July 13, 2016 - Alexander Vo
Outages And The Pursuit For Business Continuity
Power outages got your business facing downtime? Learn how the cloud can brighten you up.
Let’s run through a common scenario many businesses might face during typical power outages.
You walk into work today and unfortunately there’s no power in the building. The phones are dead, office refrigerator becomes a free-for-all, and the internet has gone kaput. Essentially, your business either becomes crippled or worse, completely shut down.
Sound familiar? Here’s the twist.
All is not lost. You decide to take your motley crew of co-workers to the nearest working WiFi hotspot. Buy a round of coffee for everyone and mooch off the free internet there while booting up your laptops. Phones get forwarded. Emails addressed. Communication lines begin to naturally open up with clients. And most importantly all your critical business applications are accessible.
Business continues to run smoothly and no one will ever be the wiser to know that you weren’t even in the office that day.
How is this possible?
This situation sounds like a dream, but it’s actually quite feasible due to the nature of cloud technology.
Many of your favorite quintessential business applications needed for projects or tasks can be hosted online in data centers that virtually (pun intended) never go down.
As long as you have an internet connection, you can securely access these applications as well as your data as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
Data centers provide redundancy, backups, and failovers to protect your data from natural disasters to the most cunning hacking attempts. There are ample locations of data centers ranging from the west coast stretching all across to the east coast. Even globally as well, from Seattle, Washington to Hong Kong, China, there’s no shortage of server farms.
Deploying a cloud infrastructure makes it so you don’t even need to be in the office to function in the first place. Not only do you gain convenient access to your data or business applications anywhere at any time, other additional benefits include:
- Data backups and storage with automatic cycles and updates
- Less fatigue from your IT staff
- Cloud providers can maintain the heavy-duty IT hardware while you focus on your business
- Ability to scale up or down quickly within a pinch during peak times
What about the physical damage from power outages?
The basics of sudden power outages incur very little chance of physically harming your computer’s hard drives. What likely happens is that your computers suddenly becomes interrupted while in the middle of writing or modifying a file. When the power goes out, your computer becomes unable to complete whatever action it was doing. This is one of the main reasons why people lose large amounts of data.
Imagine working on an important project, when all of a sudden, initial flickering occurs (also known as a brownout). Just when you think you’re safe…poof goes the power.
Even for a microsecond, that sudden instance of power loss is enough to lose important hours on a large project or task. The data doesn’t simply vanish either. This is caused from the surge of disruption that happens in the middle of modifying the file.
If you’re the type of worker that takes the “Ctrl-S” approach to saving your work every few minutes, you might have only lost a few changes. However, what can truly devastate your files happens exactly the moment the power goes out. While in the midst of saving, files could get jammed with bits of the old and the new versions. That process corrupts the file and can potentially cause an incoming series of selective words directed at your poor computer.
Turning a negative into a positive
Power outages will happen occasionally. Instead of wasting time and resources doing nothing, what if you had the cloud supporting you? Now every outage becomes an opportunity to showcase your organization’s image. Maybe even use it as a chance for team building exercises!
- Snap photos of your team working out of the office and share them on social media.
- Stream or record the experience to visually tell your story as well as to personalize your company.
- With the publicity, you can show why your company can be trusted the most when it counts.
In short, a cloud environment will simply keep your business alive. Even in drastic weather conditions (when it’s not safe to commute to the office), employees can easily work from home. It’s very much possible and can even be more affordable than your current IT plan.
The cloud can go far to show what kind of company you want to tell people. Even during nationwide blackouts, armed with just an internet connection, business productivity can continue to flow so your revenue doesn’t ever have to slow down.