Managing Disruption

James Campanini
Managing Director, Cisco WebEx, EMEAR
Cisco WebEx
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There seems to be an awful lot of reports about travel chaos at the moment, doesn’t there? I find it hard to read the papers without seeing the two dreaded words in the same sentence. It’s got me thinking about the coming year and what can be done to ease the congestion to ensure businesses can maintain normal practice, regardless of what may be affecting Britain’s roads or railways.

Over the past couple of years especially, there have been numerous events which have wreaked havoc in our daily lives – in some instances almost bringing the country to a standstill. Rail strikes, snow and let’s not forget, the infamous ash cloud are all events we have struggled to cope with and all managed to bring with them some element of surprise. So it’s only right we should expect 2012 to follow suit.

January paved the way with delays greeting our New Year commute due to the closure of the Hammersmith Flyover and stolen copper cable. We already know that many events this year are going to lead to increased demand for travel in and around London and many other regions across the country, so I’m glad to hear that some people are beginning to prepare. We are seeing more and more individuals and organisations implementing quality collaboration tools, like WebEx, to ensure they are able to continue their business despite planned for, or unexpected, events causing a disruption.

I think those who had their fingers burnt in the past have already implemented plans and different technology to ensure they are better prepared in the future. But, it will be quite interesting to see how everyone else manages through 2012. I am more than certain that those who are prepared will feel far less strain as they have already considered different eventualities and their potential impact on their business, setting them in good shape for the year ahead.

Inevitably, some of us will have to travel regardless of how busy it may be. Fortunately, due to our trusty mobile devices, should we fall victim to a hold up, we are always able to stop by a coffee shop and log into their Wi-Fi, allowing us to continue our daily activity wherever we are.

But I do find it interesting that despite all that’s gone on before, it often takes big events to give individuals and organisations the nudge they need in order to think seriously about setting plans in place in preparation for the inevitable - not merely to cope with expected problems, but to save money, increase efficiency and reduce the amount of time spent travelling to and from meetings.

David Cameron urged Britain to ‘go for it’ in his New Year speech, and I anticipate the workforce will do just that with more individuals and departments taking charge of their own collaboration practices, personally investing in new tools and technology to enhance their business performance, remain ahead of the curve and avoid falling foul of travel constraints.


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