It's almost December, and damaging winter weather is a sure sign of the season in much of Oklahoma. Strong winds, snow, hail and ice – it's enough to give even the most fearless organization a chill right down to their network backbone.
That's because natural disasters can test even the strongest business continuity plans. Power outages can shut down an entire data center, flooding can compromise copper lines and strong winds can knock out wireless towers. Nature is a formidable foe to enterprise communications.
Just take a look at some of our recent winters or even Hurricane Sandy a few years ago.
74% of businesses affected by Sandy were closed for at least one full day.
Another 44% of those businesses stayed closed for over a week. Can you imagine not being able to send or receive calls from customers for an entire week? Any chance your business could survive that?
It's not that businesses don't recognize the importance of having a disaster recovery plan in place. It's just they have it in the wrong place.
More than half of enterprises locate their disaster/backup systems in the same physical location as their primary system.
Sure, that will help protect them in the event of a hardware failure, but not against natural disasters like flooding, fires or storm-related outages.
Ironically, the cloud is the safest place to be in a storm. Moving IT and communications into a geo-redundant cloud provides a safe haven against natural disasters. An Internet connection is all your employees need to access their unified communications (UC) – phone, email, IM, videoconferencing, collaborative apps – from home, even if your office is literally underwater.
Moving functions to the cloud is typically seen as a cost-oriented move to reduce capex and minimize opex, but it's increasingly being used for its built-in disaster recovery features as well – without the expense of a premise-based UC solution. With a cloud-based service, there is no disruption to business continuity – everything works just the same in the office, at home or on the road because it is the same.
True, we never see disasters coming, but we can plan ahead. That's why cloud-based communications are a smart way to make your critical business communications disaster-proof. It offers increased efficiency and peace of mind that goes hand in hand with optimal uptime. After all, nobody wants to be left out in the storm – especially when there's a safe cloud cover near by.