Technology firms are using the planned tube strike in London this week as an opportunity to sell companies the importance of cloud computing, collaboration technologies and general business continuity.
The Confederation of British Industry has estimated that the heavy snow in February cost the economy as much as £1.8bn, and the tube strike scheduled for 9 to 11 June could equal this figure if businesses are not adequately prepared.
Brett Caine, president of web-based collaboration software and services firm Citrix Online, said that strike action can help businesses to trust their employees more, and realise that they can be productive regardless of location.
"In the current economic climate any negative impact to the business routine could cause concern, in particular for smaller companies mindful of the damage it could do if their employees are unable to travel to work, or to and from meetings," he said.
Caine added that allowing staff to work from home is generally cheaper, because of the reduction in overheads and travel costs.
"With collaboration technologies now in place to help companies mobilise a remote workforce quickly and easily, without the need for expensive on-premise infrastructure costs, this strike gives businesses an opportunity to drive efficiencies into their operation, while increasing staff morale, retention and productivity levels," he said.
Meanwhile, cloud computing company Mimecast has highlighted the benefits of web email over installed clients.
James Blake, chief product strategist at Mimecast, said that, while Microsoft offers a web version of its Outlook client, it often requires IT departments to punch a hole in the firewall. He also said users complain that they cannot access archived email, and cannot search as quickly if several users log in at once.
"Mimecast does not need any additional software installed, and users can access incoming email and the historical archive, allowing them to start work from where they left off," he said. "Additionally, they can search through 15 years of historical emails in a matter of seconds."
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