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Managed service providers (MSPs) have a lot more to share than they realize when it comes to teaching organizations how to work remotely. Beyond providing secure connectivity, many MSPs tend to have large amounts of expertise in maintaining business continuity thanks to experience gained over the years.

Many organizations are now being asked or required to have all their employees work from home to help mitigate the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. They are finding themselves in the awkward position of dusting off an out of date business continuity plan. Many of those plans were crafted long before any number of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms that make it simpler to collaborate were launched. As a result, new business continuity plans are now being drawn up on the fly, as business and IT leaders scramble to re-engineer processes.

IT services providers are stepping into that void

Fusion Risk Management, for example, has launched an entire online pandemic resource that provides access to a broad range of business continuity plans. There’s plenty of opportunity for MSPs to set up similar online resources or contribute to others. Many organizations are going to need, for example, access to a set of best practices to enable workers to remain productive, but keep teams within the company cohesive.

Of course, the question that will inevitably arise once the pandemic subsides is to what degree will many of these organization determine that having a remote workforce is sustainable. The truth is, there are a lot of people that are more productive at home than in the office. A recent global survey of 3,000 professionals conducted by GitLab, a provider of a platform for managing software development, finds that more than one in four respondents already work for organizations that are entirely remote. In the absence of any office, all workflows span multiple time zones. Surprisingly, 12 percent of respondents work for organizations that have synchronized their activities around a company mandated time zone.

Overall, a full 84 percent of respondents are already able to accomplish all their tasks remotely, while 86 percent believe most work will be accomplished remote in the future.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic it’s clear that future is about to arrive much sooner than anticipated. The challenge and the opportunity for MSPs will be finding a way to lend their remote working expertise to clients, without putting their own employees at risk. However, once the latest crisis subsides, MSPs are likely to find the environments they are being asked to support have been forever altered. In fact, the business continuity plans that MSPs are being asked to help draw up now, may very well become a blueprint for the future of work tomorrow.

Photo: Alex Brylov / Shutterstock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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