Monday, June 17, 2013

Zombie Proof your Business

Zombies are coming,  is your business ready?
This week Brad Pitt is putting his money and reputation on the line with the release of his blockbuster production World War Z.   I have been reading the book in anticipation of the movie and I am looking forward how they are going to transform Max Brooks’ book into popular entertainment.  While I was reading along, it struck me that a great deal wisdom can be gleaned from a fictional zombie apocalypse. As a small business person the unforeseen and the unexpected happen all the time. If you are not careful your business can wind up like the walking dead.  In this post, I want to talk about how cloud based services and changes in the technology sphere can help you avoid this tragic fate.

The biggest challenge for any business is how to deal with disaster recovery.  If a fire, earthquake or flood hits your business how are you going to get back up and running.  Larger companies have decided that they are going to create large data centers resembling Fort Knox.  Massive Batteries, multiple generators, and numerous systems are in place.  In fact these facilities are filled with backups and redundancies that the only way to really stop business is the have an asteroid directly strike the building or a massive civil disruption, like a zombie apocalypse, to shut down the entire power grid.

As a software developer at the turn of the century, I though all these precautions were an over-reaction.   My opinion changed overnight in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the world trade center.  Merrill Lynch lost four employees to the attacks but the terrorist nearly destroyed the company causing it loose over $98 million in the course of a tragic morning.  Data-centers and disaster recover became a very serious business. No one anticipated the terrorists flying a plane into the building with your data but now it was a very real possibility.

Over the last decade, as data centers grew they had surplus space and power.  Being good capitalists, these companies began leasing out their extra space to smaller companies.  Cloud computing was born.  Soon companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft got into the act and became the principle suppliers of cloud services.  Prices fell and up-time increased.  This was technology and the marketplace doing what Adam Smith said it would.

As a small business myself for a few hundred dollars a year I have the computing power which would have cost several hundred thousand dollars during the giddy days of the dot-com boom.  It allows me to stay in business as I look for customers.  I also know that my data is secure because it exists in a data-center in the Pacific Northwest and that if something happens to me or my business, like a zombie attack, the survivors will be able to access the data and information with a few passwords.  You can have this security too.  At E3 systems we have inventory management and fleet management software safely hidden away on the cloud for you to use so if something happens to your facility you will be ready to do business the next day.

Contact us today and we will show you how this is more exciting than a zombie apocalypse.

Until next time.