disaster recovery plan

Tips for a Successful Disaster Recovery Plan

A disaster recovery plan should incorporate all the necessary components for continuing business operations following a major natural or man-made disaster and take into account these disruptions can range from a few hours to several days or weeks. Successful plans share many of the same characteristics, but should be tailored to the needs of your business.

Look at the Big Picture

A disaster recovery plan needs to consider all departments within your business and incorporate the unique requirements to get each department back in operation. IT needs may comprise a large portion of the plan as that may allow employees to access business operations remotely if they have capabilities at their home or an off-site location. Having a plan to get accounting operations functioning will allow you to continue to receive payables, compensate employees and have funds and capital available to pay for any repairs, equipment or consultants that may be needed.

Test, Test and Test Again

Creating a disaster recovery plan is futile if you don’t test it in advance of needing it. Employees need to be well versed with their responsibilities. Testing will allow you to see what areas need improvements and adjustments and will show if any areas were overlooked completely. Once approved, a recovery plan should be reviewed and tested annually at a minimum, or any time a major change is implemented in your business’s infrastructure.

Back It Up

There are a variety of ways to back up your data and just as many factors in determining the best option for your business. Tape back-ups are still common but should be updated at the end of each day and taken off-site every evening to be most effective. Remote back-up is becoming more popular and there are different options available with regards to frequency and availability, depending on your budget and business needs. Consider instituting a policy to back-up laptops and other mobile devices.

Don’t Forget the Basics

More than one person at your company should have a copy of the plan offsite, so it can be referenced in the event your office is completely inaccessible. Your plan needs to include a list of all employees and their contact information, including multiple methods of contact, as some events will impact the ability to use landlines, mobile phones and/or the Internet. Essential employees should all have a back-up contact who can aid in recovery in the event a member of the team is incapacitated or unavailable. The plan should implement a system for informing employees and clients as to the status of your office and business operations. You will also want to include a listing of bank accounts and insurance policies (along with related contacts) and a list of key vendors, account numbers and passwords. These lists should be reviewed and updated more frequently than the plan itself.

virtual reality

How the Patriots Will Use Virtual Reality

This football season, the New England Patriots will have another way of being tracked on the field. Instead of worrying about another “deflategate”, Tom Brady and his teammates will be using virtual reality to enhance their training. The Patriots are one of three pro teams working with a Silicon Valley company called STRIVR Labs, who create immersive sports experiences. The 49ers, Cowboys and several college teams have already gotten on board with the new virtual reality technology that is expected to help the players excel in their training.

About STRIVR

STRIVR Labs was founded earlier this year by Jeremy Bailenson, the director of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, along with Derek Belch. Belch has used the insight he gained from his experience as a kicker and assistant football coach at Stanford, and was the first to test virtual football training at the University. The technology involves a 360-camera being positioned near the quarterback so that footage from his point of view is captured. Once off the field, the players strap on headsets that look like oversized ski goggles, which let them review the practice in a virtual reality world. Players can turn their heads and look around the field to see how the plays unfold from the point of view of the quarterback. Belch says that the goal is not to replace traditional film watching, but to compliment it with a tool that can effectively train and help players learn quicker.

Benefits of Virtual Reality in Football

Before the STRIVR technology, coaches had likened the virtual reality products on the market to glorified video games. Now, coaches are able to see action from the eyes of the quarterback and get a better handle on why they may be struggling with particular plays. Coaches can analyze what the players are looking at, so that on offensive plays where a quarterback always looks the wrong way, they can eliminate those plays from his repertoire.

Quarterbacks also get the opportunity to have a new perspective that goes beyond reviewing plays virtually. With this innovative technology, a quarterback may dissect his performance during practice more thoroughly, as well as turn left or right to analyze his throwing mechanics or downward to study his footwork.

The Future of STRIVR Virtual Reality

STRIVR technology has taken off, with many college teams taking advantage of its benefits. Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Clemson, Dartmouth, Auburn, Stanford and Clemson started working with the company this year. So far they are the only virtual reality firm to work with NFL clubs to make footage with real players instead of avatars. The company expects to add about 12 professional teams and 10 more colleges to the list in the upcoming months. Coaches are already toying with the idea of how other positions on the field can benefit from the system, as well as how it can familiarize players with their opponents’ tactics. No matter which team you play for, one thing can be agreed upon, the future of football technology is here and it is here to stay.