Last week, accountants Manchester were once again on volcanic ash alert, this time courtesy of the Icelandic volcano Grimsvotn.
Remember the disruption caused last year when Eyjafjallajökull erupted, causing flight chaos across most of Europe? You would think British businesses would have learnt the value of having a business continuity plan in place after that incident, but apparently not.
The Chartered Management Institute has conducted research and discovered that although 1 in 5 firms reported major disruption during last year’s volcanic ash cloud, less than 50% of organisations in the private sector have implemented a business continuity plan.
Anders Bjornsbo, the operations director of E-conomic, says the answer is to embrace a different form of cloud. By that he means cloud computing, an online system whereby companies can store and access their data at any time, no matter where in the world they are, providing they have internet access.
Cloud computing can prove particularly useful for online accountants. Traditional accounting software packages are all well and good, but if your client is in London and you’re stuck in an airport in Edinburgh, you cannot access the data you need. Because cloud accounting packages are accesses remotely, you can check your client’s figures when you’re on the move, or not, as the case may be.
Respondents to the CMI survey were asked which disruptions would have an adverse impact on their business costs and revenues and 71% highlighted the loss of IT. As Bjornsbo was quick to point out, taking to the cloud completely removes that problem.