Plan for that Disaster: Southwest didn’t
Remember being in elementary school and watching as a kid pulled the chair out from underneath another student as she went to sit down? You may have laughed as the girl fell to the ground or you may have rushed to help her up. Whichever your response may include, it, in some ways, it illustrates modern society’s dependence on technology. We are so accustomed to having technology in our daily lives that when technology does not work – it can be almost impossible to function.
Technology has become so ingrained into every day. Southwest Airlines has recently had to deal with this. October 11th, a technical glitch, caused the system to not function properly. Thus the airline had delay 836 flights because they were unable to check in passengers. Employees were handwriting tickets. The company encouraged people to arrive two hours prior to the take-off and to print off their tickets before arriving. Lines quickly grew similar in length to amusement park lines. Southwest worked through the night and they were up and running on October 12th around 8:10 am. However, it is a good reminder to make sure that there is an emergency plan in place when technology decides not to work.
Can your business operate offline? Do you have your most important documents back up on alternative devices or actual printed copies? More importantly how do you manage the customer relations throughout the whole process? How do you communicate to those people who need to know without tarnishing your reputation?
i3 strongly believes in backing up data and files and being ready for any disaster. Here are 3 suggestions for your company to be prepared in case you have a technical glitch and need to start handwriting documents.
1. Back-up to restore
As a business, your data and information is one of your competitive advantages. Don’t take back-ups lightly. Figure out the best way to back up your data. Technology marches on and there are new methods such as image based back-up and cloud storage. i3 recommends incremental image based back-up specifically to your recovery time objective.
Gather your most important players. Managers from each department and maybe even some key employees from a variety of departments. Brainstorm a variety of disasters to jumpstart the planning process. Identify specific steps that will need to be followed in the case of an emergency. Know your RTO and RPO – recovery time and recovery point objective. At what point (1 minute, hour, or day ago) and in what amount of time must you be back up and in business?
A plan is just a piece of paper. Testing it is essential for disaster preparedness because the simplest steps can easily be overlooked in the planning stages. Remember when your parents gathered the family in the living and went over the fire escape plan? They didn’t stop there, did they? They probably made the family go through it a couple times so you and your family were prepared in the case of a fire.
Ask your provider or technician: do we have image based backups? How long will it take to restore our technology back to working condition if lightening smoked everything in the business? Plan and prepare today.