There’s no part of the world that’s completely free of natural disasters. Wherever companies are, they should be thinking of getting their data elsewhere. Leaders without an offsite backup strategy may find themselves surprised by anything from flooding to fires to power outages and beyond. The very moment the crisis strikes, it becomes too late to make the right choice and place valuable IT resources in a safe location. Since these events are unpredictable in the extreme, there’s no way to predict when that might be and best to act immediately.
Any possible arguments against backing up data – that leaders don’t want another process to deal with, or that they think they will be safe with just on-site resources – fall short when compared with evidence of what nature can do to data. The era of cloud backup has taken many of the time-consuming and expensive steps out of protecting content, further tilting the odds. There’s no need for alarmist warnings about data integrity, because the plain facts are plenty alarming.
“Even the most pessimistic predictions could be downright understated compared to reality.”
The risk of natural disasters is always present, no matter the region. This is an important fact to internalize when deciding which type of disaster recovery plan to pursue. The best of these solutions will get content far away from the office and any risk that might come along. A quick survey of previous weather-related catastrophes proves the point that even the most pessimistic predictions could be downright understated compared to reality.
Computerworld recently rounded up lessons learned in the wake of Hurricane Katrina for the 10th anniversary of the storm. That deadly and unprecedented disaster drove New Orleans residents out of homes and businesses for extended periods of time and remains a major touchstone in readiness strategies. The news provider explained that one thing the hurricane proved to company owners is the importance of getting information out of the building, and ideally to the cloud. Every once in a while, the damage or duration of an event will go beyond projections, and these are the times disaster recovery is most needed.
New Orleans City Director of IT and Innovation Lamar Gardere told the news source that organizations should have a second location to work from in case its office is inaccessible, and that is the minimum. The cloud presents an even better option because of its flexibility. Resources backed up in the cloud will be more widely accessible than those placed in any kind of physical storage, allowing leaders to bring operations back from the brink from a variety of remote locations.
Of course, it’s not enough to have a disaster recovery plan that workers never check on or interact with. Computerworld recommended that organizations regularly test their capabilities to ensure they are ready for whatever happens. This state of preparation will pay off in the event that something happens.
A world of risk
While hurricanes remain a potent reminder of what disasters can do to companies’ offices, there are other types of catastrophes menacing businesses located away from the coasts, where tropical storms and hurricanes can’t reach. Earthquakes along the fault lines, tornadoes on the plains and fires anywhere – there’s danger everywhere.
The Weather Channel reported that the 2015 season set the record for most tornadoes in the Chicago metro area. The companies based in that county faced danger 29 times this year, an apt reminder that firms far from the coasts have their own natural risks to deal with. The threat of storms and other events that can destroy offices outright calls for ironclad online backup plans. With such a system, damage to or destruction of a building doesn’t have to mean the end for the companies headquartered there.