Why Maps Matter to Business Continuity and Risk Professionals

Connecting data and events through maps is the next game-changer for business continuity and risk professionals.

Maps matter to us as humans. According to Wikipedia, the earliest known maps are of the heavens. Geographic maps of territories also have a very long tradition and exist from ancient times. The word "map" comes from the medieval Latin Mappa mundi, where mappa meant “napkin or cloth,” and mundi meant “the world.” Thus, "map" became the shortened term referring to a two-dimensional representation of the surface of the world. In practice, maps help us make sense out of complex information. They provide order to the content we process on a daily basis. Why else would we use the word in so many contexts? Think about it: we rely on road maps, site maps, dependency maps, customer journey maps, route … Read more

How March Madness Can Help Up Your Business Continuity Game

march madness, business continuity

Basketball and business continuity are in my blood. When it comes to hoops, I played in college, I love watching the game, and I am raising the next generation of players. As for business continuity, well, it’s my main focus five days out of seven (and sometimes more). So perhaps it’s not surprising that when my eyes are on the court, my mind is making connections to a business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) playbook. One of the biggest correlations I see is in the area of situational awareness. Take basketball first. Ever watch a group of 6-year-olds play? The little guy with the ball dribbles slowly and determinedly down the court with his head down, completely oblivious to th … Read more

How To Be Best-In-Class When It Comes To Business Continuity And Disaster Recovery

business continuity

With the slew of ice storms, hurricanes, and other natural disasters in recent years, “business continuity” and “disaster recovery” have become buzz words in the business world. Organizations want to know how to protect their data and keep their business afloat should a disaster or some other cause of downtime occur. And, according to a new infographic released by SunGard AS (see below), 74% of organizations consider unplanned IT and telecom outages a threat to their business – and they should. With the cost of downtime ranging from more than $8,500 per hour for small companies to more than $686,000 per hour for large companies, there’s a big reason to make sure your business continuity and … Read more

How to Get Your Data Through Winter Blizzards, Part 2: Communicating and Practicing your Business Recovery Plan


In Part 1: Establishing Your Business Recovery Plan, I discussed the three most important pieces of creating your plan for recovering data and continuing normal operations after a winter-related disaster: business, buildings, and people. When disaster strikes there are three major steps to begin the process of managing the incident: 1. Mobilize your central command center, activate your business recovery plan, and identify how long your organization can operate in a recovery state. 2. Manage your employees and carefully document their processes, both in terms of how to recover and how to operate. 3. Practice or test to refine processes and plans using a variety of scenarios. Once … Read more

How to Get Your Data Through Winter Blizzards, Part 1: Establishing Your Business Recovery Plan


Hurricanes are not the only disasters that can disrupt your business. Hurricane season spans from June 1 to November 30, but then Old Man Winter enters. As we know, winter storms can be most challenging, causing many forms of emergencies. Winter storms and nor’easters (winter’s hurricane) create blizzards, high winds and damaging surf, heavy snow, sleet, and damaging ice. These conditions can cause communication failures, power outages, road closures, mass transit issues, and water main breaks – all of which pose risks to your buildings, business, and employees. With winter now in full swing and a polar vortex covering most of the United States, some businesses may need to pay close atten … Read more

Why Should I Have A Robust Business Continuity Program?

business continuity program

As corporate officers and executives, we have a fiduciary responsibility to our customers and shareholders to ensure that our businesses will withstand any type of disruption—whether it’s a natural disaster, a technical failure, or an interruption like a transportation strike, chemical spill or civil protest. For decades, organizations such as the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII) and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) have told us that we should implement a robust business continuity program to mitigate the potential impacts of disasters. But few have heeded this advice. Why is that? Human nature is such that we only take action when we’re backed into a corner. Busin … Read more

Got New Year Resolutions? Get ‘Appy’ To Stay On Track In Life And Business

new year resolutions

It’s almost January 1st again, that time of year when we all look forward to new beginnings, new or renewed resolutions, and the continuation of our quest for self-improvement. A great article in Forbes by Dan Diamond notes that over 40% of American’s make New Year resolutions, but only 8% manage to keep them. As I examine my 2013 performance, I am delighted to see that I would fall into that 8% segment on one resolution – developing a consistent exercise routine. I jogged 3 times a week and met a 200 mile target in 6 months (yay, me!). Now, exercising and losing weight is by far the most popular resolution and I admit, it has been on my list ever since I gained the infamous “Freshman 15.” … Read more

Black Friday And The Art Of The BCP Test

bcp test

Only 40% of IT organizations have tested their disaster recovery plans in the last 12 months, according to the 2013 InformationWeek State of Storage Survey. Working at SunGard, I see this lack of preparation first hand every day. SunGard offers Mobile MetroCenters® that bring custom-designed, fully equipped office space to customers to support their business continuity plan in the event of an emergency. During roadshows of the Mobile MetroCenter, customers are constantly coming up to me and telling me that they’ve had this service under contract for years, but have never actually been inside one before. And they’ve certainly never tested the Mobile MetroCenter in conjunction with their over … Read more