Shark Tank: If it ain't broke ... break it?

This engineering design firm brings in an IT pilot fish to draft a disaster recovery plan, so fish gets a walk-through tour of the computer-aided drafting (CAD) area with the production manager.

"In analyzing the production process, I see drafter/illustrators creating beautiful CAD drawings of equipment," fish says.

"The production manager explains that these drawings will become part of a master document used to stow equipment in special cargo carriers."

In the next room, there's another group of artists hard at work. "They're hunched over large digitizing tables, meticulously tracing CAD drawings, pixel by pixel," says fish.

Why are they doing that? fish asks production manager. After all, those drawings were printed from CAD files that have already been prepared.

"The production manager explains that the computer they must use to prepare the document is about 30 years older than the ones the drafter/illustrators use for the drawings," fish says.

"And the only way to get the data into the old computer is to digitize it by hand."

So when fish delivers his disaster recovery plan, it includes two recommendations regarding the 30-year-old system. First: In case of a disaster, don't replace the old computer.

And second: "Pray for a disaster," fish says. "Soon."

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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