Friday, February 16, 2007

Single point of failure

Martin McKeay reminds us of the importance of 'single points of failure' in our organizations. He was watching Dr. Michael Osterholm talk on Oprah's show about the inevitability of a flu pandemic and how we can prepare for it.

Apparently many of the drugs we depend on today all come from one or two manufacturing plants in the whole world. Can you imagine how a disaster at one of the plants would affect the entire world's drug supply? Now think about some of the parrallels in your own network and business. How many single points of failure do you have and what is your plan in the case of a failure?

What if someone by accident takes out the cable up the street? Would your business survive until the phone company can get you back online? What about your back-up system for files? What will the impact on your business be?

Step away from the technology for a second and think about the people. Who knows how to get the critical jobs done? Are you reliant on a single person? What if anyone of us get hit by a bus or just get sick for a couple of days?

Dr. Osterholm said there is a lot to learn from Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. If we look at it that way, then it's really not a question of if a disaster is going to strike, but when. By simply being prepared, we can minimize its impact. So, you may not need to prepare for a hurricane, but you do need to identify your single points of failure.

Click on this link to see the video clip

For additional information on Pandemic preparedness from a business continuity perspective, please feel free to contact Pitsel & Associates Ltd. Calgary, Alberta, (403) 245-0550. “The time to plan is when you have time to plan.”

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