Climate change is an increasingly important issue when thinking about business continuity – and not just in Tornado Alley, even in the most sedate parts of the UK too, as our weather patterns become less seasonal and even less predictable.
Regardless of whether you believe climate change is the result of carbon emissions, the solar cycle, or our emergence from the last ice age, there’s plenty of evidence of isolated extreme weather events, from heavy snow in several of the past few winters, to rainy and cold summers, and even hailstorms well into late spring and early summer.
Any extreme weather event can pose a threat to your business continuity, particularly if it interrupts important infrastructure links like public transport, telephone lines or the mains power supply – so how can you prepare for these interruptions, and somehow keep working when they occur?
Uninterruptible Power Supplies
An uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, is essentially a big battery that your devices can be ‘plugged in’ to when the mains supply is switched off. It simulates a mains supply, letting you complete any essential work, although it is only a short-term solution best suited to short periods of mains outage.
If your UPS itself is showing signs of being past its best, UPS replacement batteries can help you to bring it back to its best, restoring its ability to hold charge and making sure that it continues to deliver its full rated power output – enough to support the maximum possible number of devices.
Storing your crucial data ‘in the cloud’ is a way of liberating it from the shackles of a specific geographical location, and means that, if your server is destroyed by fire, flood or a power surge, your files will not be lost.
Most good cloud storage providers back up your data to multiple locations, often based far away from major towns or cities to make sure they cannot be affected by terrorist strikes, riots or other human effects.
Just as it can be beneficial to store your data away from your physical office location, it is often possible to allow your employees to work from elsewhere too, especially if you have a large number of commuters reliant on public transport.
Give them remote access to your servers, with cloud-based email and document collaboration, and they can continue to work seamlessly in the event that access to your premises is cut off.
Make sure they are all aware of your contingency plans, and that you have a secondary server somewhere if the first one is destroyed (again, cloud-based services can help here, while a good UPS will be able to keep your main server powered up for as long as possible during the transitional period).
Through a combination of good technological choices, and employee training, you can counter both the physical and human elements of business interruption that are likely to arise due to climate change, giving you the best possible chance of continuing to serve your customers effectively in a crisis.