What the Big Game Teaches Us About Preparation

By Adam Burnham | January 30, 2017

Let’s own up to this right up front: as a Boston-based company, we’re big fans of the New England Patriots – even more so than before, as our former intern Malcom Mitchell, is on the team now and looking to put a great cap on a great rookie season.

With the Big Game on the horizon, it got us to thinking about what business lessons could be learned from what it took for both New England and Atlanta to rise above the rest of the competition this season. The common thread? Preparation.

Being prepared for any eventuality; recognizing the possibilities and making sure you have best practices and systems set up to solve any potential problem right away. That’s something these teams excel at – and something you need to apply to each and every aspect of your business.

Your company’s data and applications are critical to it operating correctly. If there are any lapses in availability, short or long, then your business is no longer operating as it should – and you’re either upsetting customers or losing money. Preparation is key to ensuring your company’s critical data and information is protected.

Being prepared means having a well thought out and continually tested disaster recovery plan. Just as the teams in the Big Game have spent countless hours researching what plays their opponents could call and practicing to defend against them, you need to test that disaster recovery plan on a regular basis, constantly making updates as needed for the newest potential problems your business could face. In fact, following any downtime incidents – big or small – teams should immediately review their disaster recovery plans to see what worked and what didn’t – and make adjustments as necessary.

But practicing and updating isn’t enough. How would these teams do if that information was only shared with a single player or coach? Maybe they’d be fine, unless something happens to that player or coach – and then everyone remaining on the field would be scrambling to defend without the proper preparation. Communication is key on any team. Communicating protocol in the event of a disaster with all IT personnel is something your business has to do.

But that’s not all. As you look to set up your disaster recovery playbook, here’s a couple of key plays to lead off with:

The Quarterback Audible: Having a clear chain of command is critical. Know who is calling the plays and when, so that employees can continue to work and receive critical information throughout an incident – and customer data can remain secure as well.

Play-Action Fake: On-premise disaster recovery plans are a good place to start, but incorporating the cloud has become a must. Whether public, private or hybrid, high performance cloud solutions need to be leveraged, as they help ensure scalable, reliable and secure disaster recovery no matter what the other team throws at you.

Next Man Up: You need to be able to rely on your disaster recovery plan – and the solutions you’ve chosen – 100 percent of the time. Storage must be accessible 24/7, 365 days a year – and it has to be relatively easy to access. You don’t have time to teach a rookie the entire playbook in times of a disaster.

Drafting Well: Can your disaster recovery plan grow with you? If you add more players to your team and increase the size of your roster, and eventually your stadium, is your plan still valid? Will your partners and your solutions grown and expand as your team does? It’s important to plan for the game in front of you – but remember it’s a business, and you need to plan for the next year, the next 3 years, and so on.

Are you looking for help in preparing your business to be disaster-proof? Know you need to be better prepared, but not sure where to start? Give us a call at 617-451-6464, or email us anytime at info@markleygroup.com and we’d be happy to help you plan out your playbook.

And go Pats!