Posted by: Craig Mathias
business continuity, disaster recovery
If you’ve not given sufficient thought to how your business will survive a disaster or other exceptional event, now’s the time. Just for starters, there are stories all over the news about problems with weather this year. Suppose you suffer a flood or prolonged power outage? There are always the usual possibilities of fire and theft. No matter what, you need a plan to keep operating, well, no matter what.
Interestingly, small mobile businesses have a real advantage here, because they’re mobile to begin with. Could you run your business, at least for critical operations and at least for a few days, using just a handset and a cellular connection, or a notebook and a public-access Wi-Fi link? I’ll bet you could. The key is really in managing your data. As you know, I recommend a disk array and frequent backups. Internet-based storage (not just backup, but real file-based storage) is a good idea as well; I’ve been researching these and once I’ve satisfied myself that security is assured, I will be contracting with one of these as well. In the meantime, a fireproof safe to hold those frequent backups is a great idea, as is an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) for critical infrastructure.
It’s hard to give broad advice given the correspondingly-broad range of possible business requirements. My SMB fundamentally deals in information and knowledge, so my problem is a bit easier than one that involves manufacturing. But here are two important suggestions. First, move as much of your infrastructure into the cloud as possible. I use Web-based e-mail, for example, which provides access from any browser on any device and eliminates duplication and the requirement for mail servers. And keep fully-charged spare or auxiliary batteries for your key mobile devices available. You never know… And you can’t afford to be out of business while waiting for normalcy to be restored.