When Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010, its effect on European business was unprecedented. Luckily, it appears from the latest reports that the worst of the latest cloud has now passed, with relatively little impact compared to the same event last year.
In light of these recent events, the importance of business continuity planning has without question shot to the top of many organisations' priority list. Often, it is the businesses that have not prioritised business continuity planning that tend to feel the biggest impact of these disruptions.
Keeping a business running smoothly is primarily about having the right resources and processes in place, not necessarily just about being in the office. Thanks to a technological revolution over the past decade never before have we been so well equipped to help us do our jobs away from our desk; with truly mobile workforces and flexible working, people sharing ideas and collaborating together through the internet to deliver truly transformational projects, regardless of location.
There are a number of industries which rely heavily on face-to-face interaction and demonstration. If you're reliant on travelling overseas to conduct a meeting, why not download a piece of webconferencing software and encourage your peers to do the same. There are now technologies which will, in many respects, replace the need for travel and combat any issues caused by unexpected circumstances such as ash clouds.
Lower-priced travel alternatives such webconferencing mean that business continuity is now much more attainable for organisations of all sizes while avoiding unnecessary travel times and international accommodation, as well as significantly reducing their carbon footprint in the process. Perhaps this latest ash cloud could be a catalyst for change amongst British businesses, introducing new ways of working that will see them 'skip the trip' as we like to say at WebEx.