Perception vs. reality in business resiliency
Creating a successful, long-term disaster recovery (DR) or business resiliency strategy is a team effort that requires significant time, patience and resources to get it right. Technology and innovation today is advancing with unprecedented speed to take enterprise IT to new heights, but it is also forcing organizations to make tough business decisions more rapidly, which can often lead to oversights or vulnerabilities.
Some organizations see long periods of uninterrupted business operations that allow them to consistently achieve their business objectives. While this is undoubtedly the goal of all business leaders, a “resiliency perception gap” (or the gap between executives’ perceptions of the effectiveness of their resiliency strategies and how successful these plans actually are at protecting against application outages or downtime) can lead to a false sense of security for organizations of all sizes and standings.
Breaking down the resiliency perception gap
Many organizations are not so lucky, as we have seen from a series of cyberattacks and other data breaches in recent years that have resulted in compromised data, critical downtime and damaged reputations. The squandered trust and investment of clients and partners can leave a dark cloud over a business for years to come. To begin the process of creating effective, lasting disaster recovery and business resiliency strategies in this new era, IT executives must acknowledge the reality and extent of potential threats and put the appropriate weight of a company’s resources behind finding solutions.
A Forbes Insights report published today, sponsored by IBM, indicates that IT executives around the world are still struggling to find the necessary desire and means to combat the flaws within their businesses. Several key statistics show that resiliency experts are needed now more than ever to change the perception gap and deliver simpler solutions:
- Around 73 percent of surveyed executives say that insufficient funding and resources make it difficult to cover all critical applications in a DR program.
- Another quarter of executives don’t even consider it essential to cover 100 percent of their critical applications.
- More than two-thirds of respondents say their biggest application recovery challenge arises from complexity and the many interdependencies created when end-to-end business processes span multiple departments, applications and hybrid IT environments.
- Fifty-eight percent of enterprises go almost a year — and sometimes longer — between tests of their continuity and DR plans.
- Only 28 percent of companies run assessments monthly.
- Sixty-one percent of executives say business continuity, disaster recovery and crisis management are siloed rather than administered as they should be — as an interrelated whole.
Two things become clear after reading these key findings. First, a significant percentage of IT executives still view disaster recovery processes as too complex, which can delay the time it takes to build, fund and execute disaster recovery plans. Secondly, that perceived complexity and indifference from leadership can produce unnecessary vulnerabilities that give cybercriminals easy access to sensitive information.
Better business resiliency through cloud
The desire for simpler, more efficient resiliency plans comes at a time when resiliency orchestration — a cloud-based approach that uses disaster recovery automation and a suite of continuity management tools designed specifically for hybrid IT environments — is starting to play a critical role in the future of our business.
Resiliency orchestration shifts the burden of complexity and testing from IT professionals to intelligent workflows that automate the entire process and offer greater visibility, from incident identification to analysis and solutions. Introducing these technologies reduces the time IT professionals spend managing and monitoring critical application recovery and analyzing issues, giving them more time to innovate and develop new ideas around applications for the future.
Avoiding a critical downtime scenario has become a primary goal for the majority of executives, and 63 percent of them say they see a direct link between IT disruption, lost revenue and damaged reputations. The purpose of a solution like resiliency orchestration is to make the recovery process more predictable and, in doing so, help bridge the resiliency perception gap by achieving an organization’s objectives consistently.
The time to transform is now
Now is the time to transform the way we approach business continuity and resiliency strategies to combat the new wave of cyber threats and other potential disruptions that can result from imperfect technology.
Successful businesses gain the ability to innovate and grow based largely on the data analysis and insights that come from critical systems and applications. More importantly though, achieving those goals depends on the integrity and availability of an organization’s entire IT infrastructure. Disaster recovery and business resiliency experts have an obligation to adopt and develop the innovations that will make secure hybrid cloud environments — that cannot be disrupted — a reality.