How small businesses can ease pain of load shedding

DURBAN – As load shedding is now taking place for longer periods of time, businesses have to think beyond the usual fallbacks. 

Here are some tips provided by Colin Thornton, the managing director of Turrito Networks, and David Seinker from the Business Exchange to help small businesses cope.

1. Get on to fibre connectivity

For almost every business, staying connected is paramount. Fortunately, fibre internet access consumes very little power – and most internet service providers (ISPs) will keep it running for long periods of time. For businesses that aren’t on fibre, now would be a smart time to make the move.

2. Upgrade network infrastructure

Businesses need to review and, if necessary, revamp all their network components. This includes the router that connects to the internet, firewalls, switches and wi-fi access points. These devices don’t have huge power requirements, but they must all be connected to a redundant power source.

3. Migrate to the Cloud

There are many business benefits associated with migrating to the Cloud. Yet for South African businesses, load shedding arguably trumps them all. Cloud migration is the process of deploying an organisation’s digital assets, services, IT resources or applications to the Cloud. For local business owners, harnessing the Cloud means that it’s someone else’s problem to keep the power going and to ensure that the organisation/customer has access to the above-mentioned digital assets, services, IT resources and applications. Indeed, it’s one of the major reasons you pay a monthly fee for Cloud services.

4. Consider a flexible workspace

Working from home or from a stand-alone office places pressure on the small business to ensure that all the required infrastructure is in place. And while in ideal operating conditions it might be possible to do so cost effectively, the reality of load shedding means it becomes untenable. Instead of having to invest in back-up power or alternative options, using a co-working environment alleviates that pressure as the vital infrastructure is provided. Businesses must offer office spaces in central locations, flexible workspaces and also access to infrastructure including meeting rooms and internet connectivity.

THE MERCURY 

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