Remember when you were a kid and a power outage meant candles in the dark and, if you were lucky, being “forced” to eat all the ice cream before it melted in the defunct freezer? As an adult, however, a power outage came to mean something totally different. If you work for one of those companies that rely on on-site hardware and software, panic sets in when you get to the office, flip the light switch… and nothing happens.
We here at Fluid live and breathe cloud solutions. We tout the benefits to our clients. We have based our entire operation on cloud technology. So our entire belief system and operational model was put to the test during a recent power outage.
The lights are out. What do I do?
October 13th, 2014, started just like any other. We all got up and began our morning routines, preparing for the commute into the Fluid office.
Our earliest early-bird arrived at the office and flipped the first light switch in the still-dark office.
The lights did not come on.
Sure enough, the power was down in the office. That meant no network, no Internet and no phones.
I got a frantic phone call. “The power is out. What do I do?”
For me, and for Fluid as a whole, the answer was simple. “Go home. You have power at your house.”
Cloud Computing to the Rescue
Why did I send our team home? Because with our servers in the cloud we are not held hostage by any one location. We are free to work from any location that has power and an Internet connection.
Our servers were safe. Our jobs were safe. Our clients were safe. In fact, thanks to the cloud our whole operational system is safe from almost anything that Mother Nature can throw at us.
Contacting the entire Fluid team was a simple matter of a mass text. You see, we had thought ahead on this. Our company policy is that when we need to immediately notify everyone (for example, if the office was going to be shut down or unavailable for any reason), one of the leadership team members will send a mass text to everyone with the details. In this case, the text read, “The power is out. Work from home.”
Yes, our solution to a power outage was that simple. Our email is in the cloud, so we could access it from our laptops at home. We were able to log into our servers remotely. We remotely rerouted our desk phones to our cell phones.
We believe that cloud solutions are not only convenient and cost-effective, but that they are quickly becoming necessary for small and medium-sized businesses. This power outage made us walk our talk – and let me tell you – we were happy with the results.
So now I ask you these questions: What is your emergency plan for your company? When weather or disaster strikes, what do you and your organization do to keep the company functioning?