World Backup Day

I learned today that March 31 is World Backup Day.

Who knows who decided this.  Who cares.  It’s the day before April Fools Day.  Maybe that is it.

A backup is a part of a plan.  I do not care about the backup.  I care that when the really bad stuff happens, that you can get back into business quickly.

Here’s what I think every CEO should do Monday morning.  Walk into your IT department at 10:00 AM and announce that you, by CEO edict, are declaring a computer crash.  Declare an impromptu drill to review what data you have, what data is backed up, and what could possibly go wrong.

Get your whole team together unannounced and walk through what you would lose and what you would do.

A computer-crash is not going to send you a memo today telling you that Monday you will not be able to access your data.

This may be the most important thing you have done this year.  It could prevent the total annihilation of your business.

As you go through this exercise, push people to tell you where the weaknesses are in your disaster recovery plan.  Don’t accept someone telling you it is there.  Have them prove it to you.

Create a word processing document on your computer today.  Delete it tomorrow and have your IT people show you that they can get it back on Monday.

If you have a hot site, send everyone to the hot site.  If it isn’t ready for such an exercise, then it really isn’t a hot site (perhaps a luke-warm site?).  No system is foolproof, and you will not know the holes unless you test them.  Make your people prove to you that the plan works.  Make them show you.

No reports.  Show me the data!  If you don’t understand computers and how IT does what they do, make them explain it.  If they can’t explain it, they dont understand it.

So, March 31 is World Backup Day.  April 2 is “World Figure Out How To Use Your Backup Day.”