As part of Cape Town’s efforts to save water, remote working solutions can play a key role, writes Colin Thornton, MD of Turrito Networks and Dial a Nerd.
In March, rating’s agency Moody’s warned that the water crisis affecting Cape Town would cause the city’s borrowing to rise sharply – and the provincial economy to shrink – the longer the situation lasted.
As it stands, Cape Town is the first major metropolitan to face the possibility of running out of water. The City’s residents are bracing themselves for “Day Zero” in late August, when Cape Town’s taps could literally run dry.
For Cape Town’s business owners and managers, it is now imperative to find ways to alleviate not only operating costs in a stressed local economy, but overall pressure on the City’s infrastructure. Arguably, enabling employees to work remotely – either from home or from a different province, is one way to ease both of these burdens.
Although remote working has been topical for some time, it has now become critical that businesses in Cape Town start to explore feasible remote working solutions. From a technology/IT perspective, this means putting the right IT infrastructure in place to ensure that employees and managers have the right tools, platforms and support to make the strategy a success.
To begin with, robust connectivity is key. If your company’s Internet connection is not already both fast and reliable, this must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Secondly, every business should be looking to harness cloud-based tools and platforms to bolster collaboration, productivity and overall communication as the company embraces worker mobility …
Making the shift
By moving enterprise systems, software and processes to the cloud – and away from locally hosted environments [on-site servers and exchanges] SMEs in particular will automatically be enabling themselves to succeed during and after the water crisis. Indeed, with cloud-based platforms in place, SMEs can achieve a new level of independence, responsiveness and agility – as employees will be able to safely access key data anytime, and from anywhere.
Let’s take email, for example, which is the lifeblood of today’s SMEs. Without properly functioning email connectivity, any small business will be brought to a halt.
For SMEs looking to support a host of remote working capabilities, they must immediately consider their email solution. So, do they choose a cloud-based product, or rather to ‘insource’ email and go with an on-site mail exchange service?
From an efficiency and remote working point of view, the cloud-based option is a no-brainer. By adopting the cloud, SMEs can rest assured that their email will be up and running 99% of the time, and employees will have simple, secure and easy access from anywhere – as long as they have reliable connectivity.
Streamlined cost structures
Without doubt, there is also a huge cost implication for SMEs that wholeheartedly embrace Cloud computing and, simultaneously, mobility. With most of today’s cloud computing platforms and services, there are no expensive licensing costs to deal with nor long term contracts– which allows each business to scale up or down according to their current needs.
This can free up operating capital to spend more on new mobile devices and mobile connectivity that promotes and supports the shift to remote working.
As Cape Town’s businesses explore ways to cut costs, drive efficiencies and reduce pressure on the City’s water infrastructure, embracing a more mobile and streamlined working culture can certainly make a major difference…