The Impact of Weather on Business Resiliency

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By: Mijee Briana Walker|

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This article was co-authored by Mike Arko.

As the climate changes and major weather events become stronger and more frequent, the number of weather-related service outages will only continue to rise. Though this presents a real issue for enterprises, it is also an opportunity for business resiliency.

Accessing Accurate Weather Data

A basic online search can give you a free weather forecast, but to be fair, that’s probably not the type of information you’d want to bet your business on. If you’d asked what The Weather Company (TWC) was a year ago, you probably would have heard it was a cable TV channel. However, when IBM announced it acquired TWC, it became clear that the TV channel is only a small part of its business.

In addition to providing weather forecasts, news and content through online, mobile and tablet channels, TWC also offers data, solutions and professional weather services to the media, transportation, energy and insurance industries — it currently has more than 4,100 customers.

The Impact of Weather on Business Resiliency

Weather has a huge influence on business — it’s estimated that inclement conditions cost businesses half a trillion dollars every year. From a business continuity and resiliency perspective, many disaster declarations and business continuity challenges are related to the weather.

What does this mean for enterprises when it comes to being continuously available? Consider the following hypotheticals and how they would affect your business resiliency planning:

  • What if you could predict the impact of a weather event on your data center or other facilities in time to respond proactively, either by moving the workload or the people?
  • What if you could receive alerts about severe weather and not only distribute them to your employees, but also receive responses to ensure everyone is safe?
  • What if you could leverage historical weather data to make smarter decisions around where to locate new data centers?
  • What if you could integrate weather forecasts into your green data center management platform so you could optimize renewable energy use?

TWC is combining two large and dynamic data platforms — Watson and the TWC infrastructure — to fuel the cognitive Internet of Things. By collecting the data from billions of collection points, TWC will be able to generate new insight by helping to infuse weather information into business processes, influencing more robust decision-making.

Weather affects everyone. From a business resiliency standpoint, a stormy day can force businesses to change their plans, but companies that plan proactively for rainy days can gain a competitive edge over those that don’t. The ability to better understand and predict the impact of weather events allows organizations in various industries to adjust, plan and drive business agility. In today’s always-on world, all enterprises would do well to turn these “what-if’s” into realities.

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About The Author

Mijee Briana Walker

Global Strategy Leader for Resiliency Services, IBM

Mijee is responsible for establishing and communicating an innovative strategy for IBM Resiliency Services helping businesses become more resilient. With 19 years of experience in IT and business, and 26 years of experience performing in local theatres, she is at home on any stage or board room speaking about the need for strong, tested Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery programs.

Articles by Mijee Briana Walker
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