The shoemaker’s kids don’t have shoes.
I’ve been known to apply that old saw to lots of situations. Friends get angry at me when I do it, clients pay me to teach them about making sure they have shoes of their own, and because I’m human I’m as guilty as anyone; the things I’m best at teaching to others I don’t always handle well for myself.
What do you do when Google shuts you down?
Chris Brogan, one of the business-gurus-of-the-moment, is going through it right now. I’ve scolded him in a comment on that post, and now I hope I can teach you something that Chris really should have known:
In business you always need to have a backup plan.
Chris has every right to be frustrated by all of his stuff suddenly not working. And hey: Google really does owe us a way to recover without having to cross a border (Europe for a week, anyone? At least Chris Brogan’s story has him in driving distance).
And Google could even make money at giving us a backup plan for when they screw up, although I’m sure we’d all then accuse them of breaking things on purpose so they could charge for premium support on something that we thought was free.
But at the end of the day the story is that any time you put all your eggs in one basket you’re asking for trouble. I’m not just talking about data backups, by the way; I’m talking REAL redundancy. What Chris describes is like a company having one connection to the internet and then trying to blame the ISP for lost business when service goes out.
With so much of your business now run “in the cloud”, do you have a plan to keep moving if things stop working? And a way to implement that plan?
That’s what Business Process is all about.
You’ve posed the question, but are there any contingency plans for online businesses if say, we should lose the web for a couple of days? The scenario is unlikely, but not impossible.
I personally can’t think of any off-line solutions for people who run their businesses online.
Leoni, it’s a great question. And of course there’s not a one-size fits-all answer.
And by the way . . . “those who run their business online” is already fright with problems, since even that doesn’t mean the same thing to any two people, right?
If you mean “what do I do when my e-commerce server goes down?” the answer is . . . why is it down? Is it your server? slap your host around. Can’t do that effectively because you have a cheap hosting plan w/ no real support? Buy real hosting (you can even do that from us, by the way), get real support. And if “THE INTERNET IS DOWN”, well . . . it’s down for everyone, so you won’t lose business, you’ll just delay it
And of course “The Internet is down” doesn’t really happen much, so you need to have plans in place for the as-yet-undefined middle ground.
On the Other Hand, if you mean “I can’t get to Google Docs or My FTP storage” is the issue (think about it; that’s what “having a business on-line means for most people), well . . . you can make GoogleDocs work off-line, and you can use a file-replicating service like DropBox to keep everything at-hand off-line on all your computers.
In all cases, the issue is that we’ve all become so assured that the Internet will just work that we’ve stopped doing planning. And that was my point, whether applied to You, Chris Brogan, or Me!
Hey Jeff, guess I unleased the Titantic syndrome by saying the web is highly unlikely to go down. Since this past Sunday half the South African online community haven’t been able to access international sites, including FaceBook, Google and Twitter due to a break in a major undersea cable. As I write this the situation isn’t yet resolved.
Karma really is not to be messed with, eh?