VSR Magazine often focuses on what you as solution providers can do to help your clients succeed and what products you should sell to your customers, but we also care about the health of your business as well. The day after the post-tropical storm Sandy hit the East Coast, I reached out to a dozen or so VARs, ISVs and managed service providers to find out what they were doing to protect their businesses, and my inbox quickly filled with e-mails describing emergency preparedness plans that worked and that failed (see page 26).
One VAR told me that his entire business was out of power and that his home had suffered severe damage, but he was able to stay up and running thanks to a backup and disaster recovery plan he had set up years ago. Another managed service provider explained how he sent a few IT employees to another state outside the field of the hurricane so that they could serve as customer support if the company headquarters went down during the storm.
Others told me that they had never truly tested their emergency plan and suffered severe disruptions to their business because they just couldn’t stay operational. To be fair, I don’t think any of us could ever have been ready for something like Hurricane Sandy (or whatever it was called when it hit). The important thing is to have some sort of plan in place, not just to keep your client’s business operational, but yours as well. Keep backup copies of your data in a remote location or in the cloud (in servers far away from your offices). Have emergency contact lists in place and reach out to your clients in advance of the storm to ease their minds. A few days before the storm hit, author Jim Carroll called to tell us that this was going to be a hurricane of unprecedented proportions. Sadly, not all of us have a futurist on call to predict things like Sandy, but with a little bit of planning, you don’t have to be down for the count after it hits.