Monthly Archives

October 2015

Prepare Your Business for Power Outages

By | Data Security

There are many disasters that can cause power outages, from traffic accidents that disrupt local power, to major storms that wipe out power in whole regions. Regardless of the cause of a power outage, the downtime alone can be very costly to your business. And if you aren’t prepared for power outages, the loss of data can be as equally debilitating.

Nationwide, power outages have been occurring at accelerated rates over the last 15 years. In part due to aging infrastructure, and in part because of increased demands on power grids, the number of power outages is six times higher today than it was 15 years ago.

Power Outage Map, 2000-2015

Power outages happen suddenly and without notice. To protect your business from the costs and disruptions associated with a power outage, you should have on-site power backup solutions. At the physical location of your organization, you may want to have generators or other backup power supplies to which you can immediately switch if the power goes out. This will ensure that you can continue operating and delivering services to your customers; however, the long-term cost of supplying your own power can be very high.

Your organization should also have off-site backup and data recovery solutions in place, to protect data. This will ensure that even if the power is out for an extended period of time, or you are forced to move to a different location, you will still have access to the essential business data you need to continue operating.

Preparing for Power Outages

  • Identify critical utilities, including electric, gas, water, and internal sewer systems that might be impacted
  • Identify systems impacted by power outages, including security, alarms, elevators, heating, and ventilation systems
  • Identify operational equipment that may be impacted, including voice and data communication systems, servers and their cooling systems, and computer networks

Safety must be the primary concern in any emergency. Once you’ve ensured the safety of all personnel, consider the power outage impact to the following areas:

Communication: Alternate communication channels should be available to ensure your ability to reach key personnel in case of emergency.

Supply Chain: Arrange for alternative vendors who can meet supply needs when primary suppliers cannot.

Personnel: Determine those personnel who are essential to the operation during times of extreme emergency and who will be active during your recovery operation.

Data and servers:  In addition to having on-site power backup solutions, every organization should move mission-critical IT infrastructure into the cloud to ensure accessibility and to aid in recovery.

Power outages can have an enormous impact on your organization’s ability to remain functional. Internal and external backup solutions are critical to business continuity. thinkCSC provides customized power solutions, reliable off-site backup, and even fully hosted solutions to meet every organization’s needs. Contact us today for more information.

Embracing the Future: Mobile Technology in Education

By | EdTech

mobile tech in educationLet’s face it: when employees can use their cell phones to do their work, they are more productive. As it turns out, so are students. And given that they can quickly accomplish tasks on the go, they are more likely to do so. Mobile is the future, and our students are the best indication of that. Schools have shifted from a no-tolerance policy on cell phones to incorporating them into learning.

Mobile is here to stay; by the end of the decade, there will be more than ten billion mobile devices in the world. And more than half of all students in grades 6-12 believe that having access to a mobile device is essential to their education. But beyond the proliferation of the devices and the desire to be able to use them, the more practical matter is that by embracing technology, we can better prepare our students to be the next generation of engineers, scientists, coders, and innovators. Mobile technology allows us to communicate and collaborate on a global scale, creating enormous opportunity for students and teachers alike.

Benefits of Embracing Mobile Tech in the Classroom

  • Continuous learning. Because our students are always connected, the potential for continuous learning and unique educational opportunities increase. Students won’t be locked inside a classroom to complete their education but may be able to spend time shadowing someone in their field of interest while taking notes, answering questions, preparing a presentation or even virtually sharing the experience with classmates from a tablet or phone.
  • Individualized education. One of the main struggles teachers and administrators face is having the time and resources to individualize education. But technology can make the process much simpler, allowing teachers to focus on spending time interacting with students rather than modifying lessons.
  • Students can become the teachers. The generation of students currently in the classroom has quite often grown up with technology in their grasp. They intuitively know how to use it and many opportunities exist to allow them to highlight and develop their talents.
  • Better collaboration. Rather than splitting your class into groups, students can collaborate on group projects with students from other schools, in other states, or even in other countries.

If your school is looking for ways to embrace technology in education, the iSchools Initiative provides support, training, and certification for students, teachers, and school districts to help them become innovative and empowered.

thinkCSC partners with K-12 schools to assist in developing cost-effective ed tech strategies. From helping schools purchase hardware and software at discounted rates to providing better-than-OEM warranties that ease the pain of managing tech in schools, thinkCSC is a proud Ohio education partner.