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NEW YORK -- One of the most expensive natural disasters ever to hit the USA, Hurricane Sandy cost the country an estimated $63 billion. In the aftermath of the storm, millions of employees were shut out of work for days at a time, their offices closed because of power outages, a lack of heating, and communications failures. For Ned Schoenfeld of Pcubed, a global leader in program, portfolio and project management that has helped many organizations execute cloud-based strategies in recent years, costly business interruptions can be avoided if companies choose to implement cloud technology instead of relying on vulnerable physical locations.

"Before Hurricane Sandy many organizations believed the main goal of disaster recovery planning was to have a back-up copy of all data held off-site," Ned Schoenfeld explains in a recent article for Pcubed's Insight magazine. "After Sandy however, it has become clear that you need to have the capability to run the entire business off-site."

In many cases last October large corporations based in New York were simply unable to return to their buildings for days at a time due to flooding or heating and electricity failures.

"Hurricane Sandy really has caused a major shift in thinking about how companies should prepare for situations when they can't physically access their offices," he argues.

In his article, Schoenfeld explains how organizations can implement comprehensive cloud based-solutions to enable employees to work effectively regardless of their physical location and independent of a vulnerable central server.

"With Microsoft Office 365, for example, the host infrastructure is spread all around the US," he points out. "It gave businesses a huge advantage when the infrastructure on the East Coast was knocked out. The area affected by Sandy was so large and caused such a widespread network outage it took out many organizations' back up facilities as well as their primary servers. If much of a company's software, email and communications are cloud-based - then much of that risk is eliminated."

Introducing a cloud-based system does not negate the need for other logistical disaster recovery plans, however. "It's important to work out a plan for managing day to day business activities if the phone system is out, for example," he explains. "You need to work out the details of how to contact all your staff, how to enable them to conduct business meetings, and to work through the essential documents you need to get online. All of these issues should be fully worked through long before the plans are needed."

Pcubed has helped many clients execute cloud-based strategies in recent months. To find out how Pcubed might be able to assist your organization, please contact Linda Lavine, Director of Marketing at Email. To read Ned Schoenfeld's article in full and subscribe to Insight magazine please visit www.pcubed.com.