Tag Archives: power

Winter 2017: Disaster For Your Data?

26 Oct 16
lverbik
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With winter just around the corner, everyone around you may be getting “all wrapped up” in the upcoming holiday season…

But you’ve got a business to run, customers to keep happy and mission-critical data to keep safe, even if a major blizzard, lightning strike, windstorm or epic flood is taking place right outside your door.

Here are 5 easy steps you can take this holiday season to get your office prepared for this winter’s worst, without seeming like Mr. Grinch.

Be ready for power outages. A power outage can hurt your business in more ways than you think. Besides employee downtime, it takes time to safely get everything back up and running. Then you need to make sure no critical files have been damaged or lost.

Autosave features can help minimize lost files in a sudden power outage. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can give your team anywhere from ten minutes to an hour to back up files and properly shut down equipment. If you need longer power durability during an outage, you might want to look into a backup generator.

Keep lines of communication open. Customer frustration due to production delays and not being able to reach key people at your company can be very costly in terms of both revenues and your company’s reputation. Here are three ways to make sure calls to your office don’t get bobbled when a storm rolls in:
1. Create a new automated greeting to let callers know about changes in hours or closings.
2. Set up an emergency override that automatically reroutes key phone lines to one or more numbers that can be reached during an outage.
3. Make sure you and your staff can access voice mail remotely – from a smartphone, by e-mail as an attached sound file or transcribed message, or as a text notification.

Manage employees working from home. Many of your employees can work from home if need be. But you’ll need to prepare in advance if it’s not the norm at your company. Have your IT specialist check with employees who could work from home during rough weather. They’ll need a virtual private network (VPN) to safely access the company network. Be sure it’s set up well in advance to avoid any glitches when that winter storm hits and you need it most.

Have a disaster recovery plan (DRP) ready to go. Unless you can afford to shut down for days at a time, or even just a few hours, it’s absolutely critical to keep a written DRP on hand. Write out step-by-step details of who does what in every type of winter disruption – from simple power outages to blizzards, flooding or building damage caused by heavy winds or lightning. A downed network can cost your company big-time every minute it’s offline. Make sure your plan includes one or more ways to get it back up and running ASAP. Consider virtualizing key parts or all of your network so your team can access it remotely. Once you’ve written out your plan, keep one copy at your office, one at home and one with your IT specialist.

Get help from a professional you can trust. Trying to recover your data after a sudden or serious outage without professional help is business suicide. One misstep can result in losing critical files forever, or weeks of downtime. Make sure you’re working with a pro who will not only help set up a recovery plan, but has experience in data recovery. The old adage about an ounce of prevention applies doubly when it comes to working with the right people who can help you prepare for – and recover from – whatever winter throws your way.

Don’t Let a Power Outage Take You Out

15 Feb 16
lverbik
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Dealing with a natural (or unnatural) disaster can have devastating effects on your work and business. There’s one you can prepare for that will give you peace of mind in one major area and that is a power outage. Power outages can be caused by a number of sources, including traffic accidents knocking down utility poles in your area to major storms causing an outage in an entire region.

While this may not seem like a huge threat to your business, know that over the past 15 years, the number of power outages has increased steadily from year to year, now occurring at a rate of six times higher than what they were in 2000—with no sign of decreasing.

The reasons for this are a combination of an aging infrastructure and the sheer growth of our country’s technology and the demands it places on our power grids.

But what to do when the power goes out?

The time to think about that is not then but now. Preparing your business for a power outage is not an area to be overlooked. Not to be a downer, but like death and paying taxes, it’s not a matter of if, but when. Here’s how you can prepare now:

Step 1. Identify critical areas of your business that would be affected, including:

  • Utilities such as gas, water, electric, sewer
  • Heating and ventilations systems
  • Security, alarm systems
  • Elevators
  • Voice and data communications systems
  • Servers and associated cooling systems
  • Computer networks

Step 2: Prepare backup plan:

  • Have an alternate communication plan in place in the event of a power down so that you can contact key personnel.
  • Identify key players in your organization who will be your team on standby should an outage occur—and make sure they know their roles in an emergency.
  • Prearrange a plan with backup vendors if and when primary suppliers are unable to meet your needs.
  • Ensure onsite backup power source is ready and in working order, checking its status regularly.
  • As part of your data recovery, move IT infrastructure to the cloud for accessibility.

There’s power in being prepared for what seems to be the inevitable power outage. The cost of not being prepared could mean the difference between staying functional and being completely cut off—because it only takes one big loss to have a devastating impact on your business. So get your people and plan in place, both inside and outside with key suppliers and offsite data hosting. Then when the lights go out, you’ll be in business. Contact us today for more power IT solutions.