Winter Ready

One day in late October, the day ended at 91 and then just like that the next morning it was freezing and the high was in the 50’s. Then the Northeast got dumped on and just like that it was flashback to ice storms of 2007 for Oklahoma – only this time the 5 inches of ice also had another two feet of snow. The state was gridlocked, but the world didn’t care. They were out of the polar blast zone and customers had needs and employees had to work to earn a living.

Fortunately, Edward had learned a lot since then and his company wouldn’t suffer through the following 2 weeks. In 2008, he hired a Virtual CIO that helped to reduce the amount of servers and IT cost with managed services. Accounting, CRM, e-mail, and standard documents had all been moved to cloud computing for better security and built-in business continuity at much less cost. The IT guy Bill was great, but we no longer needed him and fortunately the Virtual CIO was connected and landed him several other opportunities.

In 2009, Edward helped the economy and moved to another house where the power lines were buried. He’d also picked up some disaster recovery skills having an annual backup of SharePoint Online on an external drive, critical contact information, and extra battery backup at the house. Whether a disaster or sunny day, employees accessed the applications from anywhere there was Internet access. No costly failover to Houston or wherever or liability of having employees try to travel to a failover facility or underground bunker that was likely flooded and unreachable. Add a few cheap mifi’s and you’re good to go even if your cable or satellite goes out.

Most of Edward’s peers still wanted to “touch” their servers or had contracted with some local hosting company, that was either over-run with those fortunate to make it to those facilities or otherwise occupied with the misery of new prospects. All the while their employees were at risk for severe injury or death, the cost was overbearing, and even so business was at a standstill. Of course, Edward knew he was lucky as few technology companies understood the cloud or even the business processes of moving there. If the company hasn’t been around for more than 20 years with proven industry recognition, skip them and run not walk away from the “we’re gold, platinum, diamond” whatever pitch of the day.

The phones had been remotely forwarded. There was another order. Purchasing processed it and the sales people had even put a few opportunities into the pipeline. Accounting processed the invoices and payroll. Marketing had updated the website and was responding to followers via Twitter. All in all, employees had a couple of days working from home in pajamas by the fire and most importantly customers were impressed and knew the company was there for them when most of the rest of the industry was not.

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