Where's Your Alpha Site?

Tuesday 11 September 2018

People who know me are probably aware that I'm a self-confessed sci-fi geek (and proud!).

I caught an old episode of Stargate SG-1 the other day - one of my favourite shows. The Stargate of the title is a portal to different worlds. This particular episode introduced the concept of an "Alpha Site" - a backup base of operations that you could relocate to in the event of an emergency (such as an alien invasion!).

This got me thinking about a similar concept in business. When I was in corporate IT (in a previous life), there was the concept of a "Disaster Recovery" or "DR" site, but this was meant for real disasters, such as if the head office had burned down.
This is fine for big corporates. But what about one-man bands or small businesses? What would you do if you had a power cut or broadband failure?

A couple of weeks later I was faced with just such a situation - there was a major problem with Sky Broadband in the vicinity, and it looked like it could be out all day. As you may imagine, as a website builder, an internet connection is pretty vital, so I was forced to move to my Alpha Site.

I'm quite lucky that I have a perfect location on my doorstep. 3 miles away there's a fairly new Starbucks. It has plenty of tables, a reasonable Wi-Fi connection and is not too noisy, even when it's busy.

So, I packed up my laptop, tablet and headphones and relocated to the coffee shop. They're used to people working there, so they don't keep hassling you to buy stuff. In the end, what could have been a wasted day became a very productive day, away from the usual domestic distractions of cats, postmen and double-glazing salesmen.

So, where's your Alpha Site? If you don't have one, it's worth spending a bit of time finding one. Look for somewhere quite nearby, with good Wi-Fi, who won't mind you being there for a while without constantly spending money. Larger coffee shops are great, as are Hotels.

In fact, my favourite venue for business meetings is the Holiday Inn Express chain. All of the ones I've been to have loads of space, great desk areas and reasonable Wi-Fi. Perfect, in fact, as an Alpha site!

Have you found a great Alpha site? Let me know where it is, and what you like about it. Someone else might find it useful.

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