In the last two years, most businesses (93%) have experienced a tech-related disruption that directly led to an impact on revenue, either through direct loss of money or through paying for additional recovery expertise according to research from IDC and Zerto. It’s clear that businesses are vulnerable to the impact of outages of all kinds and true IT resilience may seem unachievable.
However, digital business isn’t going to get less competitive or less demanding, and customers expect services to be ‘always on,’ 24/7. While there is no magic bullet solution for IT resilience, there are steps organizations can take to prepare for and avoid planned or unplanned downtime.
One: Maximize cloud-based and cross-infrastructure tools for resilience
Most organizations are moving towards a cloud-first strategy, but many continue to maintain significant on-premises infrastructure. All of this will need to be protected as part of an IT resilience strategy, which requires businesses to have a solution to work across any number of locations. Ninety percent of respondents in the last year’s survey point to cloud playing a role in their disaster recovery (DR) or data protection plans, making effective cloud resilience technology a key to future IT resilience.
The move to the cloud requires solutions that allow organizations to move between hypervisors, public, private and hybrid clouds; evaluate new storage vendors; or cross-replicate between virtualization platforms and make informed choices for enabling a future IT strategy. This is all without inconveniencing the customer with ‘scheduled maintenance.’ Investment in the right resilience technology enables the move of data to, from and between different infrastructures – boosting digital transformation and limiting the impact of a solution provider’s outage.
Two: Prioritize testing and compliance requirements
With so many regulatory and compliance requirements, there is more pressure than ever for organizations to prevent breaches and avoid poor data practices. The good news is that this drives resources toward compliance-related initiatives, which business and IT leaders can maximize to promote general IT resilience.
An organization’s approach to resilience must include the ability to get online again quickly if and when a disruption occurs. To prove this, as well as demonstrate due diligence in terms of cyber-attack or breach readiness, organizations need to test across the system without causing downtime. According to the research, most organizations (39%) only conduct a DR test on an annual basis with 4% not conducting any physical DR testing at all. Frequent testing of a DR plan is integral to confidence that the plan works. Investing in tools to automate the building and testing of a DR plan can be critical to instilling confidence in the organisation’s overarching preparedness.
Three: Invest in training and staff
For IT resilience to succeed, a business needs more than the right technology in the right place – it also needs people with the know-how to respond. In the survey, 85% of respondents stated that investing in training and personnel to meet IT team requirements will be a priority in the next two years. More broadly speaking, educating staff about their roles in the event of business interruption is key to getting up and running again as quickly as possible. This is nearly as important as ensuring IT teams have the knowledge to effectively prepare for, and then mitigate, any outage scenario.
Adopting IT resilience, rather than accepting downtime in any form, is critical for supporting an always-on business. However, innovative service delivery relies on secure foundations and a track record of reliability. A truly resilient business should be able to prove that its services are always available and able to be restored easily in seconds, no matter what happens.