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Contingency Planning, Not Just for IT

Contingency Planning, Not Just for IT

Contingency planning seems unnecessary — until it is needed.

This week’s discussion was prompted by Tim’s nanny calling out a few days in a week due to weather conditions and inevitable sick time off. While the time off was understandable he and his wife decided it was time to work out a contingency plan, much like what we do here at the company in the event of a surprise technical issue.

We work hard to maintain solid uptime stats (99.9%+). If you click the link you’ll see a detailed history of incidents and how we handle them in real time.

Our Plan A is to Plan for Surprises

Contingency planning is only as valuable as the systems in place to manage it.

A good plan needs to consider all parts of the business. For example, the plans extend to data security, data privacy, and business operations.

Speaking strictly of OpenWater’s technical contingency plan, we’ve focused on the following:

  1. System-wide, continuous backup
  2. Communication plans (internal and external)
  3. Modularity between elements of (1) and (2) for system-wide resiliency

How & Why We Continue to Refine our “Plan A”

OpenWater’s contingency plans continue to be a work-in-progress. We continue to refine them. These plans are important for our success, but also the success of our clients, too.

Tim and Jim recently traveled to New York City to meet with a prospective client. Two of the client’s questions related to contingency planning. Here’s what this prospective client wanted to know.

Question 1: How will our service change as OpenWater grows?

The unspoken contingency question: How do I know the team will be there for us?

Answer: Growth won’t affect service. Our staff may grow but clients will experience a consistent team and personalized attention.

Every client is assigned a personal support team. This team remains the same throughout the client’s contract. This is by design, for continuity. Clients aren’t reliant on just one support team member.

Question 2: Do you have a plan to invest in your platform?

The unspoken contingency question: Will I be stuck with software that is never updated?

Yes, we are always investing in our platform. We have a public roadmap of planned growth. Our roadmap shows equal investment in maintenance and growth. This, too, is by design. Like our contingency planning, all of the parts work in concert.

This week was a good reminder that contingency planning is necessary. Done well, it works. Refining our plans will be ongoing work. We’re happy to do this work because it makes OpenWater stronger.

Katie is OpenWater's Content Director. Her interests include entrepreneurship, permaculture, and blockchain. She enjoys spicy food and salty words.

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