While the context of the article is about weather uncertainty, the underlying message is still relevant. Technology can help us get through this. Blog Post Originally published March 9, 2020 - Spring Weather, What does this have to do with IT?
Mother Nature can bring some surprises for us at any time, but especially in the spring season each year. Flood season is upon us now, and springtime can also bring other unpredictable events such ice storms, thunder and lightning storms. So, what does this have to do with IT you may ask? Weather can have many affects on business operations. If your building is shut down, or unavailable due to flooding, fires, or road closures for example, you will still want your core business functions to be completed. Power outages can cause havoc with computer systems, bringing your business to a grinding halt. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the perils of Mother Nature, while ensuring business continuity. A solid Back Up and Disaster Recovery plan is everything! Whether it be a flood, fire, ransomware or phishing attack, having a proven back up and disaster recovery plan in place is paramount! A solution that includes local back-ups and offsite back-ups provides the peace of mind that all business owners should sleep at night with. So no matter what events befall your network, you can recover quickly, with your data in-tact. UPS – having a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) in place for your server(s) or any critical PC is a great idea. If you have a lightning strike, or brown out from a storm, this relatively inexpensive investment could save you many headaches, and significant costs potentially, by negating the need to replacing a PC or server/drives etc. UPS’s can absorb power spikes, brown outs, and they can do automated, controlled shutdowns of servers too, before power is lost suddenly, which can corrupt data in some cases. Move your infrastructure to the cloud. Moving your mail to Office 365 is a common example of this. Some of our local townships, or clients in rural areas, have had issues with consistent power on occasion … when they had local email servers (MS Exchange) it was very interruptive to their operations. After moving to Exchange to Office 365 everyone could still get their email on their mobile devices when power issues occurred, even if the entire office went without power for elongated periods of time. Use Teams, Sharepoint or Onedrive for business to store files you need to access from anywhere, anytime, on any device. These are cloud-based solution that allow people to work remotely, regardless of what is happening at the office. Make sure you have a back up solution for this too though, see here for more information on this topic. Most cases of lost data these days are a result of ransomware or phishing attacks, but mother nature can wreak havoc out there too of course (fire and theft aside) and you want to be prepared for all circumstances. Remember these historic acts of nature… The Barrie tornado of 1985, which happened in May. In 1985 most businesses worked with paper and phones, but this could happen anytime. https://globalnews.ca/news/4245391/barrie-tornado-1985/ Calgary Flood of 2013 The flood of 2013 was a teachable moment for many businesses located in Calgary’s Downtown, Beltline, and inner City communities. With less than 2 hours notice, power was cut off and transportation in & out of the core was cut off as the city built up its flood defenses (including dikes and berms), and then the city shut down key underground electrical infrastructure to prevent even worse damage. We had several clients who instantly lost access to their office computers, office network, and their internet and email. ….. Are YOU prepared and do you have a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) in place? https://ttw.net/disaster-recovery/ The Ice Storm that Hit Eastern Canada in Jan 1998. https://globalnews.ca/news/1045228/looking-back-at-the-ice-storm-of-1998/ I know some of us have a “won’t happen to me” outlook on disasters occurring but it can, and does, happen to businesses all the time. A solid IT plan, and Back up and Disaster recovery solution, is like having a great insurance policy essentially (operational procedures aside). To learn more about how to protect your business from disasters, whether they are acts of nature or otherwise, contact us.