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Business Disruption

In the wake of The Chancellor’s latest Budget, we comment on the need for improved flood defences…

17th March 2016

As part of The Maven’s article ‘The Budget roundup – what do SMEs want?’, we were invited to comment, alongside other industry leaders…

FLOOD DEFENCES

Sungard Availability Services EVP global sales and customer services management Keith Tilley said: “In this upcoming budget we would hope to see the government announce a coherent and consistent strategy when it comes to dealing with floods, and other extreme weather conditions, that create disruptions to productivity and livelihoods across all business sectors.

“While businesses now have to contend with increased threats of a digital nature, including cyber attacks and distributed denial of service outages, many remain at risk from a less sophisticated or predictable source, the British weather.”

— Keith Tilley, EVP, global sales & customer services management, Sungard AS

“While businesses now have to contend with increased threats of a digital nature, including cyber attacks and distributed denial of service outages, many remain at risk from a less sophisticated or predictable source, the British weather. One only has to look at the widespread devastation caused by the floods in the North of England and Scottish Borders of last year, or the Somerset levels of the previous year to understand just how many UK regions are at the mercy of the elements. All events which had serious consequences for businesses, not just householders.

“In today’s connected world, not only are affected businesses likely to part of a wider national or international set-up, their customers, partners and supply-chain expect instantaneous responses – no matter what the local situation is. If even one part of an organisation’s ability to deliver as expected is hindered by the impact of weather extremes, it could end up adding lost custom, lost business relationships and lost opportunities to its list of woes. All of which can take months, or even years, to re-establish.

“modern technologies and working practices can help. Applying new mobile working tools and business recovery processes can keep firms productive and are faster solutions to implement, than the speed at which we can build new flood defences. So action needs to be taken by both public and private sector alike to keep UK businesses resilient and productive, whatever our weather.”

— Keith Tilley, EVP, global sales & customer services management, Sungard AS

“The government has been previously criticised for its lack of direction when it comes to dealing with extreme weather, with discussions calling for more responsibility to be taken. But it’s actually a two way process. Whilst the public sector may need to focus more on flood defences, particularly in rural areas, businesses need to identify the measures they can take to improve their resilience to weather extremes too. Fortunately modern technologies and working practices can help. Applying new mobile working tools and business recovery processes can keep firms productive and are faster solutions to implement, than the speed at which we can build new flood defences. So action needs to be taken by both public and private sector alike to keep UK businesses resilient and productive, whatever our weather.”