Planning for the Unexpected

We might not be able to predict the unknown, but we can do our best to be prepared for it. For organizations of all sizes contingency planning is vital to success. To this end, my Microsoft colleague, Cindy Bates, vice president, U.S. SMB Organization, recently shared a set of helpful resources on the subject of disaster preparedness.

This e-guide helps cut through the clutter by pointing out the key factors for organizations to consider when building business contingency plans. There’s no one disaster preparedness plan that works for all organizations, but elements such as environment mapping, data backup options and communication methods are integral parts of any successful plan.

In March of 2011 one of our cloud contingency plans was tested as the people of Japan experienced a terrible earthquake and subsequent tsunami. After the initial earthquake we were able to take data belonging to our customers and migrate it to datacenters located outside of the disaster zone.

In addition to keeping our customers’ data secure and available, the execution of this plan allowed us to provide resources to the Japanese government and disaster relief organizations. With these resources, the government and aid agencies were able to use Microsoft’s datacenters and online services to help co-ordinate relief efforts and disseminate public service information, while allowing people to keep in contact with friends and family around the world.

When the unexpected happens, keeping your organization’s data safe takes on extra importance. Having reliable and secure backup plans in place can help you stay resilient in the face of disaster.

Please check back with us soon for further discussion of the factors that go into a healthy computing environment.

About the Author
Adrienne Hall

General Manager, Issues & Crisis Management

Adrienne Hall is a General Manager in the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing group, where she leads a team of information technology (IT) professionals who are focused on the security, privacy, reliability, and accessibility of devices and services built on Microsoft technology. Read more »