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Charlotte businesses planning ahead for IT needs during DNC

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TWC News: Charlotte businesses planning ahead for IT needs during DNC
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CHARLOTTE - Businesses within Charlotte's Interstate 277 loop have a lot to think about before next month's Democratic National Convention.

One of the most critical concerns is how to handle information technology.

"Planning ahead is key," said Michael Lee, president of NorthHighland Consulting, an uptown firm that helps businesses deal with information technology issues.

He said companies should have started planning for the convention long before now.

"As long as we've planned ahead and have contingency plans, it should be fairly straightforward to have people working from home."

Many of uptown's largest employers have asked non-essential personnel to work from home or from alternate locations during the convention.

Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Duke Energy all plan to have employees sign on from home.

The companies won't talk specifics, but Lee said they all have longstanding IT security plans.

"Those of us who have been doing business in the city for that long, you know, we've got a normal course of business plan in place to deal with these type of events," he said.

Established companies have had to deal with similar tests in the past, such as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when businesses shut their doors for days.

Firms let employees log-on from home during all kinds of natural disasters.

"We've had to deal with major snow and ice issues and how we deal with that," Lee said.

Because working from home is so common in this digital age, IT experts said companies have to think about information security much more often – and Lee said that doesn't change during the convention.

"They deal with emergency preparedness and disaster planning all the time."

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