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Stupid Cloud Computing – why don’t you work? … The Art of avoiding disasters in the office through continuity management.

Want to know the first response we received in the office this morning? Well… there was a lot of grumbling and muttering happening. And you know why? Because the internet didn’t work!

Well actually – the internet is doing fine, it’s just the server that has decided it is time to meet its maker… so we can’t connect to the internet. And because we run most of our services in the cloud it required some adjustments in our processes and activities.

Email: can’t get to it because we use gmail as our email application. But lucky us – it’s very easy to get to your google apps email on your smart phone! So the most critical client requirements can still be serviced via the phone. It’s not pretty, but it works.

Dropbox: lucky us… this application actually downloads your files onto your harddrive so you have offline access to all the files you need! No problemo, we can still work on the files and will upload the latest version when the server is up and running again. The only downside is the lack of collaboration opportunities while we can’t connect to the internet.

Salesforce.com: well, yes, this one is a bit tricky as we don’t have an offline version of the database and really rely on connectivity to access all our data. But no problem.. people can work from home, or on their iPad and smart phone.

Is our productivity down because we don’t have internet connection? Absolutely NOT! And that is the biggest lesson learnt from previous non connectivity experiences… ALWAYS make sure your staff have tasks that do not require internet connection. Have a plan around the continuity of your business processes.

For us this means for example:

  1. The Sales admin person still needed to update our pricelists and some sales collateral. Usually this type of job is pushed to the bottom of the pile because direct client interaction seems more pressing. Perfect time to do this now..
  2. The people who work with dropbox have offline access so they can continue their jobs. It does illuminate the need to stop and think about the services you use and wether an offline option is required / needed / possible.
  3. The graphic designer was planning on doing web design and PHP programming today… but changed the task list and works on the design of marketing and sales collateral in stead.
  4. All staff who must have access to email at all times have a smartphone as part of their employment package. This helps with being independent of a particular internet connection and we can still communicate with our clients and students.

So I guess what I am trying to say is, don’t get caught out; have a plan and think about the options you have if and when the internet connectivity is unavailable.

What does this mean for your job, your department or business??

3 thoughts on “Stupid Cloud Computing – why don’t you work? … The Art of avoiding disasters in the office through continuity management.”

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    1. Yes, great addition! Just not sure if that would have worked in our case because the issue was with the ISA server / firewall… one might think this would block all internet traffic.
      In our other office we do have double internet lines for exactly the reason you point out!

      Great pickup, thanks

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