2015.05.06 Tech Corner – Trying to Time IT Disasters is Like Trying to Time the Stock Market

Trying to Time IT Disasters is Like Trying to Time the Stock Market

Article By: Rich Silva – Founder – Pain Point IT Solutions, Inc.

Conventional wisdom says that when you invest in the stock market, you should never try to time the market. In other words, it is not very wise to guess when you “think” the markets are at their lowest and buy in then, and on the flip side, to guess when to sell as if though you can predict when the market prices are about to fall.

Unless you are a very savvy trader, you likely take the approach that the stock market is a long-term investment and if you ride the highs and lows, eventually in the long term, historically you make out okay.

Next to family, health, and money, your next most important asset in life is your data. You produce this everyday without sometimes even knowing it. E-mail transactions, accounting and Quickbooks entries, pricing proposals, sales receipts, how-to-guides, etc, etc. I’ve written in previous newsletters and blogs about all of us being in the age of total data dependency.

If we apply the conventional wisdom of investing your money in the same manner to investing in your data, one should not be trying to time when to have a sound recovery plan in place for the data. Here are some practical examples of clients that I have helped in the past. You’ll see from this that the procrastinating client decided to “time” their need for a sound recovery plan, whilst the pro-active client decided to plan long-term for their companies disaster recovery plan.

The Organization that Decided to Time Their Purchase of a Recovery Plan (a.k.a. "The Timer")

I met with this organization mid-2014. I saw that their previous “IT friend” set their mission critical server up with an off-site data backup subscription and a local USB connected drive they claim that has been in place since around 2012. Upon further investigation I saw that the off-site subscription expired in 2013 and that the on-site USB connected drive had data on it all dated July 2012; in other words the back-ups have not been working since at best July 2013. I provided them an option to get a managed service that I provide where I could not only provide them peace of mind that there will not be a lapse in the backups, but also a system that I know could potentially recover their business in hours instead of days. To make a long story short, they balked at the cost and asked instead that I just fix what they have now understanding that by taking this path they leave themselves vulnerable to a very long, painful and expensive recovery if disaster struck. They said they wanted to wait (for what, I have no idea). So, fast forward to early 2015 and I think it’s easy to guess what happened. The server received a virus alert and someone from the office with good intention attempted to fix the virus using utilities they downloaded from the web. Unfortunately that made the problem worse and the server now would not boot. So, they brought me in to recover the server, which I was able to do after several hours luckily; but during that entire time; I had employees walking in every 10-15 minutes asking me how much longer it would be. Very stressful for all involved. Imagine if my answer would have been, “I’m sorry; there is nothing I can do; your data is lost”. We dodged a bullet here. I asked them if now they want to put a peace of mind data recovery solution in place and again they told me that they need to wait but offered no reason why and that’s their prerogative

The Company that Decided to Be Proactive and Have a Recovery Plan (a.k.a. "The Long Term Investor")

I met with this organization in mid-2014 as well. I spoke with the OWNER of the company and explained the solution I sell and the benefits to their company. Without hesitation, they said that this was exactly what they need because they “can’t afford to be down for days”. So we put our managed service solution for Data Backup, Assurance, and most importantly Recovery in place for them. Late 2014, they had a server crash (it was a hard drive failure). With our solution, I was able to emulate and run a virtual image of their server right on the backup device and get everyone connected and working again within a few minutes. I then came on site, diagnosed the issue, and returned 2 days later with the replacement hard drive. The virtual server that everyone was working off of, also was doing backups each night, so I was able to do what is called a bare metal restore and re-create the server on the new hard drive and get the real server back on line and everyone working off the new server in a few hours.

The Timer versus The Long Term Investor

You can clearly see who is in a better position here to recover their business data if and when disaster strikes. The principles and benefits of investing long term in the stock market can be applied when investing long-term in your business data recovery plan. That is, having a long term vision of the benefits of having a disaster recovery plan in place is much better than trying to do the impossible and time putting a plan in place just before the disaster strikes.

***

If you want to learn more about what a sound data recovery business plan looks like, click on the Take Action Now! button anywhere on our website www.painpointitsolutions.com, leave me your contact information, and I’ll contact you.