No Decision Is A Decision When It Comes To Declaring A Disaster

Is there a business lesson, a key takeaway that companies can glean from the recent situations involving Hurricane Irma? There are likely many, depending on your point of view and specific interpretations, but today, we want to focus on one in particular--that indecision, especially in a potential disaster scenario, is a decision unto itself. Here's what we mean.

There's little doubt that Hurricane Irma caused plenty of confusion. The storm's erratic path made determining the right course of action difficult for businesses based in South Florida. Put yourself in their shoes. In the same situation, would you, for instance, use an abundance of caution? Assume that the storm would hit you and your business at full force; would you make the difficult decision of taking a voluntary outage to transfer operations to your backup site?

If you're right, you've put yourself ahead of the curve. When the storm hits, you'll be able to mitigate the effects you would have felt trying to scramble and initiate backups at the last minute. Conversely, if you make the wrong call, it will have been a costly one. In addition to the time and resources spent undergoing the initial voluntary outage, you'll have to do it all again to move your infrastructure back to your main site of operations--and all for naught.

Which brings us back to our main point. Not taking action or not making a decision is a decision in and of itself--the decision to remain unprepared. It's for that reason that you should be proactive whether you decide to declare a situation a disaster or not. Among the key factors in your decision should be risk assessment, weighing the pros and cons of each decision along with the most likely ramifications for both courses of action.

Performing a thorough business impact analysis beforehand and stringently documenting the possibilities is one way to help make decisions like these more clear and will also aid in having your story straight when you are asked about the series of events that guided the decision making process in a post incident review.

discovaIT has a deep well of knowledge when it comes to DR and can aid organizations through assessments designed to help businesses plot the best courses of actions in situations that, much like the elements, may seem tricky to navigate.