Which technology is saving Nashville businesses from recent disruptions? The cloud
This article was originally published by the Nashville Business Journal on March 20, 2020. View the full article here: https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2020/03/20/which-technology-is-saving-nashville-businesses.html?iana=hpmvp_nsh_news_headline
Two events have recently impacted our city in profound ways.
A series of devastating tornados tore through Nashville near the central business district. Lives were lost, families were displaced and many businesses were left with little or no infrastructure to carry on. Close on the heels of this natural disaster, the first coronavirus diagnosis was confirmed in Nashville, and the community began to react by closing schools and asking employees to work from home. These events represent an inflection point for how businesses survive unplanned disruptions.
While the loss from these events has been very real and visceral, our community will rally and recover, much like we did a decade ago when a 100-year flood caused widespread destruction and disruption. During that time, cloud technology was in its infancy and most businesses in cities like ours relied on their own on-premise infrastructure of servers and software systems. The flood in 2010 shut down a large swath of downtown Nashville and many companies were out of business for several days because they could not gain access to critical data residing on company servers that had no power, costing them millions of dollars, not from physical damage but from a cessation of business functions for several days.
Roll the clock forward to the present: A confluence of events is once again having a major impact on business continuity in Nashville. What has changed in the decade though, is the viability of a business continuity plan for companies that is rooted in the adoption of cloud technology resources for all major business functions.
Many companies have adopted a complete cloud strategy for the major elements of their business: communication and collaboration, document and client management, human resources, marketing, accounting, etc. But some businesses are still attempting to function without complete cloud adoption or without the cloud at all.
With a carefully planned, integrated strategy to host critical systems in the cloud, companies become much less susceptible to disruptions and revenue loss from events like natural disasters or pandemics, even when employees cannot physically come into the office. In fact, cloud-enabled companies can be more proactive than other businesses in minimizing risk to their employees by acting quickly to issue stay-at-home directives.
To plan for complete cloud adoption and migration, start by choosing a trusted vendor. Cloud vendors must be vetted to ensure their offerings meet the specific needs of the business in regard to cost, data capacity demands, scalability and industry specific applications. Additionally, the various cloud technologies that a business uses must fit together in a holistic solution that works for all departments and employees.
Then, prepare staff. Plan for team training sessions and adapt current business policies and procedures to the cloud technology. Consider compliance standards during this process. Ensure your company is upholding data compliance standards including HIPPA, PCI DSS and ABA regulations depending on your industry.
Finally, migrate securely. Migrate over a secure internet connection to mitigate potential risks.
Events like natural disasters and pandemics remind us that building a technology infrastructure in the cloud is like building on a proverbial rock. For Nashville, recent events in our community are an important inflection point for businesses still dependent on their on-premise technology infrastructure. When the unavoidable occurs, save your business from avoidable disruptions, costs and logistical burdens by moving to the cloud now.
Phillip Hampton is the founder and chairman of Logicforce, a Nashville-based technology consultancy.