Earlier this month, businesses in Wellington, New Zealand were forced to close following a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, which left many office buildings in the area unstable or under investigation.
To award-winning Xero accounting company Enable Business, this could have been a disaster if it weren’t for the fact that all of the firm’s data resides in the cloud. The accounting company, which was founded four years ago, used cloud from the start and this foresight enabled the company to get back to business straight away. The 9 staff that were based in the Wellington offices were able to immediately pick up doing their jobs from home.
To begin with, Enable founder Mark Greer got into town for work on Monday morning and was faced with warnings of falling glass and masonry, as well an eerily deserted shopping and business centre, which is usually buzzing.
He managed to make it to his offices in time to pick up staff laptops, before the building was closed at 11am. Since then there has been no access to the building, but all of the laptops had been safely delivered to staff.
It would seem that embracing the cloud from the beginning of setting up the business was, in retrospect, a very good idea. If not for that decision, then the company would be able to get little, if any, work done.
All of their client’s details are in the cloud and the company use the cloud for Office 365, document management using Suite Files and CRM software Pipedrive. If not for this, Mark points out, the company would have been looking at a minimum of 2 weeks downtime.
Xero quickly stepped in help the firm too, with account manager Larissa Paris able to find space for Enable in their second office buildings in the city.
“Xero has been really friendly and welcoming. Larissa and the support team have been so helpful. They have a fun enjoyable work culture and I’ve told my team not to get any ideas about jumping ship!” Mark Greer said.
The experience has really strengthened Mark’s belief in the use of cloud services for small business. This is not surprising when you consider that Enable could have suffered substantial financial losses in the aftermath of the quake.
Whilst Mark says that the unknown is difficult to deal with, they have to forge ahead until they can return to their own offices.
According to one report, many of the buildings in the area were affected by water damage: "Construction specialists are starting to fully assess the damage inside and how long it will take to get things back to working order,” BNZ spokeswoman Emily Davies said.
"Initial assessments suggest it could be at least six to eight weeks to make the necessary repairs to the fit-out of the building."
The event really highlights one of the biggest benefits of using cloud SaaS solutions, as what could have been a real business disaster was successfully diverted. Many businesses around the globe don’t have adequate on-site back-up procedures and no effective disaster recovery plan.
This is especially true of SMEs, which often don’t have the capital to build a good IT infrastructure. However, with the cloud, this is all taken care of and in the event of an emergency, as illustrated by Wellington, it’s a simple matter to ensure a business can keep on running as they can connect employees wherever they are.