Natural Disaster and Business Continuity

 

 

Unless you’ve been on vacation somewhere where there is no news, internet, TV, or cell service, you have probably heard about the expected damage that will lie in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. As of today, October 7, 2016 10AM PDT, the Florida Public Service Commission reports; “Nearly 927,000 people are without power in Florida due to Hurricane Mathew”. The storm is predicted to batter the east coast of the United States from Florida through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

According to Reuters, Hurricane Matthew could cause up to $30 billion in insurance losses. What does this have to do with Business continuity you ask? Plenty. Certainly not everyone will experience a natural disaster like Hurricane Matthew, but wherever you live and work, Mother Nature can throw something at you that you aren’t expecting, or worse yet, something for which you are not prepared.

How can a Business Continuity solution help? For business critical applications, new technology not only allows you to back up your data to a cloud storage facility, but in a worst case scenario, you can boot up a server in the cloud, and use it until you’re back up and running. It costs a little more, but what would it cost you to be unable to access your data, emails, and applications for a week or more while recovering from a natural disaster (or unnatural for that matter, like a fire)?  We don’t want to find out, and probably, neither do you.

Let’s explore a theoretical scenario: Say you’re a small construction business and all of your quoting software, scheduling, and accounting data is on your server in your office. You, like most small businesses, already have remote access to you system from your laptop. A disaster strikes, such as a hurricane, tornado or earthquake, and your office is severely damaged. When the dust clears, most likely every construction company in the area will be busy for weeks, if not months, doing repairs. With your business continuity solution in place, you place a call to your service provider, and they boot up your server in the cloud. All of your important data and applications are there ready for you. You can stop worrying about your data, and get back to work fast.

That’s just one example, almost any company can benefit from this solution. Even if you decide you don’t need to boot your server in the cloud, what if all your equipment and backups were destroyed in a fire? Could your business recover? Cloud backups have become a cost effective solution to ensure a business can recover from a disaster, even in the worst case scenario. Business Continuity is a relatively new technology, but at this point, almost any company, small or large, can afford some kind of Business Continuity solution, the real question is, can your business afford not to have one?

 

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