No one wants to hear it, but I will say it anyway: Summer is gone, Jack!

Yeah, yeah, I know we officially have one month left, but who are you kidding? Many kids in the country are already back to school or preparing themselves, most vacations are winding down and the weather in the Northeast has been downright Autumnish (is that even a word?).

And you know what that means? Hurricane season is coming up fast. Do I have to remind you what happened during last year’s hurricane season? Superstorm Sandy tore through the East Coast, creating record damage that still is being repaired, almost a year later.

So the big question is, what have you as a solution provider done during the past year to better equip your customers to handle a catastrophic event, either a man-made or natural disaster? With hurricane season nearly upon us, are you comfortable that your customers have a well thought-out storage, recovery and business continuity plan? And let’s be honest folks, all three of these areas carry the same weight, and focusing on one area and not the others is not sufficient.

The VAR Guy is actually hosting a webcast on this very subject on Sept. 5. Be sure to tune in.

I used to have this conversation with Oli Thordarson, CEO of Alvaka Networks, frequently. While businesses focus on secure and diverse storage needs due to the influx of data coming into their organizations, they sometimes don’t emphasize the recovery part of the equation or completely ignore the continuity piece. What good is all the data if you can’t retrieve it efficiently in the wake of a disaster? How does that business operate? It’s like having a safe full of cash but not the combination to get it.

Ok, so maybe your customers have enough storage and have even been utilizing the cloud to a degree and can get access to their date remotely and securely if the main office is down.  What about business continuity? Technology investments only go so far without a strong business deployment plan. Many companies learned that the hard way during the early ears of ERP and CRM rollouts.

Who can work remotely? Where can employees gather? Who is in charge and what is the succession plan in case managers can’t be reached?

The entire point of a disaster recovery strategy is to make sure businesses can still operate with minimal impact to customers in the event of a disruption. Yes, storage is important. Yes, recovery is important. But those two alone without a clear business continuity plan mean very little. Solution providers can play a major role influencing their customers to have a complete strategy.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to talk to your customers about a comprehensive storage/disaster recovery/business continuity plan. The mean season is coming fast and it’s time for solution providers to help their customers batten down the hatches, if they haven’t done so already.

Knock 'em alive!