Telework and COOP: What If Your Building Goes Bye-Bye?

Telework and COOP

Earlier this month I participated in a blog that asked the question; “What happens if your building is knocked out forever?”. The responses were many and interesting as they discussed the need:

  • for relationships with real estate groups to have contingent space,
  • relationships with distributors for replacing equipment
  • hot sites and cold sites,
  • communication tools to get in touch with staff,
  • training and exercising protocols, etc., and
  • timelines citing a 30 day “resetting” window prior to resuming operations. (Our research indicates the survivability of companies that are off-line for even 2 weeks is not good)

They did not discuss what happens if:

  • they lose most of their staff in the event
  • it is a large event that wipes out many organizations which means local resources may be inadequate (remember 9/11?) or even
  • if there is a localized event that impacts the immediate vicinity

I made two entries, the first about the scale of operations having different profiles of vulnerability and also the telework opportunity. Subsequent comments ignored it. My second entry was more direct as I asked- Why do we focus on all of the contingent, and very expensive, traditional techniques instead of deploying Strategic telework which would allow you to maintain operations by just re-directing your teleworkers to the secondary server in just minutes. (Obviously protecting the server data is critical regardless of how you plan to resume operations). The blog ended without an answer.

So, I ask you:

  1. Is all of the expense involved in the traditional recovery process worth the increased risk to the organization when compared to the ongoing operational savings of strategic telework and its ability to maintain operations by just redirecting your teleworkers to the alternate server?
  2. And in the case of a major event, which model is better for the sustainability of the region?

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