Diversification is a term widely used by financial planners. They continually preach the value of spreading all of your assets to minimize risk and protect yourself in situations when some financial investments perform and others don’t. It’s a smart, safe strategy designed to avert complete financial disasters.
The same holds true for the ever-changing, fast-paced technology industry. However, instead of the term diversification, you’ll hear the word redundancy.
Redundancy is exactly the same concept as diversification. The goal is to spread and back up your technology platforms as much as possible to avoid a complete shutdown or black out. Redundancy minimizes the risk with many platforms and backups. Just think of what would happen if all of your technology systems ran off the same platform and that platform went down? As horrible as it is to imagine, it happens. The best of the best have gone down, even recently (think Amazon, Facebook….).
Recently, some school districts have been discussing the concept of a single point of access for their stakeholders. The idea is to create as much convenience as possible for them. Make it easy and simple as possible to find all the information you need. While at first glance, it does seem to make sense to have one point of entry for all the information needed, but is it really in the best interest of protecting the lines of information and communication at all times? Especially in light of the potential emergency situations that could occur? Or in other worst case scenarios, a data breach, hack or virus?
Districts (and their communications departments) are incredibly busy creating and disseminating information on a daily basis. They need to have the assurance that no matter what time of day, what type of incident, the vehicles and systems in which they communicate work. By using the redundancy strategy, Districts, Communication Directors and stakeholders can be confident the lines of communication will always flow (even if one or two systems go down).
Don’t get caught in the easy trap of convenience.