KingsBridge Blog

“One is none.”

dive-light

Those were the words my first SCUBA instructor spoke when I challenged him as to why he wanted me to buy ANOTHER light for our first night dive. I already had a light- a good one, an expensive one, and I didn’t understand why I should spend more money on a light that I’d probably never use.

“Odds are, I’ll never even need the thing.”, was my response.

“It’s not the odds, it’s the stakes. What if it’s the one-in-a-million defective unit? What if you drop it? Bring two, so you know you’ll always have one.”

That set me back a couple of minutes. I was new to the sport of scuba diving, he was a grand-master, and I didn’t want to make waves (pardon the pun), so- I took his advice and bought a second light, made sure it had new batteries for that first night dive.

You can probably guess what happened. At the deepest part of the dive, as far from the boat as we could get, my light died- right? No, not at all. My primary light performed flawlessly on the dive, and for about another 80 dives after that. I really didn’t need to rush out and buy a back-up for that first dive after all.

But On the 81st dive, that back-up light was worth its weight in gold, 10 times over.

My instructor didn’t think I’d need to go to the back-up light on that dive in particular, but he knew that someday I’d need it, and he was right. I’m glad I listened to him. I spent a bit of money and a bit of time making sure that back-up light was with me on every dive, and basically forgot about it, until I needed it.

Business Continuity planning is a lot like that. Odds are, you’ll never need 75% of the response actions you’ve poured hours into planning and testing, not to mention the money your organization poured into the hardware/cloud side of things. But- when that one-in-a-million time rolls around, the time and money are a fraction of the cost that would be incurred if you hadn’t made those investments.

That’s where the similarities between SCUBA and BCP end. I invested in a reliable plan and hardware because my “boss”, told me to. You’re in the opposite boat- You know that your organization needs to make those investments of both time and money, but you can’t force upper management’s hand.

We can help. After 30+ years in the business of helping companies get their plans in order, we have some ideas on how you can get the internal support you need.

Or- just send your boss for a night dive with me. I’ve got an old dive-light lying around here somewhere that he can borrow. But he only gets one.

What’s going to be different in six months?

We’ve all had a couple of weeks to catch up after DRJ SpringWorld. If you could hit the fast-forward button and land at DRJ FallWorld in September, what would you like to say you’ve accomplished in those six months? The clock is already ticking!

Being an exhibitor at the DRJ Spring/Fall shows gives us a great understanding of what people are doing with their DR/BC planning. Some of you (you’re in the minority!) are continually evolving and improving your plans- Kudos to you!

However…

Many of the people we met at SpringWorld, and FallWorld before that, and at shows in years gone by, continue to struggle with the same two challenges they’ve been facing for years.

No budget: With no buy-in from the C-Suite, the financial support won’t be there. This means not enough people engaged in BC/DR planning, and/or no software to make the process easier.

No people: Tied to the money above, lack of dedicated personnel is one of the most common obstacles to developing and maintaining a solid plan. It’s a long, detailed process, and it can be too much for the one person who drew the short straw at the management meeting and wound up with the entire company’s recovery fate in their hands.

As a result- efforts drop off, and the plan stagnates.

So how do you overcome the roadblocks? Doing something is better than doing nothing.

“Preach the Gospel!” Maybe it’s not even about the plan itself- document why you’re stalled in the planning process and make upper management aware of how vulnerable your organization is as a result. It won’t help when you’re hit with a business interruption (note: that’s a “when”, not an “if”), but it at least raises the priority level a notch and gets you that much closer to gaining the financial and human support you need. (and covers your tail when the inevitable post-incident questions start)

Make a wish-list: What do you need?

  • People? Build a case for the staff you need: From within, or do you need to hire? How many? How senior/junior? What skills/knowledge should they have? Have your requirements ready, in writing so you can strike while the iron is hot.
  • Software? Do your research. Commit to scheduling a free demo of a planning tool once a month, every month, until you have the budget to buy. Again- you want to be well-informed and able to make the right choice when the purse-strings open up.

So- back to the headline…. What’s going to be different in six months?   Will you do some of the small (and most achievable) steps, or will you throw up your hands and put it on the back-burner until you can get everything you want, all at once? That could be a long wait.

“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” One of my favorite sayings, it captures the idea that too often we don’t bother doing anything because it just won’t be perfect.

Make some steps toward “Good”, and you’ll be surprised how close you get to “Perfect” in less time than you think.

We’ll see you at DRJ FallWorld, and we’ll ask what you’ve done since SpringWorld. There, you’ve been warned!

KingsBridge Welcomes Chuck Norris!

3034_chuck_norris

For immediate release:

KingsBridge Disaster Recovery today announced they are welcoming Chuck Norris, 6-time World Professional Middleweight Karate Champion and movie star, to their executive team.

The surprise recruiting move shocked many in the Business Continuity industry, but anyone inside the company would tell you that Mr. Norris was the most logical person to add to the C-Level at KingsBridge.

Chris Whitten, Software Developer, explains it from a technical perspective: “Our Shield SaaS tool is one of the best out there. Between the security protocols we’ve put in place, and our own proprietary encrypted-at-rest database in the back end, Shield is more secure than the online banking portals people use every day. However- we did find, through a recent 3rd-party independent penetration test, that we were still quite vulnerable to a team of ninjas rappelling down from a helicopter. That’s where Chuck comes in.”

Mr. Norris was not hired just for what he brings to software development.  His skills will complement an already strong team of consultants in the Professional Services side.

Melanie “TexMex” McCormack, Senior BC/DR consultant, had this to say about adding Mr. Norris to the consulting side of KingsBridge: “We’re in our 32nd year of writing BC/DR plans for a huge range of organizations, and as a result we’re very good at what we do. But, even though our Skip Williams was named North American Business Continuity Consultant of the Year by the Business Continuity Institute last year, he still can’t be relied on to land a knock-out roundhouse kick on the jaw of an escaping drug-lord; he’s only 3 out of 5 in those situations. Chuck will give us the 100% take-down rate we’ve been looking for.

When asked for his thoughts on making the jump from show business to Business Continuity, Mr. Norris had this to say:

“Happy April Fool’s Day!”

You guys went WHERE?

What do KingsBridge and Pitbull have in common? We’re both WORLD-WIDE!

People are often surprised at the amount of ground we cover in a given year.  Back in November, Skip and Tamara were in San Francisco, Melanie was in Fort Worth, Texas, and Steve was in Kuujjuaq (for all intents & purposes- the North Pole, look it up!).  January saw Skip and Tam in Barbados, while Melanie was in London, Ontario, Canada.  This month, we’ll all be together at the DRJ SpringWorld show in Orlando to hear Skip speak at one of the Sunday afternoon sessions, but only after Skip and Tam get back from New York and Steve returns from… Kuujjuaq.

sled_Dogs

Sled Dogs in Kuujjuaq, Quebec

Looking ahead, we’ll have projects in Hong Kong and London England, and Steve will be going to…Kuujuaq for the 3rd phase of that project.  It’s going to be a busy year, with a lot of frequent flyer points stacking up!

Aside from the obvious perks of being able to see a lot of the world, all this travel means that we are continually adding to our experience and knowledge base, which results in even more value that we can bring to the table when we’re helping you develop your Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity (DR/BC) plan.  Steve likely didn’t spend a lot of time discussing the problem of how to keep the server room properly chilled, and likewise- Skip & Tam didn’t put a lot of focus on planning for a three-foot snowfall when working with our Biotech client in San Francisco.

Over the past 31 years, we’ve been just about everywhere and we’ve seen & heard just about everything.

(Sidebar:  In conversation with the CFO of a blazingly successful Ad Agency in California we asked about their insurance policies and if there were any challenges.  His response:  “Well, last year we sent a chicken into outer space, took a while to get insurance for that.” True story.)

alcatraz

Alcatraz Island, as seen from the Swirl.net offices.

That wealth of experience means we come to the table with a lot of proven ideas & solutions, but we’re also there with open eyes & ears ready to learn what sets you apart from everyone else, it’s a two-way knowledge exchange that results in a better DR/BC plan for you.

So, whether you’re in the sun or the snow, we’d love to work with you and we likely have experience with the same challenges and opportunities you deal with on a daily basis.

Give us a call, we can’t wait to see your part of the world!  Oh- and if you’re from somewhere warm, Steve’s extension is 399, he’d LOVE to hear from you.

What a DISASTER!

You’re probably reading this because you follow websites and social media around Disaster Recovery.  So, you’re expecting a write-up about best practices and advice on how to plan for the inevitable business interruption, right?

Well, KingsBridge has decided that this year we’re going to remind anyone who will listen that even though we’re in the business of planning for the worst- we should all still live for the best!

Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, we hope you’re keeping your DR/BC plan up to date with a software tool like our KingsBridge Shield.  The rest of the time- we hope you’re living it up and enjoying the world, knowing that your DR/BC plan is ready, but out of sight.

In the spirit of that, we’re promoting #KDRLife, celebrating everything you enjoy as a result of not worrying what the world is going to throw at you.  So, we want to congratulate you for getting out there and doing what you love.  More than that, we want to see & hear what you do in your free time.  Catch is, you have to tie-in Disaster Recovery when you tell us about it…

Love skiing or snowboarding?  Great!  Tweet us (@KingsBridgeDR) a pic of your best wipe-out with the hashtags #KDRLife and #WhatADisaster.  Once a week, for the duration of the contest, we’ll pull a name from whoever’s tweeted a “Disaster” that week and they’ll win a pair of Ryders Sunglasses.  At the end of the contest, when Spring starts to appear, we’ll draw one name for the grand prize of a Snowboard.  Doesn’t have to be a snowboarding wipe-out.  In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a winter wipeout- Surfing? Checking the mail?  Walking your dog?  Come on, there are all kinds of “wipe-outs”, and yours might be the winner even if it didn’t happen on a mountain.  You can’t win if you don’t tweet. So tweet!

What’s so special about the snowboard?  For starters, it’s a LibTech custom, with #KDRLife emblazoned on the base.  Oh, and there is the fact that it was surfed through EPIC snow in the Rockies by a guy named Brett Tippie.  Don’t know who he is?  Google him, but be ready to lose a few hours.

So, the PLAN is:

1) You relax because your DR/BC plan is in great shape, so you can do anything you want.

2) Do anything you want.

3) Take pics! (Ideally of ski/snowboard wipeouts, or surfing, skateboarding, mall escalators) anywhere you can crash during your “You” time.

4) Tweet it.  Send out a tweet mentioning @KingsBridgeDR and the hashtags #KDRLife & #WhatADisaster

No limit on the number of times you can enter, just keep the pics and smiles coming!

Follow @KingsBridgeDR on twitter to catch the announcement of the weekly and Grand Prize Winners, both of which could be YOU!

Then- go back to work Monday and make sure your DR/BC plan is in good shape so you can take another shot at winning #KDRLife!

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