Continuity – don’t leave home without it

I thought problems wouldn't happen, and that the cost of preventing them would outweigh the cost of dealing with them. It turns out that I wasn't alone in my approach:

A recent survey by CDW reminded me of how I used to feel about continuity when I ran my businesses.

In a poll of 200 IT managers at medium and large businesses who had experienced network disruptions in the past year, 82 percent said that prior to the outage they'd felt confident their IT infrastructure could handle disruptions and support users effectively. Despite their optimism, nearly all—97 percent—admitted the network disruptions had a detrimental impact on business in the last year.

I genuinely thought it wouldn't happen to me. Until I lost the disks from our Exchange server and the recent backups were found to be corrupt. We suffered two days of downtime. That was four years ago- I've still got one of the disk platters as a reminder.

But one of the frustrating aspects of actually working in the continuity business is that people are over confident about how resilient their network is to problems, despite the evidence otherwise.

How do you explain to people that stuff happens out of their control and to be prepared for the worst without spreading FUD?

"The survey confirms that while many businesses believe they are prepared for an unplanned network disruption, many are not," said Norm Lillis, CDW vice president of system solutions. A broader survey of 7,099 CDW customers revealed a little more than a quarter of the companies experienced a significant network disruption of at least 4 hours within the last year.

What surprises me is how often I go into continuity mode using Mimecast. In the past I would have assumed there were no emails, but for some reason Exchange has gone to sleep and forgotten to deliver me emails, whereas now they come through on continuity mode. And it's not as if it's an overly stretched Exchange box either. It just is what it is. I find continuity is particularly useful on the train too- as the continuity mode is considerably more efficient at maintaining a connection than Outlook natively to Exchange.

Maybe I'm just biased. But I've got the disk platter handy to remind me of those two awful days of downtime.

I know from my perspective that once you've got it, you'll never go back.