Rebuilding: Look at it as an opportunity

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The entire nation has been watching. We’ve seen what’s happened to Colorado Springs, and the nation is heartbroken for your city, your businesses, your homes, and the incredible destruction of one of the most beautiful places in our country.

The question on everyone’s mind is: What now?

How long will it take to come back to what it was? And I’m sure that it seems like a long road, but the good news is that you’re still here. And with determination and smart planning, the city can come back better than it was.

Think of the future

If you can, it is more useful to think about the opportunities presented by the ability to build infrastructure from scratch. I’ll put this in the context of technology to help explain it: In an office, technology is deployed one unit or one set of machines at a time. This means the server and connectivity configuration grows organically with a plug here and an amplifier there, when the entire system would work better if it was unplugged, tossed out and designed from scratch.

There’s the same kind of attrition through growth in a variety of technical and non-technical situations. Think about the way office cubicles are arranged and crunched around as the company grows. Think about the configuration of buildings, accounting systems, file systems and business processes. Things that made sense at the time of deployment stop being useful as employees transition in and out of jobs. These outdated processes are “fixed” by adding a workaround. Over time, workarounds are developed for workarounds for processes that were never functional in the first place, and so on.

As a business grows, efficiency decreases at about the same rate as its size increases. Think about all of those wasted hours trying to explain “why you do things the way you do” to a new employee who can’t comprehend why each task has to be so cumbersome.

In a situation where so much can be rebuilt, there is inherently a major opportunity for upgrades, better planning and a stronger final result overall. Think about the incredible efficiency gained by just starting from here and building it correctly based on how your company actually operates.

About the loss

As you start enjoying your more-efficient processes and seeing the cost efficiencies reflected on your balance sheets, the loss will become a great story that you can tell your new hires and share with your extended family any time you need a little “street cred.”

Yes, if there was a substantial data loss, that will hurt for a while, but in a “headache” kind of way instead of a “mortal wound” way. Catastrophic data loss is a tough one to come back from, but after a few years of generating new data, that loss too will fade. I see companies continue to operate after a major data loss more often than you’d believe.

You’re still here. What you do from this point is up to you, and the result can be amazing. The act of rebuilding is not particularly fun, in and of itself, but having an amped-up infrastructure and a more-efficient business is a blast.

Marci De Vries is president of MDV Interactive, a web consulting firm in Baltimore. Reach her at marci@mdvinteractive.com.