Could Your Business Survive?
Hurricane season is upon us once more. With the Pacific season starting back in April and the Atlantic season following in June, businesses near the coast are at higher risk for suffering hurricane effects. And although there is no stopping Mother Nature, there are ways to protect your business with cloud-based enterprise content management (ECM).
The recent flooding in Texas is a stark reminder of how weather-related damages can wreak havoc on even the most prepared – no matter what the season or your geographic location:
- A 2014 study from IHS Global Insight found that a major storm with “impassable” roads – like those experienced in the Northeast this winter, could have a significant economic impact with even a one-day shutdown. A single day's shutdown in New York costs about $700.17 million, while Massachusetts loses about $265.12 million.
- In 2014, there were 8 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included droughts, flooding and severe storms.
- Hurricane Sandy, alone, caused over $50 billion in damages, including economic losses from damaged or destroyed businesses.
Thus hurricane season, for companies located in the targeted areas along the Gulf Coast and the full range of the Atlantic, certain precautions must be made to ensure business continuity. While you should board up your windows and line your perimeter with sandbags, there are also cost effective ways to protect your business – especially your business documents.
What is your disaster recovery/business continuity plan? Could you ever recover?
It is really hard to imagine losing your entire physical business and everything inside of it. But there are ways to protect your important documents, from contracts and invoices to sensitive legal and financial data – during a disaster. While nothing can mitigate the economic costs of a severe storm, using cloud-based ECM software can reduce risk and allow businesses to continue to transact under extreme conditions.
As a business owner, be sure to develop a secure disaster recovery/business continuity plan, complete with all of the necessary components so that you can recover, should you be threatened by an unfortunate event. In most cases, this means evaluating alternatives to traditional on-premises hardware and software.
Cloud-Based Document Management Solutions are there when you need them
The greatest benefit of a cloud-based document management system is that it can be accessed anytime, from anywhere. Organizations leveraging cloud ECM technology don’t have to worry about physical documents stored in filing cabinets or at an off-site location. Using a secure online platform, business will continue to operate using any Wi-Fi enabled device – regardless of the weather conditions. Your business workflow can continue across the country while keeping your data secure.
Many businesses and hospitals learned about backing up files the hard way. Dr. Guerrero, M.D., owner of Essex Gastro Associates, P.A. was prepared for Hurricane Sandy and makes this recommendation: “The best advice I can give my colleagues about preparing for a storm or any other type of disaster is to continuously back up your files, invest in a generator, and select an IT company that is customer service-focused to answer all your questions and walk you through any problems.”
The quiet after the storm
The good news is that businesses can survive even if their physical location doesn’t. Such capability is dramatically enhanced when business owners plan appropriately. As those hit by flooding, hurricanes or severe winter storms know, we cannot forecast the weather with absolute precision, but we can plan for it. Start today by preparing your disaster recovery plan and make certain you evaluate the benefits of cloud based ECM.
By Jeff Frankel
Jeff Frankel is Executive Vice President and Principal at docSTAR, a B2B software firm specializing in cloud document management solutions and business process automation. He has more than two decades experience in corporate business development, working with industry-leading firms including Authentidate Holding Corp, Med-Flash, Health Focus of NY, and Ernst & Young. Jeff offers innovative perspectives on streamlining business for improved efficiency and productivity. You can follow Jeff and the docSTAR team on Twitter, @docSTARsoftware.