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Business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR) plans are critical


BCDR StatisticsAdvances in technology have linked business activities closer than ever. In coping with disaster, a weakness on one front can endanger the entire operation of a company or organization.

Yet, national data indicate that fewer than half of all businesses have business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place.

Blizzards. Floods. Tornadoes. Drought. Fires. Accidents. Sabotage. They are all forms of disaster that can – and have – taken a toll on regional commerce in recent years.

In addition to providing other businesses and organizations with business continuity and disaster recovery services, SDN Communications is taking steps to increase protection of its own operations.

“This is an area in which we’ve seen increased activity,” SDN CEO Mark Shlanta says, “in part because customers are asking for our plan.”

In addition to securing corporate assets, especially data stored or transported in cyberspace, good business continuity and disaster recovery plans protect employees before, during and after disaster strikes.

“We provide critical communications services. Our customers and communities rely on us and our network to be functional before, during and after an event so they, too, can continue to operate,” says Joe Galinanes, general manager of SDN Technologies.

Galinanes knows firsthand the importance of good, disaster-recovery plans. He was working in Washington, D.C. during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Galinanes and team member Cassie Baldwin, manager of SDN’s network surveillance center, are leading internal efforts to bolster SDN’s business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plans.

Among other steps, SDN has created a First Responder Team trained in CPR and first aid. The company also has revised and updated plans for company employees to deal with emergency situations such as evacuations.

Galinanes underscored recently why business continuity and disaster recovery strategies are so important to businesses. Statistics he cited included:

  • Eighty-seven percent of companies that lose access to their corporate data for more than seven days go out of business within a year.

  • Eighty percent of companies that suffer a major disaster and don’t have any form of contingency planning go into liquidation within 18 months.

  • Thirty percent of all businesses that have a major fire go out of business within a year. Seventy percent fail within five years.

In addition to improving its internal strategies, SDN offers its clients a growing array of business-protection services. The most notable structural improvement of the past year is the company’s new data center northwest of Sioux Falls.

The collocation facility provides leased space to other companies but also helps protect SDN’s operations. The high-tech, bunker-like facility was built to withstand tornado-force winds, fire and other hazards. Other features include:

  • Redundant power feeds.

  • Around-the-clock, electronic security.

  • A backup power system.

  • Accessibility to SDN’s network and internet service.

The data center is not a remodeled building. It was specifically built to provide offsite, backup and secure storage for tenants. CoSentry was the first tenant of the facility, other than SDN itself. CoSentry leases computer rack space to other businesses looking for safe, offsite data storage.

SDN offers an array of other security-oriented services to businesses, too. The company will monitor firewalls, routers, switches and circuits, for example, and report back what it finds in whatever detail the client desires.

The economic downturn prompted many companies to delay security and business continuity plans. However, the seemingly increasingly frequency of disasters and growing value of information stored in computer systems is prompting some companies to revive the issue.

Internal and external steps being taken at SDN are putting the company in a stronger position to help other business and organizations address their continuity and recovery needs.