It's not exactly a groundbreaking statement to say hurricanes are a burden for people in coastal areas. For all the neat stuff it does — making it warm, creating pristine snowscapes, allowing humanity's continued survival — weather can be cruel, and witnessing its wrath in person can be a terrifying experience.
That said, even organizations in landlocked states can take a lesson from the hurricane season kickoff: It's worth protecting your business from the unexpected, and tools such as cloud-based disaster recovery can help with that. Businesses can keep running with the cloud, even when the weather's gone bad.
Decentralized Businesses and Regional Disasters
These days, every business works outside its geographical area. If you have a local storefront, your goods or components likely come from a chain of distributors. If you don't, your customers could come from Tallahassee or Taipei — and those are just two examples.
In terms of disaster preparedness, this decentralization is a great thing. Whether a more contained business operates in Tornado Alley or Hurricane Boulevard, local facets of the business are at risk of semi-permanent disruption, with little to no chance of immediate restoration.
Cloud technology takes this idea a step further. By putting processes you run and data you store "up there," you get the benefits of a locally stored solution with less capacity for disruption. All manner of organizations can keep operating, no matter how nasty Mother Nature can get.
Cloud technology's value is reflected in a few ways here. Take these hypothetical organizations as an example. For the purposes of this discussion, both have recently been disrupted by a hurricane:
- Terry's Talking Tortoise: This company produces a popular mobile app featuring the eponymous talking amphibian. The disaster has relocated employees to hotels in neighboring towns, and made the organization's main office inaccessible.
- Kari's Clogs: The business operates a handful of retail storefronts and an online counterpart that sell wooden shoes and wooden shoe accessories. The disaster has ruined the street their flagship store sits on, and damaged key infrastructural points containing pending orders and other data.
First, compare the tools that can benefit both of them. Cloud-based disaster recovery can help businesses access data and operations effectively anywhere. Since the emergency backups and processes are stored in offsite data centers, restoration from a point in pre-hurricane operations is a relatively painless affair — and far easier than rebuilding piecemeal after a disaster damages local resources.
Now consider specifics, though both businesses could benefit from these tools in certain situations. In the case of the app maker, development doesn't need be disrupted. Using cloud tools, the engineers can maintain normal productivity from their temporary digs. Since the app's "trunk" can be relocated to a secure cloud-based repository, the app can continue its usual feature updates, thus keeping clamoring customers happy.
Here, services like remote sign-in, project management solutions, and unified communications also come to mind. Being able to dial into the weekly scrum from your smartphone (just as you would from your desk phone) means losing little to no productivity during hurricane season.
Then there's Kari's Clogs. While the flagship shuttering is a bummer, there is a bright side: Because Kari moved the business to a hybrid cloud network, her cloud-based disaster recovery backups ensure the online arm is enjoying business as usual. The same thought applies for inventory data and info on pending orders. Customers getting products from her warehouse space get them as normal, while those getting goods from the store can be quickly updated or refunded, as needed.
If damage closes the flagship for an inordinate amount of time, the cloud can be the hero yet again. Cloud-based logistics and procedural tools like mobile-app-powered cash registers, cloud accounting software, and remotely stored loyalty program data make moving operations to a temporary space a lot easier than the alternative.
Why Use Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery?
Speaking of that "alternative" — it's not pretty. The store down the road, which contained all of its digital resources locally, took weeks to get back to something resembling its old operating state. In this time, current customers were miffed and newcomers were unable to receive service, resulting in a big, blank spot where normal revenue should've been.
In the end, motivations to embrace modern tools such as disaster recovery in the cloud far outnumber any reasons not to. Continuity is a major concern for any organization. Hurricane or not, customers would rather go to the next place than wait on a business to pick up the pieces. Considering this fact, it's time to consider a move to the cloud — whether hurricane season has you sweating bullets or not.
Visit Vonage Business to start forming your disaster recovery plan today.