A Different Design for Disaster

Mitigate against risk and don’t invest and gamble on one physical location for all the technologies upon which your business relies.

With the ebola outbreak still very much in peoples’ minds, you might think my timing is either bang-on or inappropriate once you read my next blog topic. I’m talking about business continuity and disaster recovery. Like many of my readers, I’ve watched quite a few disaster movies over the years. The Towering InfernoThe Poseidon AdventureTwister, and yes, one of Bruce Willis’ finest performances, Armageddon. Ok, now my tongue is firmly back out of my cheek, I can make my point. If you park those real and fictional disasters that headline the news, in reality, the things that really affect businesses are those mundane events that are irritants rather than catastrophes.

I’m talking about the week in December when no one can get into work because of the snow. I’m also thinking about the floods that turn your server room into a rather fetching fishpond. And let’s not forget the summer flu bug that’s somehow managed to traverse three different floors of your headquarters.

These are the kinds of events that can affect productivity and yes, even, bring a company to its knees.

A whole industry has grown up trying to help organisations mitigate against these kinds of everyday terrors. But I think that co-location, second sites and the rest of it, really do miss the point: the best way to mitigate against some kind of productivity-sapping event is to not be over-reliant on fixed infrastructure in the first place.

In a previous blog, I talked about the need to cut the cord on fixed phone systems. And this blog expands on that point further. It doesn’t make sense to invest and gamble on one physical location for all the technologies upon which your business relies.

The only sure fire way of avoiding disaster is to not let yourself be affected by one in the first place. So how do you go about that?

Well for one thing, if the snow or the rain does fall, the last thing you want is for your employees to battle into work only to discover that you’ve nothing for them to do. It’s far better, during these times of crisis, to allow and enable your employees to work from home assured of the fact that they can have access to the same systems and applications that they have at work.

And, even more importantly, if you have the bare minimum infrastructure in your offices, your far less likely to be affected by changes in the weather or other events that can so often lead to disaster.

I know for a fact that I’d rather rely on multiple, highly redundant, rigidly controlled and environmentally managed datacentres built in the desert than a few servers in a dark and damp dungeon in deepest Doncaster or Dundee.

Here at SIPCOM, we’re big believers in technologies like SIP. By de-coupling yourselves and your phone systems from fixed infrastructure, you can reduce costs, pretty much eliminate line rentals and achieve unparalleled levels of flexibility.

So you really do need to ask yourself: is it best to be a hostage to fortune and the weather or does it make more sense to have no single point of failure under a different design for disaster?

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