That Light Bulb Moment
How many of us descend into clichés when we think of Australia? A wonderful climate, beautiful coastline and always-on barbeque are attractive to the visitor. Balancing this wonder and to save us from becoming too jealous the Australians do have to put up with a few inconveniences such as snakes, spiders and the occasional fridge light.
Sounds strange but a faulty fridge light has been diagnosed as the reason why an area in Northern Victoria has been suffering from an intermittent phone signal for weeks. With static on the line and widespread drop outs plaguing the citizens of Wangaratta telephone technicians finally traced the problem to a faulty fridge light.
Apparently the light was emitting static which was interfering with the radio signal which carried the calls. Once the light was disconnected the interference stopped and in true Australian cliché style a telephone company spokes person was quoted as saying the fridge owner could still “have his cold beer”.
Whilst this story makes us smile it does have its serious side. When we are used to keeping in touch, we never can be totally certain that something out of the ordinary could come along and disrupt our business. We may anticipate major disasters such as a fire or a server break down but the little things such as a faulty piece of equipment or a cable being dug up in error can still cause major disruption. That is why the Government is so keen for businesses of all sizes to have a business continuity plan in place.
Business continuity planning can be one of those thankless tasks which you hope you never need to call on. But many businesses do find that the simple act of producing a plan can spotlight a process or procedure which if changed now can save the organisation time and money. And unfortunately for businesses without a plan, when something goes wrong it is too late.
One of the key planks to any continuity plan is to secure alternate communication lines. Being able to talk with or leave messages for employees, clients and suppliers makes the recovery more certain. Simple steps such as arranging alternate phone lines, switching calls, answerphone messaging and call recording can make a tremendous difference to the way in which the business is able to deal with the immediate aftermath of the disaster and to get back on its feet. We never know what is just around the corner but with a continuity plan in place that light bulb moment may not be such as disaster after all.