For modern organizations that depend highly on their technology, nothing is quite so scary as an event that can completely marginalize its ability to operate. This doesn’t need to be a fire, flood, or some other major cataclysm; it could be something as simple as some of your old IT fails and you’re not ready for it. This week, we thought we’d briefly go through what a catastrophic failure looks like and some steps you can take to keep your business from experiencing one.
What Does a Catastrophic Failure Entail?
Since all of our lives are increasingly digital, it stands to reason that our businesses and organizations are. This means that your business absolutely depends on the technology you’ve chosen and when it fails, your endeavors tied to it likely do too. Today’s business uses digital systems for all of their productivity and storage needs, but also their communications, collaboration, customer interaction, and even their administrative management. This is why, when situations arise that put these systems in peril, your whole organization is as well.
You do so much to combat downtime; so when a situation comes along that threatens the very integrity of the systems your business depends on, it can be really frightening. But today we aren’t talking about threats, we are talking about catastrophe. Honestly, failures happen in the best-designed, expertly-implemented, and constantly-supported IT infrastructures. How your business is able to rebound after that failure, and what you do to help avoid others, are controllable.
When you have a catastrophic failure of your IT infrastructure, it means that the systems are not working and are inaccessible to the people who use them every day to make your business run. This typically means that they have been taken offline by some event that is bigger than the risk mitigation efforts you’ve put in place. Some events like a housing failure only happen in the case of major weather disasters, power surges that destroy internal components, and utilities that aren’t available to run the underlying infrastructure. There are steps you can take to help mitigate the long-term effects these types of failures have on your business. They include:
- Deploying two separate sources of power
- Deploying uninterruptible power supplies
- Choosing vendors with high availability systems in place
- Undertaking routine building maintenance
These are basically common sense variables that can help your business in innumerable ways. The problem becomes when you do all these things and your business is presented with a situation where nothing you could have done to protect these systems happens. You’d think that this makes a compelling argument to virtualize your whole business computing infrastructure, but in many of the situations where you wouldn’t be able to run onsite hardware, you won’t have access to electricity or the bandwidth you need to access these servers anyway. That’s not to say that cloud computing isn’t a good contingency for catastrophic hardware failure, especially if your team can work remotely.
Hardware aside, catastrophic failure can be brought on by other means as well. Hacking, malware, and user error can bring productivity to a grinding halt and present your business with major challenges. That is why it is important to make sure to do all the right things to protect these systems from breach. You will need a comprehensive training regimen for your staff to ensure they understand how to spot phishing attacks, how to protect your business through the use of password best practices, and what to do if they come across situations that can ruin your business’ continuity.
Unfortunately, the most exposed part of your business may be your most important. Your data can be corrupted from hardware or software failure, interception in transit, and several other means. Since it is such a big part of your business’ success, it stands to reason that it would be a big part of your business’ failure if it were corrupted, lost, or stolen.
At DS Tech, we like to see businesses thriving because of their technology, not ruined because it doesn’t work. Our knowledgeable technicians can do a lot for a business: We can monitor and manage network-attached resources and infrastructure. We can help you put in policies and procedures, train your staff, and consult you on new purchases. We can also help you put together a comprehensive business continuity plan that will get your business back on its feet fast no matter what happens to the underlying infrastructure and resources. Give us a call today for more information at (906) 786-0057.