Sponsored by Oregon Business

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.                   


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


More Articles

The High Road

November/December 2015
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

As CEO and owner of five different cannabis-related businesses generating a total net revenue of $2 million, Alex Rogers could sit back and ride the lucrative wave of Oregon’s burgeoning pot industry.


Seven questions about mandatory sick leave

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
102815-contributedthumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Many employers have questions about what mandatory sick leave means for their company. Take a look at the top 7 questions Oregon employers are asking.


There's a great future in plastics

Linda Baker
Friday, October 30, 2015
103115-lindachinathumbBY LINDA BAKER

This is a story about a small plastics company in wine country now exporting more than one million feet — 260 miles worth — of tubing to China every month.


Downtime with Barry Cain

November/December 2015
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Live, work, play with the president of Gramor Development.


Where Do We Go from Here?

Guest Blog
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
102115-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

Volatility reigned supreme over the summer. The old Wall Street adage of, “Sell in May and go away,” was prophetic in 2015.


The List: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For project attracted more than 150 nonprofits from around the state from a variety of sectors, including social services and environmental advocacy.  More than 5,000 employees and volunteers filled out the survey, rating their satisfaction with work environment, mission and goals, career development and learning, benefits and compensation, and management and communications.


The cover story

Linda Baker
Thursday, November 12, 2015

I walked off the Vigor Industrial shipyard that day with a clear cover line in mind: the Love Boat.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02