The O2 Outage and the lessons to be learnt
Obviously the big news this week was the loss of O2 service for 1000’s of customers. As an O2 Centre of Excellence we felt this disruption more than most. This sort of issue is not that uncommon and certainly not simply an O2 issue. You may have missed the story last week where a software failure in France left over 16 million Orange users without service for days or the massive issue with a Japanese mobile network that ceased service for over 20 million users in May.
So what lessons can we learn for this? The core lesson I see is that disaster can strike in an instant and dramatically impact your customers and the good will you have garnered with them over time. It shows that this can send even the largest organisations into disarray. What would it mean to your business if you lost service or the ability to be contacted for days?
The key is to have a disaster recovery plan in place and be ready “just in case”. This shows your customers that you are prepared and will always be able to offer a continued level of service.
So what should you consider, when looking at a DR plan?
Despite the rapid increase in email, instant messaging and video conferencing the humble telephone is still one of the most vital tools a business owns. It is key that you have a plan here and your system has regular maintenance checks run to avoid any impending issues. The use of Virtual Numbers (read more here) has increased dramatically as businesses recall the issues UK businesses faced when bad weather strikes the UK (think about the snow of 2009 and 2010). For a small amount per month your business can divert DDI numbers in an instant, so people can take calls at home or on their mobile.
2) IT Services
It is absolutely astounding the number of businesses I see that have no real provision for IT disasters. If you lost all of your emails, databases and software systems how would your business run? How long could your business survive it you had to start from scratch? Not long I imagine! So it amazes me that so many companies play Russian roulette with their data. Most servers will have a tape back up system (flawed in so many ways and very temperamental) and where is the tape stored over night? In 90% of cases it is stored in the same building as the server! What if there is a fire, a break in or worse? It defeats the object of having a back up tape in the first place. Even if this tape is stored in a fire proof safe it is not secure, as often the safe will stop flames but not heat. This means your back up tape will simply melt! There are some awesome, cost effective method of hosting servers and back ups to ensure your data is 100% secure.
This one is very close to our collective hearts at Aerial. You may be aware that on Wednesday the poor weather led to a power cut at our offices which left us without mains electricity for over 8 hours! Fortunately we had fail safes in place and our back up power kicked in allowing us to remain contactable. Does your business have a UPS back up for vital services?
There is plenty to think about when it comes to disaster recovery and 99% of businesses (no matter their size) only think about it when the worst happens. Aerial want you to become one of the 1% that has a plan. This is why we are offering a FREE disaster recovery planning service. To talk to us about your DR plans or to take up this exclusive offer contact us today on 02392 737 513 or complete the form below – don’t wait until it’s too late, this could be the most important action you take today