Is your business ready to rate its resiliency?

By: Michael Puldy

Earlier this month, I met with a panel of infrastructure, networking and data center experts to discuss the future of resiliency. Sponsored by 451 Research and the Uptime Institute, these 16 industry experts discussed the state of computing infrastructure, how resiliency fits into today’s businesses and how to evolve into the future. At times, it felt like we were trying to boil the ocean between our diverse perspectives and the enormity of the problem.

With more companies moving to cloud environments and others wanting to exit the business of owning and running data centers, there’s been a surge of data centers that measure higher than 10 kilowatts and Internet of Things devices that measure under 5 watts commanding space on the network.

This bimodal computing growth curve is attacking our network at both ends of the spectrum. According to Quartz, we’re approaching 7 billion mobile phones on the planet, and Forbes reports there will be 163 zettabytes of data on the planet by 2025.

Managing risk through continuity programs

Considering this growth, it’s vital for companies to effectively manage and prioritize risks. A failure today is not the same failure it used to be. Different times of day and days of the week produce different exposures. Just 20 years ago, a failure on Sunday night at 2 a.m. in New York City would go unnoticed. Today, that same failure impacts Monday afternoon business in Singapore. Consequently, as more of the world becomes connected, businesses continue to examine risk management on a new level.

Between revenue loss and damage to brand image, the cost of a data breach has become so significant that more companies are implementing business continuity and incident response programs.

Consider the issue of managing risk in conjunction with the development of automated cars. Will the car be the new cloud data center or the new server? Where will decisions be made, and how will all that data be processed? Is the car stand-alone, or does it call home? With drive-time decisions made in just milliseconds, there’s simply no time to call home. Thus, every car will need to be its own self-contained cloud.

Creating a grading standard

The panel agreed on one thing for certain: It’s time to create a resiliency grading standard. While a sliding scale assessment would be the best indicator for consumers and stakeholders, not many companies are ready for that level of transparency without legal requirement. While businesses may have the basic criteria needed for resiliency management, they must determine if their solutions work effectively.

Enterprises need to examine data center assessments, infrastructure assessments, applications, processes and data. They must also determine how much risk is acceptable and the cost to reduce that risk. A resiliency certification would boost these efforts. The timing is right to start this revolution.

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About The Author

Michael Puldy

Director of Global Business Continuity Management for Global Technology Services, IBM

Michael is responsible for long term strategy, tactical guidance and governance for business continuity management and resiliency programs across the globe at IBM. For the majority of Michael's career, he has focused almost exclusively on business resiliency. From his personal experience in the financial industry through his services and product tenures at IBM, he has... Read more

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