Home Archives August 2008 Prevent a tech disaster by preparing for the worst

Prevent a tech disaster by preparing for the worst

| Print |  Email
Friday, August 01, 2008

When an explosion last June knocked out 9,000 servers at The Planet, a Texas data center, 7,500 customers were affected. Though this level of disruption is rare, it provides a sobering reminder of how reliant businesses are on high tech, and if that technology suddenly fails how fast it can sink a business.

Prevention and disaster planning are key, say experts, to surviving a crash and keeping costs down over the long haul.

Businesses “can lose so much money when their servers go down,” says Gordon Ruby of Portland-based River City Technical Services. Websites that can’t be accessed can often immediately lose sales or advertising revenue, or billing or scheduling data. And productivity suffers. “You don’t want employees twiddling their thumbs,” says Ruby.

Smaller businesses likely don’t have IT experts on staff and a mid-size company might have a part-timer, but what if the circuitry goes haywire while they’re on vacation?

Whether it’s websites or hard drives holding vital business information, David Lechnyr of Oregon Tech Support in Eugene says businesses must prepare for a total technology meltdown  — and many don’t. When Lechnyr gets a call from frantic businesses, he often hears the same words: “Wow, I never realized how dependent we are.”

It’s what Geoff Birkemeier of Birkemeier Consulting in Tigard calls the Catch-22 of office technology management: If everything is working fine, many wonder why they are paying somebody to maintain it.

“People don’t realize they need it, until they need it,” he says.

Lechnyr says businesses can be out of operation for up to five days while the problem is fixed, and spend up to $10,000 in fees. It can cost thousands for emergency data-recovery services, too.

If you want to avoid technology holding your business hostage, start planning in advance:

1. Be choosey before hiring an IT consultant. Check references and make clear the needs of the business.

2. Spend a little extra on top-notch equipment. It’s less likely to crash.

3. Keep spare hardware nearby. Sometimes gear needs to be ordered, which can take weeks.

4. Always save data in several places. Consider services that automatically save information off-site.

5. Update your equipment and have it tested regularly.                   

JASON SHUFFLER




Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

OB Poll: Wineries and groceries

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

24-winethumbA majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.


Read more...

Video: The 100 Best Survey

News
Thursday, August 28, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1OB Research Editor Kim Moore shares some pointers about the 100 Best Companies to Work For survey.


Read more...

The Alchemist

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

David Howitt explains why Portland consumer brands like Stumptown and Voodoo Doughnuts are taking the world by storm.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

By now we’ve all read the headlines: Starbucks is giving away free degrees. Except it isn’t.


Read more...

Podcast: Testing for Emotional Intelligence with John Hersey

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 19, 2014
ivbU3sIXBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you tell if you, a peer, a subordinate or a job candidate has the emotional intelligence needed to do well?


Read more...

Books Rule

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JON BELL

Powell's stays relevant in the digital age.


Read more...

College Conundrum

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

University and college tuition fees have been rising for more than a decade, while state funds for higher education have steadily declined.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS