By James Trevelyan, VP of Enterprise and Emerging Markets at Speedcast
Despite the preparations that enterprises worldwide put into place, nature will always be a force to be reckoned with. The economic and operational losses caused by these natural disasters can drastically overwhelm unprepared businesses.
A well-documented 2015 report from the IT Disaster Recover Preparedness (DRP) Council found that a single hour of network downtime can amount to up to $8,000 in losses for small businesses escalating up to $700,000 for large companies.
This, coupled with the fact that according to FEMA, between 40-60% of small businesses that suffer a disaster never reopen their doors, and 90% of small businesses that don’t reopen within five days of the catastrophe fail within a year makes business continuity critical. With potential loss amounts that great, enterprises of all sizes need to ensure that they have a sustainable disaster recovery plan in place.
Satellite communications can make every second count
During times of disaster recovery and critical incident response, businesses need to be able to restore critical communications quickly and efficiently to continue operations.
Satellite communications have long been a viable means of providing back-up communications to enterprises worldwide, particularly in areas where all other networks are no longer serviceable due to the disaster.
As more low-earth orbit (LEO) and high throughput satellites (HTS) continue to come online, satellite communications are set to become faster and even more reliable – offering companies across all industries a way to establish easy-to-deploy communications almost anywhere in the world.
Turning the concept into reality
Disaster recovery response teams understand how quickly situations can change during a natural disaster and are increasingly becoming aware of the benefits of remote connectivity driven by satellite technology to speed up their activities and get them back online.
Natural and other disasters of all kinds can have a detrimental impact on an enterprise and its daily operations, and at a time of unprecedented uncertainty, businesses need to get back up and running as quickly as possible to keep operations ticking and for the community around them to recover.
After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, satellite technology was instrumental in restoring voice and data communications to several businesses affected by the disaster. The back-up of these communications networks allowed supply chain orders for home and building materials to continue even with the absence of terrestrial communications, something that was desperately needed following the disaster.
However, it is not just natural disasters that require assistance from disaster response teams and next-generation communication technologies. In the hectic days following the September 11 terrorist attacks on America, disaster recovery communications systems were a critical lifeline for hospitals that had been without data communication lines since the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
Within 24 hours, engineering teams had provided and installed a transportable satellite earth station, including a 2.4-meter antenna for initial check-out, and worked with the hospital to quickly develop the network design and offer availability again.
Preparing for the unexpected
As technology advances and satellite communication becomes faster and even more reliable, disaster recovery operations and business continuity will become more streamlined and tactical than ever before.
For enterprises to be able to succeed following a natural or other disaster they need to have a comprehensive overview of all the pieces of their networks and how they all fit together.
There are no shortcuts to disaster recovery and business continuity, by adopting solutions with layers of capability including design and engineering, procurement, systems integration and operations, field service and support, businesses will be more equipped to plan ahead for the unplanned emergencies to come.