On the 26th of July our office at 50 Fenchurch Street was flooded due to a cooling system failure. A hose became disconnected on the floor above us.  As we are directly under the leak, we suffered from significant damage.  This caused us to be out of our office for 2 months. 

Everyone in the London office can work from home and as we found the problem at 7am, we were able to trigger our business continuity plan without user disruption. 

We also operate as a global organisation as we have staff based in Colombia, Kuala Lumpur, India and throughout the UK.  This gave us an advantage as we knew that we had extra support from employees in different locations to continue supporting our operations. 

How did we do?

The major success is that none of our customers even noticed!  This means that we maintained our seamless support.

Business Continuity plan

Luckily, we have a business continuity plan in place that works.  The plan had been tested previously more than once, the plan is also reliable and appropriate for the way that M9 operates.  The plan ensures that all staff and assets are protected and are able to function quickly in the event of a disaster.

Temporary office space

The Virtual Office Group was able to provide us with emergency accommodation quickly including server room facilities and internet.  We were up and running and all set up including internet within 6 hours in our temporary office space.  

Availability of systems

In terms of our systems, the majority of our infrastructure is in the cloud.  This meant that all staff could access everything securely whilst working remotely.  This helped us cope with the disaster and we find it also increases user productivity as all users are able to work from anywhere, on any device and at any time. 

Communication

Throughout a disaster, external and internal communication is key.  Your staff need to be made aware what is happening at all times.  If your staff aren’t aware of the situation, it won’t leave a very good impression on your customers.

M9 ensured that all staff were aware of the situation immediately whether it was by a phone call or an email. A communication plan (internal and external) is the critical element of a business continuity plan.  

Risk Management

Business continuity is about risk management.  It’s not about planning for every single eventuality, it’s about assessing major risk factors and building a business that is disaster tolerant.  M9 had not planned for a flood on the 6th floor of our building, fairly obviously but we had planned for the loss of the office for whatever reason.  

We are happy to share the lessons that we have learnt!

emma@m9-group.com

0203 667 8282