Southeast Texas and Louisianna are currently experiencing, what the National FEMA director says, is probably the worst disaster in Texas history.
Police officers and firefighters have been plucking people from floodwaters with the help of thousands of state and national guardsmen. Houses and roads have been inundated with water or washed away and several people have already lost their lives. And the storm has not finished wreaking havoc.
As bad as the pictures and videos are, there is another silent, but an equally disastrous effect of this storm. That is the damage it has done and is doing to businesses, local governments, schools and other organizations who have had their critical data literally washed away and have been paralyzed, unable to conduct business because their buildings are underwater or worse, no longer exist!
Hundreds and probably thousands of organizations are going to be "recovering" from this natural disaster, trying to deal with lost data and lost customers. Sadly, many businesses won't ever open their doors again as it is been widely reported that 80% of all businesses hit by a disaster will go out of businesses. Likewise, while public entities like city governments, counties and schools won't go out of business, they often will lose historical data and will be unable to provide service to their respective communities.
Many just accept that this outcome is inevitable during and after a natural disaster because paper documents stored on site are susceptible to loss and servers, computer networks and software are typically stored and used in the building(s) that are affected by the disaster. When a tragedy like a flood, fire or tornado hits, it is just accepted that you need to find a way to "recover".
But what if you focused on "disaster preparedness" rather than "disaster recovery"?
Sound too good to be true? Well, it's not and it is called "Cloud Computing".
What is Cloud Computing?
Well, think about your email. If you use a program like Gmail or Yahoo, then you are using a "Cloud Application". In other words, you don't have to have any software or special hardware installed at your office. All you need is a browser or mobile device to use. This is where the modern "Digital Workforce" lives!
How does Cloud Computing make a difference?
First, using the browser and mobile device to run your business operations, means you can work from anywhere, so operations can continue, even if your building is incapacitated or otherwise destroyed.
Second, the more than 30-year-old server, office computer, and local network model lends itself to generating more paper which gets stored in the buildings which eventually get destroyed by a disaster.
Third, true cloud applications can work on virtually any computer or mobile device which means organizations that lose their buildings don't have to spend thousands of dollars to rebuild their servers and computer networks and they can use inexpensive browser-based machines that require no expensive software to be installed and little to no IT setup or maintenance.
While the "cloud" may seem foreign and scary to some, the fact is that by 2018, it is estimated that 80% of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud applications and solutions. Moreover, the US Government recently mandated that all federal agencies move their data to the cloud because it is more secure.
Since 2010, Cave Consulting has been committed to helping cities, businesses, schools and other organizations leverage the browser and the mobile device, with an exclusive focus on G Suite and the Google Ecosystem which includes Android Phones and the Chrome Browser.
Our solutions are cost-effective and designed to allow people to work "anywhere", "anytime", from "any device", which, if employed, can greatly improve employee productivity, lower overhead and prepare an organization for a disaster, which is much better than having to recover from one.