By: Luis Delgado, The Critical Update

Let’s play a game!

Take a minute to picture the best day at your business. Everything is going right, business is moving along, staff is productive and the planets are aligned. Ahhh, feels great doesn’t it? Just like a cool breeze.

Now, let’s throw a bit of reality into the mix. Suddenly, one of your employees says…”My computer is acting weird”. You think nothing of it and just tell the employee to restart the computer. After all, that is the most common “fix” to weird issues. Unfortunately, once this happens, the computer does not work. What do you do?

Let’s add a little more flavor to this mix. Let’s pretend the computer that just failed has your QuickBooks® file and client list, payroll is supposed to run today… Now what? The cool breeze is now a category 5 hurricane!

If you are like most business owners, you have a technical resource that you would call in a panic. Then the recovery and troubleshooting process would begin and take from one day to several days to return to normalcy. That is, assuming you did not lose data and get sticker shock.

  1. Let’s stop the game now and consider some options.

Many businesses have a reliable technical resource that keeps everything working. The problem is, most of the time, as technicians, we assume certain things. If you ask a techie what it means to “take care of everything”, you will get a different answer from what a business owner would think. Planning for the gaps in this is where a bit of communication can make the difference between expensive chaos or getting back to work with sanity.

Here is an example; I just talked to a member of a medical organization who said the IT company handles everything. When I asked him the above scenario, he said he has no idea about a continuity plan. This is not unusual. Business owners have so much to think about, that business continuity planning is usually overlooked or not even thought of.

There is a technical side with backups and replacement computers, but there is also a critical component that most IT companies do not provide. The side that affects business operations.

There are a great number of companies out there who are fantastic at providing technical support and managed services. Truth be told, Austin has a large number of them competing for clients.

The one thing that I would encourage is to make it part of your yearly business planning to create, review and update your business continuity plan. Invite your friendly IT consultant to be in those meetings and help plan for the worst.

Luis Delgado is a Certified HIPAA Professional and the President of The Critical Update inc., a technology consulting firm that works with business owners and non profit organizations in the Austin metropolitan area. Luis and his team help schools, professional service providers, financial services and legal professionals with ongoing support and consulting. Luis enjoys time with his loving family and Church community. Most days you can find him serving people and building community through business consulting and relationship building. Luis graduated from EGBI in 2009.

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