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The Risks of Overreliance on Zoom and Teams for Businesses

The manner in which people complete tasks for their employers has changed significantly over the past two years, and the pandemic has ended up playing an outsized role in this. Widespread lockdowns made remote work the norm because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up protecting people from the risk of getting viruses, and Zoom and other video conferencing services have been enormously helpful in this regard.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the level of dependence that businesses now have on Zoom and similar programs might be a risk in and of itself. Data collected by StarLeaf (and shared by Techradar) has indicated that 97% of businesses claim that they are more or less completely dependent on video conferencing apps and the like, and being dependent on anything to this degree would most definitely be considered a risk in any other context.

The research involved surveying around 2,000 companies that were based in the UK, and the main problem that can be noted here is that 57% of these companies now say that they would be unable to continue if they didn’t have video conferencing to rely on. In fact, these companies went so far as to say that they would have to cease operating as little as an hour after not being able to access these tools.

Things seem even worse for 27% of companies involved in the survey. These companies said that it would be rather difficult for them to continue to function for more than 30 minutes if their preferred video conferencing app stopped working in a way that was reliable to any extent at all. This is where the main risk lies, since it creates a very likely scenario wherein global commerce could be impacted due to issues in a single service.

One might think that there is nothing altogether wrong with being so dependent on such apps, but service outages have become increasingly common as of late. This would essentially result in a situation wherein the employees of a company would no longer be able to talk to each other, and they would fail to complete tasks in a manner that would be truly efficient thereby endangering the profit margins of the organization they are working for.

A truly concerning revelation that can be noticed in this survey is that less than one third of the surveyed companies, or 32% to be precise, said that they had any kind of contingency plan for when services are disrupted. What’s more is that approximately 25% of the backup plans that companies have managed to put into place are not suitable for professional environments since they often involve switching to a service like WhatsApp that would often fail to live up to professional standards due to the reason that they were made for consumer use for the most part.

It’s plain to see why companies need to come up with better alternatives and perhaps even create modes of communication that are proprietary. If working from home is to become the norm, much more robust contingencies are going to have to be put into place if industries are to be maintained.


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