Are you ready for winter storm Helena?

Have you heard about Atlanta’s weather forecast over the next 7 days? Well, if you sell milk, bread, road salt, and shovels, you’re going to love it! For the rest of us, it’s not looking pretty at all…

How prepared is your business?

The truth is, if you’re like most businesses, you are far from being prepared. At the very least, you should be taking some time to determine the negative impact of an extended power outage, an inability for staff to make it to the office with MARTA shut down and highways impassable, assessing the risk of potential data loss, or all three. Unfortunately, disasters happen every day and Mother Nature doesn’t care much if you have business continuity plan in place (or not).

How much snow will Atlanta get this weekend? Depending on which source you get your weather from, Atlanta will receive between 3 and 12 inches of snow between this coming Friday and Sunday (1/6/2017-1/8/2017) or should the storm track slightly north, there could be 6 inches of sleet and ice with freezing temperatures to follow. In either case, Winter Storm Helena could be one for the record books in our region.

Whenever significant weather events are a threat, data loss and work productivity are at risk. If you haven’t already done so, it may be critical to articulate a plan to your staff for how they should respond during a weather emergency. Consider if there is legal liability for failure to keep your systems accessible to clients or vendors, and perhaps make preparations to take an emergency backup of all your data offsite.

Here are some scary statistics:

  1. 93% of companies file for bankruptcy within 1 year after experiencing a 10-day power outage. 50% file immediately.
  2. Simple server recovery following hard drive failures can easily cost $7,500 or more.
  3. 35% of companies never test their backup, of those who do 77% find backup failures.

How do I safeguard my critical business data?

To avoid future concerns, engage a knowledgeable technology consulting firm to help develop a viable business continuity plan. For instance, did you know that you can significantly reduce your business’ risk by moving some or all of your corporate functions to a hosted environment? Commonly called “moving to the cloud”, most data centers have the built in security and redundancy that would be cost prohibitive for businesses to purchase and implement on their own. By hosting your servers in the cloud, it is quite possible that staff could continue working from home, without disruption, even if the main office suffers an extended power outage.

Email, accounting, and file storage make for excellent candidates for most businesses to move to the cloud. If, for any reason, you determine that some systems cannot be moved to the cloud, then you must put in place a viable, system-state backup with offsite restoration capabilities. Hilltop Consultants is a Datto Elite Partner. There were many technical reasons we selected Datto as our exclusive backup solution, but what it means for our clients is that backups are monitored daily, backups are fast, and backups stored locally then copied to the cloud. If the local office is inaccessible, then backups of servers can be virtually restored at the Datto data center. This allows our clients to mitigate the risk associated with severe weather or extended power outages.

If you would like to learn more about business continuity planning or hosted server infrastructure planning, please contact David Kaszowicz, (678) 951-8108. Good luck and don’t let Helena claim your data and ruin your business!