Superstorm Sandy served as a powerful reminder of just how vulnerable we are to disaster. The event also underscores the importance of planning ahead. It’s an unfortunate fact that many businesses fail to reopen after a disaster and many more will close their doors within 18 months of the event. This is particularly true of smaller businesses that lack the resources to withstand days of downtime.
The most important element of disaster preparedness is creating a business continuity plan. The plan should first ensure that people are safe and have the resources they need. It should then provide a strategy for resuming business operations quickly in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and sustaining operations during a potentially long recovery period.
The right partnerships are also critical. Because a business continuity plan will almost always involve voice and data systems, a relationship with a technology provider can help organizations ensure proper preparedness and recover more quickly should disaster strike.
Atlantic-IT.net was able to help customers bounce back from Superstorm Sandy in a number of ways. Our Support Center played a key role. When the power came back on, several customers found that their IT equipment was not working properly — it is not uncommon for system components to fail after a significant power outage. In many instances, the experts in our Support Center were able to remotely troubleshoot these problems for rapid recovery. Where remote support was not possible, we dispatched technicians to complete the repair onsite.
The outsourced IT services provided through our Support Center also include the monitoring and maintenance of computer equipment — including data backup systems. Because of these services, our customers were assured that their data was protected and could be recovered quickly in case of damage from the storm.
Atlantic-IT.net also ensured business continuity through its hosted services. Atlantic-IT.net offers an infrastructure outsourcing solution that includes both equipment and IT services for a monthly fee. Our infrastructure is hosted in a secure data center with backup power and multiple telecom connections, so it is always available. It enabled customers who suffered storm damage to resume their operations from an alternate facility, or implement a “work-from-home” strategy as part of their disaster recovery plan.
In addition, this solution enables organizations that have lost computer equipment to speed recovery of IT services, since hosted services generally can be ramped up more quickly than onsite equipment. And customers can avoid the cost of replacing damaged equipment amid the financial hardship that accompanies a disaster.
Atlantic-IT.net also was able to streamline the recovery process for customers. It can take weeks for a business to procure a new phone system, server or other IT equipment but Atlantic-IT.net was able to leverage its relationships with leading technology vendors to cut procurement time significantly. We also helped customers determine what equipment to purchase to ensure compatibility with other components of the IT infrastructure, and deployed the equipment quickly once it arrived.
As your neighbor on the East Coast, Atlantic-IT.net understands the importance of ensuring that the IT infrastructure remains accessible in the event of disaster. We can help customers develop and test business continuity plans that provide for employee remote access to vital communications services, applications and data. We can also help implement comprehensive data protection and disaster recovery solutions.
Superstorm Sandy served as a wakeup call as to the need for disaster planning. If you need assistance with technology issues in the wake of this disaster, or help improving your disaster preparedness, please give us a call.