This summer I fully ruptured my Achilles tendon while unsuccessfully navigating rocky, challenging terrain on a mountain bike. Fortunately, I am well on my way through a long recovery. The injury felt like a complete fluke as I never would have considered I would get hurt while trying to step off a bike. Before that point, an Achilles injury felt like an extremely remote possibility. However, during my consult with the surgeon, he mentioned that mine would be the fourth Achilles tendon that he would repair that week.
This got me thinking about the perception of risk and the mitigation of risk in managing business networks. As a Technology Consultant for NPI Technology Management, part of my job is to help businesses identify and remediate risks to network security and business productivity. It is my responsibility to point out the bad things that can happen to bring things to a screeching halt, like my biking season.
Do you have a thoughtfully considered business continuity plan?
Identifying risk can be a balancing act. I need to be realistic and honest but I don’t want to needlessly incite fear and anxiety. The reality is, like the surgeon that sees injuries all day long, people who manage business technology are highly exposed to network interruptions. Our experience tells us that eventually an incident will occur to disrupt a company’s use of technology unless the proper steps are taken to avoid it. Business owners, on the other hand, typically have an optimistic view that such network failures are not very likely to interrupt business.
Luckily, with Technology Management we strive to strike the right balance between investment and risk mitigation. This process starts by asking the right questions about a company’s tolerance for disruption. How long can you afford not to have email or not to have your line-of-business database up and running? What is the cost to build in extra redundancy? What is the potential cost to your business not to?
These days, with better data backup technology, server virtualization, etc., small businesses now have the tools to be both protected and mindful of the budget. It is important to partner with a Managed Service Provider who has the experience and process to explore these questions with top management.
Do you have a thoughtfully considered business continuity plan? If not, you might have the same reaction to your network outage that I had to my injury, “I never thought this could happen to me!”
—Nick Hinge, Technology Consultant, NPI Technology Management