IBM shares six tips for disaster preparation

IBM announced six tips that individuals and businesses

can use to help prepare their IT environments for natural disasters and a wide
range of other threats.  

According to some estimates, 2011 has become the year of
billion-dollar disasters. This is apparent by the series of hurricanes and
tornados in the United States’ Midwest and Southeast, combined with this week’s
earthquakes on the East Coast, Colorado and Peru and the strong start to the
hurricane season.

With all of this activity, it’s a safe assumption that natural disasters should be a top risk concern.

In preparation, many people in high risk areas are rushing to buy emergency supplies like flashlights, water and wood to board up their houses, but it’s important to also consider the preparedness of businesses and government agencies.

Businesses and individuals should also be assessing their business and disaster recovery plans before it’s too late.

It’s important to rapidly adapt and respond to risks, as
well as opportunities, to maintain continuous access to data for personal and
business reasons.

Following are IBM’s tips for disaster preparedness:

Validate your data backup plan – Verify that your data is
out of harm’s way and/or is accessible to your recovery location. Consider
using a cloud service to store key data and allow your organization more
flexibility to respond to changing conditions with minimal interruption to the

Consider employees and the personal impact of disaster- A company’s most important asset are their people, but the most important asset for people are their families. Consider how you would move them and their families if required, think about providing financial support to your employees during a crisis event, and
consider offering counseling to help them deal with the aftermath of the

Develop various ways to communicate with employees,
partners – After people, the next most important element is communication.
Communications efforts must be timely, clear and honest, as miscommunication
can make a disaster even worse. Consider how you would communicate with your
employees, partners, clients, media, industry, and vice versa, what training
you have provided, what tools are you using and — very important — test the
communications plan.

Think about the “domino effect” when considering business risk-
Years of experience monitoring regional disasters has shown that these events
often create other events. For example, a hurricane normally has high winds and
heavy rains that can lead to flooding, structural damage, power outage,
telecommunication and/or travel disruptions.

Plan for catastrophic events that could last a while – For example, businesses must consider the impact if the duration of thedisruption to the facility, network, technology, or people is longer than a period of three days, one week, etc. Over the past decade, we have seen more devastating disaster events with a longer term duration and financial impact.
Companies need to consider their options if their primary environment or key
people are not available for more than two weeks.

Think broadly – Each company is part of a supply chain or
network. While you may do everything right, if you have a critical partner,
supplier, vendor or provider of service, your preparedness is only as good as
those other businesses. As part of your disaster recovery plan, ensure everyone
upstream and downstream from your business is also prepared.

People and businesses are relying on technology now more
than ever, which creates an urgent need to protect critical data and keep IT
systems up and running when a natural disaster or other unexpected outage
occurs,” said Rick Ruiz, general manager of IBM’s Business Continuity and Resiliency Services.

IBM recently announced that WinHire Technologies, provider of a video-based
social networking solution for virtual recruitment, selected
the IBM
SmartCloud Enterprise solution to roll out their next generation business model
leveraging social media. Making a choice over Amazon, Win Hire preferred the
IBM solution as it allowed them to access a secure enterprise class shared
private cloud computing infrastructure to drive higher efficiency, manage costs
and increase speed-to-market.

By Team
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