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Originally published 9 February 2006
There is still a great deal of devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. First and foremost, aid and comfort are required for the citizens who suffered. The rebuilding process has clearly begun, but what are the consequences of Hurricane Katrina on the information technology (IT) community?
The most obvious consequence is the need for sound backup and recovery facilities, particularly for remote backup and recovery. Organizations that maintained all of their IT processing facilities in New Orleans have suffered a truly devastating blow. Companies that had enough foresight to implement remote backup and recovery, however, are better prepared to resume their normal operations in the near future. If there was ever a good case study for remote backup and recovery, it is illustrated by last year’s natural disaster in New Orleans and Mississippi.
When a disaster strikes, companies that have implemented data warehousing and business intelligence are poised to make a rapid comeback. Those organizations are in a position to make the best decisions and to use the available disaster aid in the most optimal manner.
How does a data warehouse aid an organization that is in recovery mode? The answer to this question is multifaceted.
With the proper information, organizations are able to channel the resources so that they are most effective. These resources are greatly needed during a rebuilding mode, especially after a catastrophe. For example, the organization can determine where it would be best to rebuild. Without the right information, an organization may choose to rebuild and recover in areas that are the least productive.
Of course, there are many resources that are available to corporations after a disaster. These include direct government aid, insurance and donations. From a business’s standpoint, a data warehouse is the best road map to direct the resources to receive the greatest value.
Hurricane Katrina could likely be the impetus for an entire restructuring of an impacted company. A company that had been contemplating restructuring may use the Katrina disaster as the opportunity to restructure. When beginning an optimal restructuring program, companies must remember that information guides both management and consultants to achieve the desired effects. Data warehousing and business intelligence can provide that information.
As you can see, there may be a potential bright side to Hurricane Katrina. Companies with the proper information are in the best position to prosper. In contrast, companies without it may be rolling the dice.
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