Wild Cowboy Stories From The IT Frontier

cowboy silhouette

For many years, I wore cowboy boots to work. It seemed appropriate … after all, as a senior architect, I often have to “herd” clients to help them develop solutions around availability of their most critical business systems and processes. In the process, I often tell a few tales around the IT campfire from the frontier of days past. The stories demonstrate to my clients that this is, in fact, not my first rodeo. Note: places, names, and timelines have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty). “As a cowboy, you are only as good as your last round up.” Early in my career, I had a client with the on-site system administrator who was responsible for fileserver backups for the cor … Read more

Think Your Business Continuity Plan Is Complete?

Magnifying glass against stack of documents.

Your business continuity team has brought you the company’s new, improved, revised, or updated business continuity (BC) plans. Nice plans – comprehensive, lots of information about assignments, call trees, contact lists, etc. and they’re all up-to-date. Your staff assures you that they have addressed all of the priorities and requirements defined from your business impact analysis (BIA) and involved every key stakeholder, so that the company is ready for the worst case scenario. You can hand out the kudos and get on with the next task. Not so fast. Before you give those kudos, you have some questions to ask! There are three important elements that too many business continuity plans are missi … Read more

Sungard Availability Services Named A “Leader” In Gartner BCM Magic Quadrant for its Assurance Continuity Manager!

Gartner Report thumbs up

Customer responsiveness: those two words capture the Assurance Continuity Manager’s journey since its inception last year. The team I get to work and play with – product management, sales support, professional services, sales, and consulting – all embodies the spirit of customer engagement. You spoke. We listened. We at Sungard Availability Services are pleased to be acknowledged by Gartner as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Business Continuity Management Planning Software. Are you evaluating new or replacement Business Continuity Management Planning (BCMP) software tools and finding your search stalled? Here’s my advice: Look beyond “what” functionality a product offers and conside … Read more

Are Working Moms The “Mother” Of BC/DR?

business team of mother and son

Working moms spend every waking minute striving to keep their family life and work responsibilities—sometimes simultaneously—up and running. They run their lives based on contingency-plans for the “what-if” scenarios and recovery plans from the inevitable everyday disasters, all with the goal of minimal impact to home and workplace operations. If you’re out there earning the title “working mom” every day like I am, adopting a business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) mindset might help you in your everyday quest to maintain seamless operations at the office and on the home front. Since my recent debut as a working mother when I returned from maternity leave, I haven’t been able to help … Read more

Clutter, Chaos, and Confusion…Oh, My! How to De-junk Your Business Continuity Plan

business continuity plan

By Kelley Pidhirsky You bring on a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) application. It improves efficiency beautifully and becomes a critical part of your daily operations. Wonderful! Did you remember to put it into your business continuity (BC) plan? No? Oops. You have made your BC plan a master repository of all the information you could ever want in time of crisis. You’ve included data files, contact information, and all the rest of it. Great! Has any of that data or information changed in your production environment? It has? Have you updated your BC plan to reflect that change? No? Oops, again. Let’s face it. Because of the rate of change in business today – new SaaS applications, em … Read more

3 Dumb Questions NOT To Ask When Vetting Your Vendors For Business Continuity Risk

business continuity

Vetting your vendors from a business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) perspective is hot, hot, hot these days. For example, the federal government put out specific Risk Management Guidance for national banks in October of 2013. In a nutshell, the guidance says, “You’d better make sure your vendors have it together if you’re doing business with them, and it’s on you either way!” Now, this is not new; don’t get me wrong. People have been shouting about the need for business continuity up and down the supply chain – any supply chain – for decades. After all, if one of your key vendors experiences a disruptive incident, it can directly impact your business. And that’s bad for everyone. … Read more

The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 8-6-2014

IT blogs

If you don’t know what a “Sharknado” is, then you probably don’t watch the SyFy channel, or TV, for that matter. For those living under a rock, let me clarify: a “Sharknado” is a shark-infested tornado. But these sharks are hungry and irritated (I’d be too if I were helplessly spinning in a twister!), adding another level of danger to the natural disaster. Humankind has only seen this phenomenon and its mediocre special effects onscreen, but hey, there’s always a one-in-a-billion chance that this MAY happen in real life! How would you modify your business continuity plan to prepare for it? Fear not, our very own Tracy Hein has got you covered. Here’s her business continuity plan tailored to t … Read more

5 Best Practices For Leveraging Backup and Recovery For Business Resiliency

Recovery as a Service

Let’s talk about questions. Asking the right questions is key to getting the right answers. Some questions are too broad, such as, “How do I achieve business continuity?” With that question, where do you start? How do you focus? When do you stop? A better question is one that is targeted, like this: How do I leverage backup and recovery as a service for true business continuity and resiliency? Now you know where to start and how to focus: by studying backup as a service (BaaS) and recovery as a service (RaaS) and determining how and where they can effectively fit into your business continuity planning. You also know when to stop: when you have found a BaaS and RaaS solution that contr … Read more