Continuity Planning 101 - A Continuing Educational Series: Skydiving Without a Parachute

Disaster Preparedness

Continuity Planning 101 - A Continuing Educational Series: Skydiving Without a Parachute

This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine.

Ever notice that when you are looking out of an airplane window the clouds appear as firm as packed snow on a ski slope? In reality these virtual solids only provide the illusion of solidity. Certainly a skydiver would not actually expect to land on the top of a cloud when making a jump.   

A reverse analogy is the illusion of the Internet cloud as being insubstantial like its white fluffy cumulus cousin and the image of solidity associated with legacy non-cloud technologies. People in organizations with premises-based deployments can reach out and touch the equipment to get a warm-fuzzy feeling of security. The problems arise when some powerful cumulonimbus clouds that make up supercells or tornadoes decide to huff and puff and blow the building down – so much for solid and secure.

Simply said, the cloud is much stronger than brick and mortar. IaaS or SaaS (News - Alert) solutions, for example, provide employees with the tools to operate at full efficiency from anywhere at any time. This means that if your organization is forced to handle the impact of natural adversities like floods, winter storms and other negative events, the resources are already in place.

Ironically, organizations anchored in legacy technologies are also paying more for less. By migrating to an IP or cloud environment they would actually reduce overhead.  For example, a recent study from Siemens Enterprise Communications (News - Alert) and conducted by ReRez Research showed that enterprises can save 43 percent over traditional PBX systems by migrating to a pure IP infrastructure. However, cost isn’t the only reason. Cloud solutions also provide more frequent updates and other services automatically while simultaneously reducing pressure on overworked IT departments. 

However, the jump to the cloud is not without risk, and skydiving without a parachute is not recommended. This is a major decision for any organization, and placing the burden on your IT department may not be practicable. The move must be fully researched first to avoid any self-inflicted disasters. Seeking out the services of experienced resellers with IaaS or SaaS plus BC and DR expertise is the best approach to ensure success. Of course, if you wait for the cumulonimbus clouds to darken the sky, it will already be too late – so get moving now.

Max Schroeder is senior vice president of FaxCore (News - Alert) Inc. ( and managing director of the DPCF.

Rich Tehrani is CEO and group editor-in-chief at TMC, and conference chairman of ITEXPO (News - Alert).

Edited by Stefania Viscusi