The storms that blew through yesterday with lightning that fried our company's modem and the data line from the road to our building reminded me of the old tech variant of the joke that 'real men don't do backups'. My many years as a skydiver has taught me the value of a reserve parachute and developing a plan B. What this means is examining processes for a single point of failure and then determining the cost/benefit that a failure at that point is likely to have for survival. Clearly, in skydiving, it's a really good idea.
Yesterday, the fried cable connection, which impacts our ability to obtain phone, internet, email and other connectivity - and may for another week - has prompted a re-evaluation of what to do in the event this happens again. We've already replaced the modem, which is why we know it isn't that component and must be something else in the connectivity chain.
The local community college business center is providing an access point to connect wirelessly to upload this blog posting, but the next few days will be prompting an examination of the components making it possible to connect to the net and the bandwidth that can be lived with in emergency circumstances.
Once a solution has been found, testing it regularly will be added to the calendar - once again, borrowing lessons from skydiving, the last thing one wants to do is try to remember how to respond to a problem or an emergency in the middle of one.
Although I'm in the process of going through this issue at the moment for connectivity to the web - something critical for a communications and media company - other small businesses would be well advised to take the time to evaluate the possible single points of failure in areas critical to their companies and develop plans accordingly, whether it includes insurance, technology, backups, staffing or all of the above.