Businesses in the Holborn area of London are still experiencing much disruption a week after the event occurred.

Businesses ground to a complete halt when the fire broke out due to an electrical fault and many of these are still unable to work – despite the flames long since dying down.

The fire had raged beneath the street, wreaking havoc on electrical and gas supplies, resulting in the evacuation of many businesses. Damage to the infrastructure these businesses rely on means that many are completely unable to work, or are severely limited in the work they can do.

Staff have had to go back to working with pen and paper in some cases, and others have no contact with the outside world whilst they wait to be reconnected.

It begs the question, why did these businesses not adequately prepare for this kind of situation with robust disaster recovery solutions, and a well documented business continuity plan?

It could have been worse

Luckily, the office buildings were not damaged, so the in-house equipment many of these businesses run from was unaffected – aside from lacking power. Data, whilst not currently accessible, is not lost.

The impact has been severe enough with productivity grinding to a complete halt. Businesses have experienced loss of revenue, lack of efficiency, high costs while they pay employees to do nothing and loss of reputation amongst clients.

However, it could have been so much worse. A fire in an office building would wipe out data irreversibly for businesses that are not adequately protected. The usual consequence of something like this happening is that the business eventually has to close its doors.

One of Netstar’s clients, who wish to remain un-named, were caught in the blaze and ordered to evacuate. Thanks to our disaster recovery plan, all of their staff have been working as usual, off of their remote backup site. Their clients are none the wiser.

Business Continuity and Reducing Risk is an Issue that Business Leaders Must Recognise

If you are still not adequately preparing your business for disaster, you are sitting on a ticking time bomb.