Weathering Natural Disasters through Video Conferencing Technology

by in Technology

Simon Dudley, our video evangelist here at Lifesize, recently wrote a great column for Wired about the dangers that natural disasters pose to unprepared businesses and how video conferencing technology can be used to ensure continuity of operations.  The whole piece is definitely worth a read, but here’s a quick synopsis.

All across the Northern Hemisphere, late summer brings with it a host of natural calamities, ranging from the somewhat predictable (hurricanes in the Atlantic running from June to November, wildfires across the Southern and Western US from mid-July to mid-September) to the downright freak.  No doubt you remember the eruptions by Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which all but shut down travel between the US and Europe four summers ago; this year, eruptions from the much-more-pronounceable Bardarbunga volcano caused Iceland’s Meteorological Office to list the aviation threat level as red (the worst) for most of the summer.  For the record, said threat level is now orange, which is defined as “Volcano shows heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption.”  Comforting.


While late summer isn’t the only time that disaster can occur, the season does serve as a reminder that we ignore nature at our own peril.  For businesses, this means recognizing that devastating weather can shut down operations both suddenly and unexpectedly—and while large companies typically have risk assessment departments and continuity-of-operations plans in place, small and midsize organizations often find themselves in serious trouble when these disasters inevitably occur.

Fortunately, advances in telecommunications technology can help these smaller businesses punch above their weight class when it comes to ensuring business continuity amid the chaos of natural disaster.  Making sure the lines of communication stay open is the single most important thing a company can do in order to remain in operation during or following a disaster, and cloud-based video conferencing technology makes that possible like never before.  Unlike older, site-specific video conferencing services, cloud-based video conferencing allows users to communicate with each other from anywhere, via desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones—meaning you can share important documents, manage emergency payroll, and generally keep your business running in ways that were heretofore impossible.  Finally, small and midsize companies have access to the same kinds of services that the big firms have used for years to keep going in times of crisis.

Want to learn more about how you can keep your business running no matter what nature throws at it?  Then be sure to check out Simon’s full article over at Wired!