity plans to counteract the adverse effects of power outages.

Furthermore, adopting cloud technology might be the solution to empowering people, allowing them to be independent of the office structure and to work anywhere at any time.

“People are office bound in general and clock in from 8am to 5pm, but the nature of the world is more demanding now, which requires one to work anywhere – and if you can trust your people to work independently that can help the business,” she said. - Business Report