You Can’t Have Business Agility without Operational Resiliency

These are turbulent times.

So, organizations must increasingly stay agile to more readily identify and capture opportunities quicker than their rivals.

In fact, nine out of ten executives ranked organizational agility both as critical to business success and as growing in importance over time. The benefits of enhanced agility, include higher revenues, more satisfied customers and employees, improved operational efficiency, and a faster time to market.  To survive and thrive these days, companies must quickly adapt, pivot, and course-correct.

Few business owners would disagree with this premise.

But, what these same owners may not fully grok is the connection between business agility and operational resiliency. They may not realize how business agility is tethered to system uptime and data protection. So, let me connect the dots and explain why this connection is so crucial in today’s age of data breaches, ransomware, and system downtime.

Let’s start with a definition of business resilience. Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people, assets and overall brand equity.

So, what are the biggest threats to operational uptime?  Here’s a list of some of the five most common factors that can bring a company’s operations to its knees.

  1. Ransomware. Ransomware is on the rise (almost half of US companies have been victimized) and can bring your systems to their knees. Servers, applications and databases may become infected by ransomware, viruses or malware and render the tools that your team needs inoperable.
  2. Failed Hardware. These types of failures often occur when defective or old hardware fails due to standard wear and tear.
  3. Improperly Scheduled Downtime. Planned network downtime is a business necessity and required to install new hardware, software, and updates. But, poorly timed or too frequent system updates can be costly and hinder team productivity.
  4. Human Error. Predictably, the most common hazard to your network is human beings. Human error is by far the most common culprit of network downtime. Accidentally shutting down the network, overloading circuits, as well as pulling out the wrong cord are common causes that you’re simply unable to plan for.
  5. Mother Nature. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and other acts of Mother Nature are always a real threat to your network uptime. But, these acts only account for about 5% of all system downtime.

Despite these growing threats to uptime and data loss, most organizations still just pay lip service to operational resiliency.  If resiliency is, in fact, a top IT priority then companies should be investing in the systems to protect uptime and safeguard against data loss. However, this does not appear to be the case. Consider these stats:

  • More than a third of companies don’t even test their backups
  • 42% of attempted recoveries from tape backups fail
  • More than 50% said their current backup solutions do not meet their needs
  • 21% say their backup was not current, reducing the likelihood of retrieving relevant data

There’s a clear disconnect between the need to stay agile and the requisite systems/processes needed for operational resiliency.  A disconnect that may not be obvious until an organization is hit with significant unexpected downtime.

The good news is that modern DRaaS (disaster recovery as a service) solutions are making it easy and affordable to bake in operational resiliency into your procedures. These solutions are simple to implement, easy to use, and automate the backup process. They enable IT to recover from system outages in seconds vs. days or weeks and cost a fraction of traditional hardware-centric availability solutions.

As 2016 comes to an end, it’s time to make DRaaS a new year’s resolution.

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