What Is Digital Transformation for Business Resiliency?

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By: Allen Downs |

In today’s era of digital transformation, an organization’s IT environment is increasingly complex and changes faster and more dynamically than ever before. Companies are increasingly relying on data as the lifeblood of their business. For business resiliency, if the systems they use to access and process that data go down, so does the business.

Many organizations have turned to multiple point solutions for risk mitigation in case of a natural or unnatural disaster occurring. This includes everything from mirrored sites with synchronous or asynchronous data replication to cloud hosted solutions and automated recovery operations. CIOs, CROs, Business Continuity and IT managers understand the value of forward-thinking business continuity and resiliency solutions.

These IT professionals know cloud computing can lower recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives, dramatically improving the availability of data and applications at a time when organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on the readiness of their data and applications.

To expand business resiliency beyond keeping servers and applications up and running to include all physical and virtual layers of the enterprise, IT leaders must think more broadly, ensuring that the entire organization is fully protected including their key business processes.

Implementing Digital Transformations

How can organizations implement the technologies and IT processes needed to back up and protect data that is created from multiple, disparate sources, then quickly restore it after a disruption in business operations to an understood synchronized point in time?

To address the needs of business resiliency today, organizations will have to look for innovative solutions that combine enhanced automated recovery capabilities that can span hybrid and heterogeneous environments. There will be a need for new industry expertise bringing new technologies that can, in turn, bring the automation, the orchestration and the brokerage services to enable the protection of all aspects of complex business IT environments.

Today, “resiliency-as-a-service” combines proven disaster recovery and backup technologies with new orchestrated capabilities and approaches that deliver improved end-to-end recovery capability. Recovery management from a centralized portal shows Recovery Time and Point objectives dynamically with end-to-end automated seamless management of application recovery.

The days of IT on one side of the spectrum with business operations and processes on the other are over. Comprehensive business resiliency requires a clear understanding of all potential points of failure across the enterprise, and should be driven by business owners who have an in-depth understanding of what is needed to keep operations running in case of unplanned or planned interruptions.

Building ‘Resiliency-as-a-Service’ Strategy

Analytics

As businesses capitalize on digital innovation, data is becoming more of a valuable, strategic asset and is the key to unlocking new business opportunities within “dark data.” A strategy for protecting this data and how to ensure 100 percent availability will become critical.

Improve Convenience With Cognitive

Cognitive applications allow organizations to demonstrate proactive resiliency, solving problems in an automated fashion as opposed to just addressing symptoms one at a time — enabling proactive action to avoid outage as a result.

Orchestration

Resiliency-as-a-service with orchestration is proven to reduce Recovery Time and Recovery point objectives, enabling smarter DR testing and reduced outage with lower TCO.

Contribute to the C-Suite

Forward-thinking organizations are hiring new types of specialists, such as Chief Resiliency Officers or Directors of Resiliency. These new officers can also play a pivotal role in enhancing collaboration between CIOs and business managers for improved business resiliency.

Organizations need to think differently about business resiliency and begin to identify change agents while leveraging cognitive capabilities. By delivering business resiliency-as-a-service, enterprises can identify their most critical business processes. And by understanding the business service requirements for availability, they can understand the current operational and organizational structure and determine the relationships between business and IT.

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About The Author

Allen Downs

Vice President of Global Resiliency Services, IBM

Allen Downs is the Global Vice President for IBM Resiliency Services in IBM Global Technology Services. He leads the global sales and consulting organizations focusing on addressing business resiliency needs of clients across the seven layers of the enterprise, facilities, compute infrastructure, data, applications, organization skills and process, aligned to the strategy and vision of clients he works with. Since joining IBM in 1996 in London, England, Allen has acquired vast global experience by working with clients around the world and covered multiple industries, including manufacturing, banking, finance and distribution.