JMARK Flood – A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through ItIt is funny how things are sometimes pictured in the news and how rumors fly in the public eye, we saw things like:

  • “Flooding causes evacuation of JMARK.” Actually we couldn’t even get in the building until water receded in the late hours of Sunday night.
  • “I am standing here at JMARK in 3 feet of water.” That one was fun, since the water at the most was 3 or so inches inside.
  • “All the cars were destroyed.” Still waiting on the final assessment, but yes a large number of vehicles were destroyed, but not all. That’s OK, employees have cars and 98.2% of our tickets are solved remotely.

There was more, but we cherish and welcome anything we can hear so that we can get in front of it. We know there are concerns, so that is why we are trying to maintain communication with our clients and employees, as well as the media.

Here are a few concerns we heard that we want to address:

  1. Is client data secure? Abso-freaking-utely. SOC, change management, and security is being addressed throughout this recovery process. It is being addresses at beginning and not after. Our security and logging is tight and continues as status quo.
  2. Is JMARK going to have to get a new office? We really don’t know yet until final assessments are made by assessors and clean-up crews. Whether we move temporarily or continue working remotely does not really matter, what matters is that operations continue to function. Today I received so many emails that had absolutely nothing to do with the disaster recovery efforts. This was a sign to me that business as usual is happening.
  3. Is my project going to be delayed? If you have a project that is scheduled with JMARK, we are doing everything we can to make sure things are running as scheduled. This is not an after-thought. The biggest delay will happen if any equipment that was allocated to a project was damaged in the flood. We are working today and tomorrow to determine that with our assessor.
  4. Is service going to be delayed? So far we are not seeing any delays in service. We are working hard from every corner of JMARK to make sure clients are put first, even as recovery efforts are underway.
  5. Is JMARK data about our account damaged or lost? Not a single dot or tittle is lost or in jeopardy. Every core system is operational and working as expected.

We appreciate the well wishes, the patience, and all those supporting us. As a client though, please don’t ever feel like you come second to a disaster, that is just not the case. Let us know how we can serve you and if there are any concerns.

For questions related to the flood, please send an email to JMARK@jmark.com with the subject of “Flood.”

Thank you and please let us know if there is anything you want to hear about.

Warmly,
Todd Nielsen
Chief Strategy Officer
tnielsen@jmark.com

JMARK Floats on by The Flood

memeIt has been a pretty blessed 24 hours at JMARK. First we had this cool river suddenly appear all around the office. It was like we were in our own little island.

Then water seeped into our island, and ruined most of our furniture. Turns out it was more like a boat with a leak. But it’s like Christmas all over again, we now get new furniture.

Had a few computers get a little water damage, the employees were so sad to hear they would be getting new computers.

We decided that we should do something nice for our employees, so we let them all work from home.

There was so much excitement that we had a “party” at the office all night, the party spread to the people working from home too, how cool is that?

That wasn’t enough, so in the morning we decided to give a gift to our clients, hold time that increased by… zero percent, along with dedicated staff at their beck and call.

You want to know how we turned this lemon into lemonade? We planned for it. JMARK has developed a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan as part of our SOC II audit, that is updated every 3 to 6 months. In that plan we detail out every scenario, configuration, procedures, people, vendors, contact information, and more… to guide us in any scenario.

Impact to the Operations

Everything is still secure, and our constant focus is still on our clients. We have to replace some equipment and furniture, but our planning and infrastructure make it easy for our employees to work from home, and of course our logging and security is still in place no matter where our employees work, so client security is always a priority.

What Controls are in Place

JMARK has a multitude of policies, processes, procedures, plans and controls in place to ensure that we maintain our business operations. Last night at 9:06 PM I sent an email out to our Executive Team, the Information Technology Steering and Security Committee, as well as a number of individuals that are dictated to be informed of the plan activation. This activation of the DR plan came after certain controls were triggered, which set in motion dozens of people working harmoniously to ensure the continuity of operations.

Anticipated Time Frame to When Normal Operations Resume

Our clients should not experience anything outside of their normal JMARK experience, other than maybe a cat or a dog in the background while on the phone with an employee working from home. I can’t lie and say everything will be perfect, but we are doing everything we can to keep it business as usual. Some clean-up work has to happen at our office and new furniture and other stuff procured. We do not know when this will all happen, but promise to continue to communicate and let everyone know how things are going. Tickets can continue to be put in the same they always have.

We are thankful that 100% of our employees are safe and accounted for. Thank you for the support, and please let us know how we can continue to server you better.

For questions related to the flood, please send an email to JMARK@jmark.com with the subject of “Flood.”

Todd Nielsen
Chief Strategy Officer
tnielsen@jmark.com

Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery – Are You Prepared?

Business Continuity – IT Services – Technology

Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery – What’s the Difference? Every business venture will eventually have obstacles they encounter that could potentially destroy their business. The question though, is are you going to prepare for them?business continuity

In order to know how to prepare for obstacles and make an informed decision about what is the best option for your company – on any particular problem – you need to understand the different options. In terms of data loss, whether it comes from a natural disaster, fire, theft, or something else; it’s important to understand the differences between business continuity and disaster recovery, and how using either one can affect your investment and productivity when you have a data loss encounter.

The Main Difference Between Recovery and Business Continuity:

In Southern Missouri, one of the things we deal with during the spring and summer months are tornadoes. If you had disaster recovery in place for your data, and a tornado hit your business and destroyed it, then disaster recovery would protect you data. Once your insurance paid for replacement computers and servers, we would be able to restore your data to that hardware.

If you had business continuity in place, even though your business place was destroyed, your data would be almost instantly available to continue operations, albeit possibly at a different location. Think of business continuity as the precautionary measures already set up so that business can continue operating.

The main difference between these methods is that business continuity is a plan of action for any obstacles that could prevent business from continuing, while disaster recovery is just the restoration of data once you have the equipment to access the data.

Business Continuity

The idea of business continuity requires that you have a plan and a set of guidelines to follow, so that when problems inevitably arise, they can be dealt with and production can continue in an orderly fashion.  There are three components to business continuity:

  1.  Resilience: A functioning business structure needs to be resilient in the case of data interruption. This calls for alternate locations and equipment if current equipment is destroyed. Functions and infrastructure should be designed for business to continue operating during disruptions.
  2.  Recovery: In the event that a disaster does happen and information goes missing, there should be a process to recover information, to alternate equipment or to the cloud.
  3.  Contingency: Before production ever starts there must be contingencies in place for varying aspects of business continuation. This might include: temporary staffing, staff working from homes or remotely, Contractors might need to be setup to provide needed services to your customers, and many other things. This is the backup plan and the goal should be for business to resume as soon as possible, potentially within hours, not days.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery can be considered a sub-set of the business continuity plan.  The idea is that after a disaster has occurred, IT Services can be depended on to regroup information and restructure the IT side of the business.

Disaster Recovery could be thought of as the technical business functionality plan, dealing with hardware and data; while business continuity would be a fully encompassing plan that deals with every aspect of business operations and continuity of people being able to work. In these days. people are reliant on computers, so continuity.

Summary

It’s up to you to prepare your business for success. When it comes to technology, its up to us to help you explain what you need to do. Contact us today to learn more about IT Services, Technology how we can help in your business recovery and business continuity preparation.