The Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States have suffered several major disasters in the past 15 months, including Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. A major snow storm struck in October of last year only two months after Irene.
This year, Nor’easter Athena struck within 10 days of Sandy’s landfall while cleanup and repair operations were still in the early stages. Many businesses were forced into a temporary shutdown and some may ever fully recover.
However, despite all of this devastation, some businesses managed to cope and remain fully operational.
Certainly, some of the “success stories” can be attributed to pure “dumb luck.” Notwithstanding the devastation many areas experienced, pockets or safe havens survived that had limited damage and did not lose power. Although homes and businesses for miles around lost power, Internet connectivity, phone service and the other prerequisites for running a modern business. The safe havens were functioning close to normal and the lucky companies within those pockets remained operational.
The big question you have to ask yourself is: “In the event of a future disaster, do I count on Dumb Luck to save my business, or do I want to have a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) plan in place?
Unless you have have won the lottery every time you bought a ticket and really feel lucky, you should definitely consider Plan B – “I want to have a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) plan in place.”
“Saved by the Cloud” is a series designed to help you formulate a BC/DR plan outline. The best place to start is at the beginning. That statement may sound superfluous but it’s not. The concept is to treat this project as if you were going back in time to when you started your business. Do not misinterpret this as a suggestion to close your business and start over. It is simply a strategy to make use of your present day knowledge to develop the perfect business plan and then work to integrate some of those ideas into your current operation.
Phase I starts with making a short list of everything necessary to get the “new” business off the ground. Step 2 will be to make a wish list of everything an unlimited budget would allow you to put in place. Step 3 is to identify which components are essential to maintaining operations during a disaster.
Completing Phase I should be a quick process since your current business operation provides you with the template.
Step I of Phase II is the process of comparing your wish list items to what applications and services your business is already using. Step II will be to identify which components need to be replaced or upgraded. Then you move on to Phase III to conduct some basic research on the available options for your plan.
Phase IV will consist of implementing the plan as quickly as possible.
As the title of this series suggests, Cloud solutions will play a critical role as they offer an ideal platform. Also, the selection of applications and services will depend on the providers BC/DR philosophy as well as their solutions.
For example, the FaxCore (News - Alert), Inc. fax server application was first introduced for commercial sale through FaxCore Authorized Resellers in 2003. The application architecture provided for full mobility and redundancy.
Despite this resilient design, FaxCore offered all customers a second set of application and fax channel licenses at no charge for implementation at a legitimate DR location. The goal was to encourage our customers to have a BC/DR plan in place.
Part II of the Saved by the Cloud Series will explore the finer points of your initial audit and how to determine what needs to be upgraded or replaced.
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Max Schroeder (News - Alert) is senior vice president of FaxCore Inc. (www.faxcore.com) and managing director of the DPCF.
Edited by Braden Becker