The basics of cloud computing

Even if you don’t work in technology, you’ve probably heard of cloud computing. Writers, accountants, and even landscapers use cloud computing. So do hugely popular services such as Netflix.

Here’s a look at the basics of cloud computing and how it can benefit your business.

How cloud computing got its name

Old telecommunication companies used a cloud symbol to represent the telephone network. Later, a cloud was used to represent a network or technology that was managed by someone else. Basically, the cloud symbolized a network or system you used but weren’t responsible for maintaining for running.

How cloud computing works

In a nutshell, cloud computing is the ability to store data at a remote location. In practice, it means that people are able to take advantage of on-demand computing services, apps, and processing power on a pay-as-you-go scheme over the internet. They can use devices such as smartphones, tablets, and even game consoles to access the cloud. However, when the internet is down, users cannot access the cloud.

With cloud computing, your business can:

  • Save money and space on an IT infrastructure
  • Get access to apps, file storage and more from a cloud provider
  • Tap into programs for word processing, design, marketing, sales, data analytics, and disaster recovery, among others
  • Scale operations up and down easily
  • Increase employee collaboration
  • Help more employees telecommute from home
  • Conduct distance training and seminars
  • Pay only for the resources it uses

Cloud computing examples

Many people use cloud computing and don’t even know it. For instance, you may have cloud storage set up for the pictures you take on your smartphone. Similarly, Gmail is a form of cloud computing, as are most of Google’s services. Netflix depends on cloud computing as well (through Amazon Web Services).

Microsoft Office 365 is a popular cloud service, and families and businesses can use apps such as Excel, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote for a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

How cloud computing developed

Cloud computing landed in 2006 with Amazon as a leading infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider. The companies to keep an eye on now include Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce and SAP.

Cloud computing has developed to include the following common uses:

  • IaaS (for servers, storage, and networking, among other things)
  • SaaS (software as a service, for software and applications through the internet)
  • PaaS (platform as a service, for building and delivering applications)
  • File storage
  • Disaster recovery
  • Backup
  • Big data analytics
  • Testing and development

Many vendors now only sell cloud versions of their software (like Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud). Cloud software benefits the consumer because it has a cheaper, monthly cost and you always have the latest version of the software. It also benefits the vendor because all users are using the same version, which makes support and troubleshooting potential issues easier.

Public vs. private cloud

There are two main types of cloud computing available to businesses, public or private cloud. A hybrid cloud is a third option that combines a public and private cloud.

In a private cloud, your business uses cloud computing behind a firewall. The infrastructure for the cloud may be on site or off site. This type of cloud computing can be more secure, but it also costs more.

The public cloud is also secure, but may not have the same security measures required by some industry regulations. Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party provider and are cheaper and easier to set up.

For more on cloud computing, check out this article that discusses cloud security myths and other cloud myths.

How Expensive Is Downtime, Anyway?

If time is money, then how much money does downtime cost your business?

That’s a difficult question to answer. All companies have unique business plans and technologies. One thing is certain, though: downtime costs small businesses a lot of time and harms their reputations.

The damage that your company experiences depends on several factors, but you can expect downtime to harm you in the following ways.

Lost Revenue During Peak Hours

Most websites go down because their servers receive too many requests from internet users. As more people come to your e-commerce store, the server inches closer to capacity. Once it crosses the line, the server will crash and your store will go offline.

Suddenly, your business doesn’t have a way to sell its products and services to online shoppers.

That’s really bad news.

To make matters even worse, website downtime usually happens during peak hours when the most visitors come to your site. You have more people than usual trying to buy your products, but you can’t sell them anything because your website doesn’t work.

Since people do most of their shopping around 8 p.m., that’s probably when your website will fail. An hour of downtime, therefore, doesn’t mean that you’ve lost an hour of selling. It means that you’ve lost one of your most lucrative hours of selling.

The Cost of Reviving Your System

If your business struggles with downtime, then you probably don’t have an IT team that knows how to address the root of the problem. Since you don’t have the right personnel on staff, you’ll need to hire someone to revive your system and get everything back online.

Related: How to Create the Perfect BDR Plan

The good news is that most managed IT services are very affordable. The bad news is that you don’t have time to compare quotes. You need someone to solve the problem as quickly as possible.

In your rush to revive your system, you may choose a high-priced IT consultant that wants to take advantage of your situation. That person will probably solve your problem, but you’ll spend big bucks on the project.

Calculating the Cost of Downtime for Your Business

It’s relatively easy to talk generally about how expensive downtime is. In reality, downtime affects different companies in unique ways. The cost of downtime depends on factors like how many employees you have, how much of your sales take place online and how much you will have to pay someone to fix the problem.

A basic equation might look something like:

Cost of Downtime = Lost Revenue + Hourly Employee Pay + Recovery Fees

Unfortunately, not all factors related to downtime are easy to quantify. How do you determine the cost of:

  • Losing customers to your competitors.
  • Low employee morale.
  • Customer dissatisfaction.
  • Lost productivity while replying to angry customers.
  • Ripple effects in your supply chain.

No matter how much you think downtime costs your business, you’re probably wrong. The true cost is much higher.

Related: How the Cloud Fits Your Business

Defeating Downtime for Good

Instead of worrying about how much downtime will cost your business, hire an IT company that offers network, business continuity, security and help desk services. Having a team of professionals on your side will help you avoid downtime. If downtime is unavoidable, the team at GB Tech can minimize its impact on your business.

Contact GB Tech to learn more about avoiding downtime and scheduling maintenance outside of busy hours. With the right approach, you can protect your business while your competitors suffer the consequences of unplanned downtime.

How to Create the Perfect BDR Plan

Disasters come in many forms. From cyberattacks to hardware malfunctions, many things can end up taking down the network. Your perfect BDR plan prepares your business for these possibilities.

With a plan in place, everyone will know exactly what to do, you’ll know of the resources on hand, and who they should contact in the emergency. You don’t have a way to guarantee that a disaster never strikes, but the right BDR plan can minimize the impact and risk of the situation.

Start With the Vital Functions of Your Business

Your organization doesn’t need every single system recovered before you can resume operations. Look at the business processes and the infrastructure to see how much needs to come back up before you can resume limited operations.

This bare minimum baseline gives you a target for the recovery process.

Prioritize all of your business processes and systems similarly. It might take some time to get everything running again, but everyone will end up being able to get at least some work done during the process.

List the Available Resources for Disaster Recovery

What resources do you have access to help before, during and after the disaster?

Many of the tools and techniques require specialized knowledge, with a lot of the effort falling on your IT department. Emergency management personnel also play a key role in this process, but you may want to consider keeping a managed services provider on-hand for extra assistance during this stressful period.

Related: How the Cloud Fits Your Business

Keep the BDR budget in mind as well. You can’t schedule the perfect time for a disaster, so you have to account for the increased prices of urgent purchases.

Develop a Business Impact Report

It’s not enough to know that a disaster will negatively affect your business. You need a data-driven report that will explain exactly what gets impacted during various types of emergencies. This report acts as another prioritization tool, as you can address the areas that lose the most money during unexpected downtime first.

Related: Hurricane Harvey and Other Disasters: Why Your Business Needs a BDR Plan

Create a Communication Chain of Command

Miscommunication can lead to a slower recovery process. Everyone involved in the disaster recovery team should know who they need to contact and when. Have backup contacts for each step, so no one misses out on key information. Some disaster recovery and emergency management solutions can automate notifications and information sharing in these situations.

Test and Implement Disaster Recovery Solutions

Your BDR plan may look great on paper, but that doesn’t mean much when you try to restore a backup and it doesn’t have half the data you expect it to. When you implement disaster recovery solutions, have regularly scheduled tests and drills that run everyone through the complete process.

Related: How to Prepare Your Business for Unexpected Disasters

Not only do you ensure that the backups and other solutions work properly, but you also get staff members used to what they should be doing in a time-sensitive emergency.

Frequently Evaluate Your BDR Plan

The BDR plan that you use when your company first started out may not be suitable for your changing business needs a decade later. Review your BDR plan on a regular basis to ensure that recovery priorities are correct and all of the information is up to date. If you add new disaster recovery solutions, update the policies and procedures to account for that.

Did You Know? 21% of small-business owners without a written disaster plan said they don’t have one because it’s not a high priority for them.

Add in a review period following disasters so you can collect feedback and make any changes necessary to the current plan. You don’t want the same problem area coming up each time there’s unexpected downtime.

Disasters may come your company’s way throughout the years, but a strong BDR plan means that you’re ready to minimize the downtime.

Talk to GB Tech

When it comes to planning for disaster recovery, it’s best to plan well in advance. You should trust an expert in backup and disaster recovery to help you create a seamless plan for your business.

Questions? Reach out to us today, and we’ll have all the answers you’ll need.

3 Types of Clouds: Which is Right for You?

If your business doesn’t have a solid plan for backing up data, you’re tempting fate. Not only are your physical hard drives and servers limited by finite space, but if they crash you may be in serious trouble.

Cloud storage is becoming the go-to approach for keeping your data secure and always accessible. The cloud doesn’t require any physical equipment on your side and there are many different platforms and pricing tiers.

In other words, there’s bound to be a cloud service that meets your needs.

The three general types of cloud storage services are public, private and hybrid. But do you know enough about your options?

Find out what makes each cloud setup unique and the pros and cons for business use.

Related: What Does the Modern Cloud Look Like?

Public Cloud

Public cloud storage is owned and operated by a third-party provider, managed in a remote data center and delivered over the internet. You use a subscription service to manage pricing and service levels. Multiple businesses (“tenants”) share these remote resources to efficiently and reliably support applications and data for online, testing and development services.

Pros: Public cloud services are usually very cost-effective because you are sharing costs and maximizing reliability across more servers. You benefit from the latest and greatest technology without having to purchase it, house it, or manage it.

This type of storage is also scalable, so you can buy more as your business grows. Public cloud services have end-to-end encryption to keep your data safe. The off-site data center location gives you extra redundancy for your working and backup data.

Cons: The public cloud service will be owned and operated by a third-party provider, so the terms and conditions could change. That can affect the cost, level of service (storage or bandwidth) or performance you expect.

You are also limited in which data and applications you can locate in the shared public cloud. After all, it’s, not a dedicated environment. You’ll lose a certain amount of control and security with public cloud storage, in exchange for savings and simplicity.

Related: How Does the Cloud Work, and How Does It Benefit Your Business?

Private Cloud

Private cloud storage is just as it sounds: a totally private storage center. The data center can be located on-site at your business or hosted remotely with a service provider, but the equipment and software are not shared with any other entity. Government, financial and healthcare organizations often favor private cloud for their business-critical operations.

Pros: With total control over the infrastructure and application resources, you have increased security and flexibility with a private cloud setup. Private cloud servers are the perfect solution for securing and scaling critical customer and financial systems to meet compliance demands. You can also customize a private cloud to your specific IT requirements.

Cons: With greater control comes greater expense. A private cloud server requires additional  maintenance, whether you pay a provider or hire dedicated staff for the extra oversight. Hosting servers on-site also increases your risk of threat from natural disasters or internal breach.

Related: From Obscurity to Ubiquity: How the Cloud Became A Tech Essential

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud solutions strike a balance between public and private clouds. You can operate certain critical systems on your dedicated server and handle  high-volume, lower-security activity on a remote public server. Many businesses use a public server for general access applications and private cloud storage for daily internal operations and reporting.

Pros: A hybrid cloud model allows you to mitigate the higher cost of a private cloud setup by utilizing public cloud options for less critical applications or data. You can enjoy the efficiency of the public cloud alongside the control of the private option. The hybrid setup also allows for greater operational flexibility. Hyprid clouds do that by balancing or sharing resources during seasonal activity peaks that may temporarily overload private cloud capacity.

Cons: Operating resources across two different environments can make data backup and recovery more complicated depending on how you split your storage. You will also need to monitor multiple security protocols and carefully organize your operational processes to ensure full coverage, performance and availability.

Cloud computing and storage is a convenient and increasingly common way to more effectively manage diverse applications and data for businesses of all sizes. Combined with managed IT services, cloud computing options can create a seamless network solution.

Related: The Managed Services Pre-flight Checklist

What Does the Modern Cloud Look Like?

The evolution of cloud computing has been an incredible thing to watch for businesses. The cloud solutions that are available these days offer benefits in almost every category of business improvement.

Though the technology advances with each passing day, as you’re making business decisions now, it’s important to understand what the world of cloud computing looks like today.

The Current Cloudscape

How are business reacting to cloud solutions? Businesses are taking to the cloud by storm. And with the enormity of solutions available, it’s no wonder that 70% of enterprises will be implementing a multi-cloud strategy by 2019, according to Gartner.

This isn’t just limited to a cloud-based business app here and there. Companies now run 79% of workloads in cloud, which means the power of mobility, connectivity and productivity are translating to a big part of IT strategy.

Major Cloud Providers

While there is a wealth of cloud providers offering an ever-expanding catalog of cloud solutions, the top three have dominated the market and are often the go-to cloud provider for businesses looking ways to scale and improve workflow.

Amazon Web Services

The cloud as a commercial product really begins with Amazon Web Services, giving enterprise and small businesses alike the opportunity to build applications with powerful cloud software and host software platforms for their customers. Clients include Netflix and Expedia.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure offers cloud solutions that interweave seamlessly with its most popular platforms, like Office 365. Azure boasts 90% of Fortune 500 companies on its roster, including Adobe and 3M.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud gives you innovative machine learning, data analytics and more to help businesses harness previously unavailable computing power. Their top clients include Coca-Cola and Spotify.

Types of Cloud Solutions

For many businesses, choosing the type of cloud depends on the needs and goals of the individual business. Cloud access comes in three forms:

Public Cloud

Public cloud offers you the most flexibility in terms of mobility and scalability. With the public cloud, users effectively share access to storage and computing power. Likewise, there is no required management with the public cloud.

Private Cloud

For businesses who want higher security standards, the private cloud gives you sole access to data center servers. There is no sharing, which reduces flexibility but does mitigate risk at a higher level.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud solutions give you an opportunity to utilize both the public and private cloud wherever each is most beneficial. In this circumstance, some of your workflow (like emails) may be in the public sphere for speed and flexibility, while others (like customer data) may stay private for extra security.

Related: The Cloud: Why It’s More Important than Ever

Variety of Applications

The variety of cloud applications is virtually limitless. Businesses looking for scalability may find virtualization in the cloud fulfils those needs. Others looking for business continuity options, too, may find that the cloud gives them the best backup and recovery support choices.


No matter what your business needs may be, there are cloud solutions available to you if you know where to look.

Contact GB Tech today to talk about your cloud options for business.

Learn More: Work More Efficiently from Anywhere with the Cloud

Hurricane Harvey and Other Disasters: Why Your Business Needs a BDR Plan

In August of 2017, the Houston area experienced around 50 inches of rain in a four-day period due to Hurricane Harvey. The storm was devastating. Lives were lost and homes and businesses were destroyed.

Even those businesses that remained physically intact suffered huge losses because they experienced power and data outages, forcing them to shut down. Few companies emerged unscathed, but those companies with a BDR (backup and disaster recovery) plan minimized their losses.

In fact, many of the companies with a plan in place were able to get back to business quite quickly after the rain stopped. This fast response allowed construction companies and other rebuilders to help the entire city recover.

What is a BDR?

A BDR is a detailed plan to recover and restore your data when disaster strikes. A BDR includes multiple strategies, including comprehensive data backup and methods to minimize downtime. A good BDR plan will ensure that your company stays productive during extreme conditions and lets you work even if your office is destroyed.

Related: The Cloud: Why It’s More Important than Ever

How Does a BDR Plan Work?

A BDR plan will typically call for storing copies of files and other data in separate locations. If business computers are damaged or hacked, you can retrieve all of your important information, usually through a cloud service.

Disaster recovery may include recovering a physical or virtual server by using a virtual machine. This process restores files and other data that may have been damaged.

Why You Need a BDR Plan

Every area in the country is vulnerable to some sort of disaster, whether it be weather-related or a result of hacking. Your company needs a BDR for multiple reasons, including the following:


The downtime resulting from a data disaster can put your business in the red or even cause it to close. In fact, downtime costs small businesses up to $8,600 per hour. Though the number grows for larger organizations, the core message is the same – any amount of downtime can be financially devastating to your business.

Inevitable Issues

Your company will face system issues at some point. Hardware and software are prone to failure. Cyberattacks are all too common. Very few businesses exist without at least one major data crisis, and some must endure multiple failures.

In short, your business can’t avoid disasters, but you can plan for them.

Related: 3 of the Worst IT-related Disasters Ever (And What You Can Learn From Them)

Customer Expectations

Customers have little patience for system failure. They have come to expect constant access to your company, often through the internet. If you are not available to meet their needs 24/7, they will find another company that will.

After Hurricane Harvey, many small businesses suffered from terrible physical damage as well as system failures. Six months out from the hurricane, some businesses were still struggling.

Those with a BDR plan were able to quickly resume service again.

No business can afford to function without a clear disaster plan that safeguards their data and their servers. If you do not have a detailed plan, a disaster can put you out of business. If you have not made preparations for a crisis, consult with IT specialists to find out how to get started.

How to Prepare Your Business for Unexpected Disasters

If we learned anything from Hurricane Harvey, it’s that preparation is never regretted. That’s the thing about businesses. We get insurance for loss, like hardware, office space and so on. But the biggest piece, truly, is having a business continuity plan based on data backup. Getting a check from the insurance company is great, but the loss of productivity or the absence of data access can crush your company.

So, how do you prepare your business for unexpected disasters? How do you ensure that your downtime is minimized, and your return to business is quick and efficient?

The answer is in a proper data backup plan that is well-thought-out and covers your hard work with redundancy.

Develop a disaster recovery and business continuity plan.

Your backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan should be a living document that details a number of different elements and procedures. The plan accounts for everything that your business needs to run and proposes contingencies for multiple disaster scenarios, including everything from natural disasters to cyberattacks.

You need to list several things:

  • Your equipment. This includes hardware and software. What model of laptops/desktops and servers do you use? Can they quickly and easily be replaced? What software is essential for your day-to-day business workflow? Are your licenses up to date? If you aren’t already using cloud-based applications can you a new copy of your software be downloaded and installed with ease?
  • Potential disasters. This is a brainstorming session. If a fire or other catastrophic disaster physically wipes out your office, where do you set up shop? How do you replace equipment? How do you get connected to the internet?
  • Your reaction. Who is in charge of what? How does your staff communicate after a big disaster? Who is delegated to what responsibilities? How do we update our clients? Define your key players in recovery.

Related: Data Backups and the Erroneous Behavior of Your Employees

Backup data to highly secure cloud servers.

While on-premise backups are great for local file recovery, true business continuity needs off-site redundancy. Cloud-based data backups are essential these days as it relocates your data away from the disaster that may have downed your business. Modern data centers are often protected from weather and natural disasters, and provide increased levels of both physical and cybersecurity. This means that your data will also be protected by military-grade encryption to ensure that only you may access and initiate retrieval protocols.

Should your backup and recovery include virtualization, your solution can be configured to automatically failover and spin up replicated versions of your lost servers and data. This will enable your team to securely redirect their workflow to the cloud backup and continue working as usual while local office recovery is underway.

68% of small businesses don’t have a written disaster recovery plan. Nationwide

Run frequent, scheduled backups, and test, test, test.

If you don’t test your backups, you must assume you don’t have them. You not only want to have frequent, automated backups (at least every 15 minutes) but you also must test your backups. You never want to wait until it’s too late and find out that a glitch has rendered your data unrecoverable.

Related: Data Loss Disasters: Bad Decisions Revisited

GB Tech and Data Backup Planning

The time to start planning your business continuity is now. With GB Tech, your business has the best opportunity for recovery. Call us today to learn more.

Learn more: Plan to Backup and Restore Your Data ASAP

Data Backups and the Erroneous Behavior of Your Employees

When Hurricane Harvey swept through Houston, it left behind catastrophe, in both lives lost and in at least $125 billion in damages. Twenty seconds in Mexico City in September 2017 was all it took to shake hundreds of businesses to the ground. In California, too, wildfires ravaged 1.2 million acres, destroying more than 10,000 structures and killing hundreds. These kinds of disasters exist all over. And yet, the number one threat to your business’s data is your employees.

So, how are your employees damaging your data backup system? We’ve compiled some of the most common ways employees can release your hard earned data into the world.

Simple Human Error

People make mistakes. This isn’t surprising. And when it comes to technology and data, things can get particularly hairy. If you were in Hawaii this past January, you may have gotten this text: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Whether you sought immediate shelter or a change of pants, you soon realized the ripple effect of human error when the wrong button was pressed during a routine shift change.

Employees can accidentally delete files, move files to unknown locations and more, effectively ballooning downtime for businesses with lax backup protocols. It should be noted that the employees of businesses with strong backup protocols do commit the same errors. However, the more prepared businesses get their data back.

“90% of all cyber claims stemmed from some type of human error or behavior.” – Chief Executive

Leaving the Company

Yes, there are always those times when a disgruntled employee walks out with access to data. When leaving the company, bad feelings could cause any number of circumstances to arise. Ex-employees could access your cloud computing tools and delete files, projects, or tasks. Likewise, access to the network is often through Wi-Fi. A disgruntled employee could sit outside the building and decimate your network files from a mobile phone.

The temperament of the exit is irrelevant. Think: An employee who accessed work email through a home computer could have downloaded plenty of sensitive data onto that computer. You should have protocols in place that eliminate access in entirety, whether the employee is disgruntled or not.

Malicious Intent

Malicious intent could be the big problem with employees who leave the company. But this could also arise with current employees. You obviously don’t want to spend your day giving sidelong glances at employees, but knowing this is a possibility, you want to ensure you have taken the steps to protect your data from bad actors within your organization.

Part of this can come from network architecture and the principle of least privilege. By giving employees access to the least amount of data they need to complete their tasks, you’re well on your way to safeguarding your data.


There are many regulatory bodies that govern business, and keeping in tune with their cybersecurity requirements is a full-time job in itself. But the reasons are pertinent. Much of data loss for businesses could’ve been avoided with due diligence in terms of compliance. But, of course, a good majority of businesses do not maintain adequate compliance measures. In 2018, 90% of firms will receive compliance deficiency letters.

Read Blog: 3 of the Worst IT-related Disasters Ever (and What You Can Learn from Them)

The Business Guide to Surviving the Next Hurricane Harvey (Part Two)

In Part One of our article, we talked about the devastating impact that Hurricane Harvey had on businesses in the Houston area. We also explained how developing a business continuity plan, complete with how the three essential elements of operational recovery sites, data backup and communications, can help save your business when disaster strikes.

Today, we’re going over more ways to stop business interruption, with a big focus on 3 questions you need to answer when you are working with your managed services provider (MSP) to prepare your business continuity plan.

1. Do you have a cloud solution in place?

Now that you know how important it is to back up your data, you’re probably wondering how to go about doing so. If you don’t already have one or more cloud solutions in place, that should be one of your first steps.

A recent study found that 90% of organizations use the cloud in some way, with 50% using cloud services as their preferred solution. We could write an entire paper on the benefits of cloud services (and we’ll get to that soon), but one of the major benefits you’re looking at is the ability for the cloud to keep your business running as a primary and/or backup server.

Your data should also have a physical backup, but with the cloud, you will be operational in minimal time.

2. Do you understand how important it is to eliminate downtime?

When disaster shuts down your business, you immediately start losing money. A recent ITIC survey finds that 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000. Even if your business is doing very well, no business owner or decision maker looks at a $100,000 loss with a big smile. And that’s just one hour.

When you extrapolate those figures over the days, weeks, months it sometimes takes an ill-prepared business to become operational, it’s easy to see why 60 percent of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyberattack.

3. Are you prepared for mobile operations?

Over 70% of businesses are permitting, or planning to soon permit, employees to use their own devices for work purposes. The rise of the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend can definitely work in your favor if you need to shift quickly to operating out-of-office. You must, however, ensure that your data is secure across platforms.

When building your business continuity plan, you also want to work with your MSP to create a network that adapts to a mobile environment. Cybersecurity should never take a backseat to business continuity. There’s no reason these two can’t work hand-in-hand to minimize data loss and optimize productivity.

GB Tech Will Stop Business Interruption in 15 Minutes or Less

Here at GB Tech, we will work with your business to create a business continuity plan that guarantees minimal business interruption, and enables your business to be operational in 15 minutes or less.

We believe in Houston business and we are happy to share more specific information about how to keep your business going in the event of a disaster.

Please reach out to GB Tech to learn more. You can contact us anything, anytime.

Business Guide to Surviving the Next Hurricane Harvey (Part One)

For many people in our great nation, 2017 was a very tough year. That is particularly true of our friends, family and colleagues here in Houston and the surrounding areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. With respect and interest in further helping the professionals and businesses involved, we have created a short guide to stopping business interruption in the event of another catastrophic event.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the Category 4 hurricane did over $125 billion in damage. Thousands of businesses were forced to close temporarily due to the disaster, and many closed permanently. Not only were people out of house and home, but many had no job to return to after recovery got underway.

We would like to share some essential information that will help your business survive in the event of a disaster. Here’s how to stop business interruption in its tracks:

You Need a Business Continuity Plan

A business continuity plan is just that, a plan to ensure that your business continues to operate in the event of a disaster. This internally developed document outlines the key individuals and their roles in initiating a step-by-step procedure to keep your business operational regardless of the series of events that may have occurred. This plan will be the framework for surviving beyond any disaster, and it will provide a reference point for training your employees in best practices and business resilience.

The specifics of your business continuity plan will vary to some degree based on your business, the geographic location of your employees, and the nature of the disaster. Here are some of the key areas that all plans must address.


Once you are confident that your data is being safely backed up, you then have to address operational procedures to continue serving customers. Your business continuity plan should always include a list of responsibilities and delegations so that you can be up and running as soon as possible.

After connecting with your team to make sure that everyone is safe, you’ll probably wonder how your employees will get back to work once their physical systems are no longer available. Many businesses at this point will create a business recovery site as an official base of operations.

Business recovery sites can range from skeletal offices with basic internet access and a few desks to fully operational offices that basically mimic the original site’s functionality down to computer hardware and amenities.

No matter what type of site you can afford to invest in, you’ll want to make sure that you have some sort of operational backup in mind.

Your recovery site, or even your remote worker recovery plan, can be organized by your managed services professional so that it fits the security standards already in place within your current network configurations.

Data Backup

When something as strong as a hurricane strikes your business, there’s little doubt that the physical hardware within your office will be compromised. If you have not backed up your data, then you will most likely lose all of the data that is essential to running your business, especially if your business systems are located at or below ground level.

Most data backup solutions will include a combination of backing up your data to additional local servers, as well as a cloud solution that will maintain copies of all your data in an off-site location unaffected by current issues to keep it safe from any potential data loss due to physical damage.

You would be surprised how often, even without a natural disaster, business owners lose data due to hardware failure. In the USA, historically about 140,000 hard drives fail every week.

Your physical infrastructure, including your server and other IT-related technology, is important and should always be updated to meet the demands of your business. That being said, it is still the data stored on your systems that is most important to running your business. You don’t want, and can’t afford, to lose that data.


A successful business continuity plan will always include communication protocols. It’s important that both your employees and customers know who to turn to for leadership and support.

For your employees, make sure that you have a dedicated line established that they can call for detailed business continuity instructions. Don’t rely on live information, because you will find that one person answering the phones is not adequate for the multiple people requesting information.

For your customers, you want to prepare a series of messages and a delivery schedule to make sure that they are alerted, informed and reassured that despite any possible disaster, you will be operational and open for business and they can know what to expect.

Stop Business Interruption in 15 Minutes or Less

Here at GB Tech, we will work with your business to create a business continuity plan that not only guarantees minimal business interruption but also will have you operational in 15 minutes or less.

We believe in Houston businesses and we are happy to share more specific information about how to keep your business going in the event of a disaster.

Please reach out to GB Tech to learn more. You can contact us about anything, any time.