There’s something special about 2016, just as there was about 2012 and there will be in 2020: It is a leap year, an Olympic year, and a presidential election year. With so many special events happening in every four-year cycle, the hype, excitement and speculation remain high almost all year long. While this makes for interesting press coverage and plenty of team spirit, it’s also a time when IT managers focus closely on business continuity (which is why having an extra day – Leap Day – is extremely helpful).

Whether it’s a jumbotron glitch, as happened at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, or a few delayed flights, as happened before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, there’s less patience for technological downtime than ever before. Founding father Benjamin Franklin once said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” There couldn’t be a more apropos sentiment for the political convention taking place in Philadelphia – birthplace of American democracy, home of the Liberty Bell, center of dozens of historical “firsts” – where the latest technology is being used to bring up-to-the-minute news, updates and experiences to the public.

IT resilience

Is your organization listening to the words of Ben Franklin to achieve IT resilience?

With all the media coverage and history-making political headway taking place in Cleveland and Philadelphia, businesses have taken steps to ensure technical glitches don’t stand in the way of progress. It makes sense that Philadelphia-based Sungard Availability Services, one of the pioneers of disaster recovery, is guiding companies in staying up and running through all the activity of the week.

Case in point: several Sungard Availability Services’ customers were impacted by the recent convention that took place in Cleveland. Where access to IT infrastructure and office buildings was restricted due to convention proceedings, a number of organizations used Sungard AS Work Area Recovery seats to reduce the impact on their business and employees.

“Companies today can’t afford interrupted access to their IT infrastructure and applications,” says Bob DiLossi, Senior Director, Recovery Service Operations, Sungard AS. “In order to prevent everyday occurrences from snow-balling into larger business continuity issues, operations need to continue as normal.”

In fact, one such business – PR Newswire, a Cision company – decided to relocate to Sungard Availability Services’ Copley, Ohio facility. “Due to security and building access concerns for our Cleveland-based staff during the Republican National Convention, we relocated to Copley to achieve our goal of providing uninterrupted service and support to our customers, while ensuring staff safety,” said Wes Simpson, Director, Business Continuity Management, PR Newswire.

If that wasn’t challenging enough, companies are still responsible for the always-on operations and management of their current IT environments, with continued expectations for decreasing costs and improving efficiencies. With so many balls to keep in the air, they need a partner who can offload their day-to-day operational responsibilities and support a digital transformation journey. Services like Workforce Continuity, Business Continuity Management and make IT recovery seamless when disaster strikes. Sungard AS has data centers located in Philadelphia and throughout the U.S., as well as around the globe, for such a time as this.

While Benjamin Franklin would hardly recognize the Philadelphia of today – rooted in history, yet one of the most technologically connected cities in the U.S. – it makes sense that a person focused on invention and scientific innovation would have the best piece of advice for corporate America. Take steps now to protect your technology – back it up, test it, and prepare for the worst – because you never know when lightning may strike.