What is IT Resiliency?

The backup and recovery strategy that forms the backbone of IT resiliency has come a long way in the last twenty years. IT teams have evolved from preserving and protecting company data on tape systems, and there is an increasing realisation that in-house data centres act as a single point of failure.

In a 24×7 society, there is also a rise in expectation from users across all departments that both data and essential business applications need to be restored promptly.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is now becoming essential in managing business continuity plans. Fundamentally, IT Resilience protects both your customers and your business from disruption. But it also allows organisations to continuously improve services and implement crucial changes with peace of mind.

The road to the digital transformation involves carefully mitigating risks and navigating around planned or unplanned downtime. IT Resilience is the foundations to build the transformation of your business.

What are we really protecting our business from?

Traditionally, IT departments and business leaders had an uneasy relationship with terms such as disaster recovery. Cash-strapped businesses struggled to find the value in protecting against catastrophic events, which management deemed unlikely to happen.

However, things have changed. Customers do not care about the reasons why their services are unavailable; their expectation is for everything to be online, all the time. Resiliency stretches far beyond disaster recovery, it’s about securing availability and paving the way forward with continuous improvement.

Businesses need resiliency to protect against the expected and the unexpected. Daily scenarios can involve managing a variety of inevitable infrastructure failures caused by security breaches, ransomware attacks, user error or even natural disasters. All can take your business offline and strike when you least expect it.

In a digital age of continuous change, all businesses must continue to evolve, adapt and improve everything that they do and every service that they offer. Planned changes to ensure that data centre consolidation projects, cloud migrations or maintenance upgrades run smoothly are crucial to a brands reputation.

The TSB bank in the UK recently provided an excellent example of how not to handle an IT migration. A poorly planned change affected 1.3 billion customer records and left some customers unable to access their accounts for two weeks. The irreparable damage to their reputation perfectly highlights the dangers of failing to take resiliency seriously.

When calculating the cost of downtime, it is crucial to remember that it is much more than lost revenue and reputation. Employee productivity, morale, and missed business opportunities are also casualties of failing to protect an organisation effectively.

We understand that ensuring high availability, multi-cloud agility and enabling a mobile workforce are some of your biggest challenges. Protecting these critical areas is rapidly becoming your number one priority. However, this should not be at the expense of having the flexibility to leverage innovative technology.

A few years ago, six to 18 hours was considered a perfectly acceptable service level agreement (SLA) to restore services. However, in many organisations, this has since dropped to under 4 hours. As a result, enhancing resiliency to avoid recovery situations in a proactive rather than reactive approach is the preferred option.

Increasing uptime also improves the confidence and perception of your brand. From a standard backup to migration to data sharing or replication, businesses need the flexibility to add new IT resilience resources as and when they are required.

In our former analogue world, disaster recovery was regarded by many as an expensive insurance policy that provided little regarding value. In a digital age where companies must disrupt or face disruption, resilience plays an essential role in not only serving customers but remaining competitive too.

Ensuring that your business-critical processes are not interrupted no matter what should be paramount. IT resilience is no longer a nice to have, it’s a necessity.

About the Author

Gary Cooper, Zetta Solution Architect

Gary Cooper is an I.T. Professional with over 20 years of industry experience with a key focus on solution architecture, technical guidance, requirement workshops and roadmaps. Gary is an integral part of the Zetta team, actively working to simplify complex situations for our clients and workshop effective measures to implement innovative and cutting-edge solutions. Connect on LinkedIn

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