This past weekend, Guelph and surrounding areas experienced an ice storm that has left hundreds of thousands without electricity for well over 24 hours. In fact, at the time of writing this post; there are still many without power.
Being stuck at home with no power is an inconvenience but if prepared you should be able to get through the downtime without any problems. Businesses however face a much bigger problem. Loss of revenue!
While doing my last minute Christmas shopping, I weaved in and out of crowds at the mall and thought to myself how many of the stores were probably thankful that their electricity was on. If power had of been out, the mall probably would have needed to close and there would have been millions of dollars lost.
If your business relies on technology, then a business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan are two things that you need to have. A disaster recovery plan outlines how your business will recover from a disaster including floods, tornados, hurricanes, ice storms, and more. Will you rent office space or is your staff equipped to work from home? Is there an offsite back up of data which can be easily retrieved? Does your business have off site redundancy for any mission critical services (email, file storage, vpn, etc…). If you do not have answers to these questions, you need to develop a plan.
A business continuity plan is a list of procedures, which outline tasks to be taken in the event of a disaster. If properly planned, your business should be able to continue operations during a disaster. There are several off site data centers which offer rack space for servers as well as temporary office space with cubicles and power.
Every business should have both a disaster recovery plan and business continuity plan in place in case of emergency. MarshallWolowich offers business continuity planning and consulting services in order to help your business establish a plan to ensure core business functionality.