4 Real-Life Business Continuity Examples You’ll Want to Read

by | Dec 20, 2016

It’s no secret that we believe in the importance of disaster preparedness at every organization. But what does that planning actually look like when it’s put to the test in a real-world scenario? Today, we look at 4 business continuity examples to show how organizations have worked to minimize downtime (or not) after critical events.

Business Continuity Examples: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

1) Fire torches office of managed services provider (MSP)

In 2013, lightning struck an office building in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, causing a fire to break out. The offices were home to Cantey Technology, an IT company that hosts servers for more than 200 clients.

The fire torched Cantey’s network infrastructure, melting cables and burning its computer hardware. The equipment was destroyed beyond repair and the office was unusable. But Cantey’s clients never knew the difference. As part of its business continuity plan, Cantey had already moved its client servers to a remote data center, where continual backups were stored. Even though staff were forced to move to a temporary office, its clients never experienced any interruption in service.

2) Computer virus infects UK hospital network

In a recent post, we highlighted one of the worst business continuity examples we saw in 2016. In November, a nasty computer virus infected a network of hospitals in the UK, known as the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust. The virus crippled its systems and halted operations at three separate hospitals for five days. Patients were literally turned away at the door and sent to other hospitals, even in cases of “major trauma.”

A report in Computing.co.uk speculated that there had been no business continuity plan document in place. Even if there had been, clearly there were failings. Disaster scenarios can be truly life-or-death at healthcare facilities. Every healthcare organization must have a clear business continuity plan outline with comprehensive measures for responding to a critical IT systems failure. If there had been in this case, the hospitals could have remained open.

3) Atlanta electric company responds to unstable WAN connection

After a major electric company in Georgia experienced failure with one of its data lines, it took several proactive steps to ensuring its critical systems would not experience interruption in the future. The company implemented a FatPipe WARP at its main site, bonding two connections to achieve redundancy, and it also readied plans for a third data line. Additionally, the company replicated its mission-critical servers off-site, incorporating its own site-failover WARP.

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According to Disasterrecovery.org, “Each office has a WARP, which bonds lines from separate ISPs connected by a fiber loop. They effectively established data-line failover at both offices by setting up a single WARP at each location. They also accomplished a total site failover solution by implementing the site failover between the disaster recovery and main office locations.”

While the initial WAN problem was minimal, this is a good example of a company that is planning ahead to prevent a worst-case scenario.

4) German telecom giant rapidly restores service after fire

Among the better business continuity examples we’ve seen, incident management solutions are increasingly playing an important role. Take the case of a German telecom company that discovered a dangerous fire was encroaching on a crucial company facility. The facility was a central switching center, which housed important telecom wiring and equipment that were vital to providing service to millions.

The company uses an incident management system from Simba, which alerted staff to the fire, evaluated the impact of the incident, automatically activated incident management response teams and sent emergency alerts to Simba’s 1,600 Germany-based employees. The fire did indeed reach the building, ultimately knocking out the entire switching center. But with an effective incident management system in place, combined with a redundant network design, the company was able to fully restore service within six hours.

Tracy Rock is the Director of Marketing at Invenio IT. Tracy is responsible for all media-related initiatives as well as external communications—including, branding, public relations, promotions, advertising and social media. She is one busy lady and we are lucky to have her!

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