Downtime - definition

We have reached a tipping point. If you’re working in a small business or law firm, you already know this at some level, but it deserves to be brought out into the open.

This is the heart of it:

In the event of a technology crisis, backups of your data are not always sufficient to contain the damage to your business. You also need a strategy to minimize downtime while the crisis is addressed.

I’ve been thinking about this obsessively for the last few months. This is the first in a series of articles looking at the problem from various angles and proposing some solutions. I’ll be contacting many of my clients in the next few months to arrange meetings where we’ll examine their current setup and discuss ways to improve their recovery options.

For now, just think for a few minutes about what it would mean to your business if your company server stops running tonight and can’t be revived in the morning. You probably don’t have a clear mental picture of what happens next to bring your business back to life. The answer will disturb you. I’ll tell you about it in the next article.

Small businesses and law firms used to be able to tolerate downtime when computers went down. Everyone could work around it if the system was down, even for days at a time.

We are now past the tipping point where you can accept that. If you don’t have continuous access to the data stored on your company server, to your files and line-of-business programs, you will feel as if a stake has been driven through the heart of your business.

There are new tools available. It will take some advance planning and it will cost some money, but you can reduce your downtime in the event of a crisis.

In the next couple of articles, I’ll describe what happens when a server goes down. Then we’ll turn to some of the ways we can improve things.

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