Fire, flood, hurricanes, power outages, ransomware, denial of service attacks--there are many ways in which your IT infrastructure, and your business, can be disrupted. According to IDC, 93% of organizations have experienced IT-related business disruptions in the past two years, and 20% of those suffered damage to their reputations and permanent loss of customers as a result. Even relatively mild disruptions can cause significant losses, with the cost of downtime averaging $250,000 per hour. These disruptions are pushing organizations to be IT resilient. 

Simply backing up data every four hours is no longer adequate protection against IT disruptions. It won’t replace the hours of downtime or repair relationships with upset customers. Significant downtime and data loss can mean the end of a business. IDC estimates that up to 50% of organizations could not survive a disaster event.

The need to reduce IT disruption

In this era of digital transformation, businesses need continuous availability of their data. To achieve this, they need not just backup, but disaster recovery and business continuity strategies. According to Caroline Seymour, the director of product marketing for Zerto, IT organizations must be able to “hit the resume button” without losing time or data after a disaster or other IT disruption.

“There needs to be a shift from recovery to availability and from restore to resume,” she said. “It’s no longer enough to have a backup of four hours of 24 hours. Think of the data loss you’d have. Businesses need to drive continuous availability.”

Seymour gave a workshop on What Organizations Need to Know to Achieve True IT Resilience at TierPoint’s BraveIT 2018 conference . In it, she shared some of the key findings of the IDC report The State of IT Resilience, sponsored by Zerto, and discussed how organizations can achieve business continuity in the face of disaster.

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IT resilience, according to IDC, is “the ability to protect data during planned disruptive events, effectively react to unplanned events, and accelerate data-oriented business initiatives.” This requires solutions such as cloud-based disaster recovery, analytics tools and effective IT security. But it also requires a supportive culture and infrastructure.

According to Seymour and IDC, the four key requirements for achieving IT resilience are:

1.) Management buy-in. The most essential factor for developing IT resilience is management appreciation of the value of data to the organization. If decision-makers believe that data and data availability is critical, they will support the necessary investment in data protection and recovery and the infrastructure to make it possible. Unfortunately, business executives often don’t understand the value of data, according to IDC.

2.) Business metrics. Metrics dealing with employee productivity, profit and customer satisfaction, which are popular with business executives, are negatively affected by data loss. When employees and customers can’t access data and data-based systems, then employees are idled, customers inconvenienced, and business lost—all of which reduces profit. These types of metrics can be used to underscore the value of data and data accessibility to an enterprise.

3.) Automation. IT resilient companies simplify their data protection and disaster recovery by automating more of the processes. As hybrid and multi-cloud environments make data protection processes more complex, requiring more IT expertise, automation can help mitigate the cost of IT personnel and training.

4.) The cloud. Cloud-based services will be increasingly important for IT resilience. Nine in ten organizations told IDC that cloud will play a role in their organization's disaster recovery or data protection plans. Cloud-based disaster recovery is easier to implement and manage, and more likely to withstand a local disaster. Cloud providers who specialize in disaster recovery and data protection can also provide planning and implementation expertise to help IT managers make better decisions, and managed services can save IT departments the cost of in-house management.

Learn more about being IT resilient

Want to learn more about IT resilience, disaster recovery and business continuity? Watch  What Organizations Need to Know to Achieve True IT Resilience. You can also view other BraveIT 2018 sessions and register for BraveIT 2019 in New York City at BraveIT.

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