Business Continuity – It not all about end of the world apocalypses!

Let’s be honest, if half the country is wiped out from an aliens invasion, there is probably not much you can do or care what happens to your business. So when talking about Business Continuity and Disaster Recover for small businesses, we should think about local incidents that cause short and long-term inconveniences. Not the end of the world apocalypses!

Earlier in the week I was reading an article on business continuity, that listed top 10 disasters that had affected UK businesses in 2016. Number 7 was the Forth Road Bridge when it was closed for weeks on end.

Then on Wednesday, the above happened on the bridge, and it was closed for 24 hours. So that got me thinking about what other events have occurred in Scotland, the different types, within the internet era and affected local businesses.

Travel chaos in central Scotland after lorry blown over on Forth Road Bridge

Thousands of angry commuters faced a day of travel chaos after a lorry was blown over on the Forth Road Bridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning when the structure was officially closed to HGVs.

  • Year – 2017
  • Cause – Weather – High winds combined with human error
  • Disruption – Main transport link between commuting area of Fife to Edinburgh and Glasgow closed for 24 hours

Thousands without BT broadband services after power outage

BT broadband customers in Scotland have been left without internet services after a major power outage.

The problems, which began just before 9am on Wednesday, affected thousands of customers across the UK, including businesses and households in Glasgow.

  • Year – 2016
  • Cause – Electrical fault – Internet Outage
  • Disruption – Power failure at a key internet infrastructure caused 10% of BT clients across the UK to have no internet

Contingency plans after Forth Road Bridge closure

Businesses and organisations are making contingency plans after it was announced the Forth Road Bridge will be closed until the new year. The closure has shut down the most direct route for vehicles travelling between Fife and Edinburgh.

  • Year – 2015 & 2016
  • Cause – Fault on Forth Road Bridge
  • Disruption – One of the main transport links in Scotland cut off, adding hours to daily commutes and loss of revenue to logistic based businesses.

Substation fault ‘caused 200,000-home Major

A FAULT at a substation has been identified as the cause of a massive power cut which left more than 200,000 properties across the north of Scotland without electricity last week

  • Year – 2014
  • Cause – Electrical fault
  • Disruption – Power failure up to 24 hours for 200,000 properties in the north of Scotland.

Renfrew tyre fire: Massive blaze ‘started deliberately’

Although the immediate area is mainly home to industrial units, the fire service advised residents in the area to keep their windows closed due to the large plume of smoke. Police were also at the scene to keep onlookers away and put road closures in place.

  • Year – 2014
  • Cause – Fire and Smoke
  • Disruption – Destruction of businesses, Local roads closed, flights and movement of people
  • Industrial fires burning for days happen all the time in the UK. Typically it might not burn other properties, but the smoke from the fire can cause massive disruption to roads, planes and the local community.

M8 motorway in Scotland reopens after big freeze

A 20-mile stretch of the M8 motorway has reopened after being closed for 48 hours due to snow and ice. Scotland’s busiest road had been closed westbound between the outskirts of Edinburgh and Shotts in North Lanarkshire since Monday afternoon.

  • Year – 2010/2011
  • Cause – Weather – Snow and freezing conditions
  • Disruption – Main transport link between Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • Just one example of many that happen during the Winter of 2010/11 that caused massive disruption to the UK and Scotland for months

Perth struck by serious flooding

The centre of Perth has been seriously affected by flooding after 40mm (1.5in) of rain fell during the morning.

Scores of homes and businesses were flooded and Tayside Fire and Rescue drafted in appliances from across Tayside to pump out buildings.

  • Year – 2010
  • Cause – Flooding
  • Disruption – Access to the city centre, power and communication lines failed

Tram works close busy road again

One of Edinburgh’s busiest shopping streets is set to close to traffic for up to 18 months as the next phase of the tram project gets under way.

  • Year – 2007-2014
  • Cause – Construction of new tram infrastructure
  • Disruption – Chaos to road users, streets closed for vehicles, reduction of footfall to local shops

Scotland hit by rail staff strike

Glasgow Chamber of Commece chief executive Richard Cairns said: “There will be serious disruption to business as staff struggles to get to work and working time is lost. In the current economic climate, this strike is particularly unhelpful.”

  • Year – 2008
  • Cause – Union Strike
  • Disruption – Scottish rail network was none existent for two 24 hour periods increasing pressure on other transport services

Edinburgh’s G8 bill reaches £8m

It follows a report commissioned by the executive, which revealed that Edinburgh businesses lost £7.4m in sales due to the G8 disruption.

  • Year – 2005
  • Cause – Political unrest – G8 Summit at Gleneagles Scotland
  • Disruption – Damage to property, loss trading for shops, demonstrations and public disorder in the city centre.

Many of our clients have taken out Disaster Recover as a Service with Dunedin IT over the past two years.

If you like to find out more about IT Business Continuity, please contact David or Jamie on 0131 225 2215 or info@dunedinit.co.uk

11 Features of Office 365 you have probably missed

If your business has a subscription to Office 365 then you probably already use Outlook for email, you might use SharePoint for document management, Skype for video calls and maybe even OneDrive for file storage! But what other Office 365 applications could you look at for your business?

With Microsoft Office 365 adding new applications all the time, you can be forgiven for missing ones that might be useful for your business. Here is a selection of lesser known applications that come with most Office 365 subscriptions.

Yammer

Think of it as a private Facebook for your business that can be used to improve communication, reduce email overload and collect internal business knowledge. So instead of sending internal emails that contain useful information but two hours later are lost into the abyss of emails, post it to your internal Yammer page.

Planner

A simple and effective way to manage projects with your team. If you’re thinking about dedicated Project Management Solution, and don’t already have one within your business. Then Microsoft Planner could be a useful stepping stone before spending time and money on a dedicated project management systems.

Active Directory Integration

If you have a separate Windows login for your PC or even Apple Mac, it is possible to bring the two together to create a single sign-on (SSO) using Azure AD Connect. Changing your password on your Windows computer will automatically update your Office 365 password online.

Sway

Think PowerPoint younger and more exciting brother. Sway is a different way to present to clients without death by PowerPoint. Purely a web-based application allows you to add content from the web and social media very easily.

Office Applications Online

If you already use SharePoint and OneDrive, then you’ve probably seen the option to open documents within the web browser. Although cut down versions of the desktop apps, these really lend themselves to collaboration, realtime editing of documents with you co-workers.

OneNote

I love pen and paper, but paper can easily get miss placed and pages lost within notebooks. With OneNote, your notes are automatically synchronised across all of your devices, Andriod and Apple too! What’s more, you can easily share them with others and publish them directly to SharePoint.

Flow

If you have heard of Zapier or IFTTT, then Flow is Microsoft’s version. If you’ve not, then its a way of getting different Cloud Services talking and interacting with one another within a couple of clicks.

PowerApps

Not one for the fainthearted, Microsoft PowerApps takes Flow to the next level and allows you create web and mobile applications without program skills. Watch this space, to see if that is really true!

Delve

Delve displays documents and files across all of your Office 365 applications. If these documents are shared with you, then you can also view what others are working on.

Microsoft Teams

The new kid on the block, Microsoft Teams is a mash of Skype, Calendars, OneNote and SharePoint. It’s certainly my new favourite addition, albeit very similar to the very excellent Slack app. It brings together Office 365 apps that you group together for your departments and teams.

Staff Hub

Actually, Staffhub is the latest addition to the Office 365 family. On first sight, it just looks like Excel spreadsheet for organising the staff rotates and shifts, which isn’t far from the truth. But what if that spreadsheet allowed to staff to view it via mobile app, swap shifts with each other and allow you to manage staff holidays. Designed for retail, hospitality and manufacturing type businesses, staff without desks and computer access.

If you like to find out more about Office 365 or Cloud Applications, how these can work for your business – Please contact David or Jamie on 0131 225 2215 or email info@dunedinit.co.uk