Is IT resilience now something for businesses to be getting excited about?

IT resilience is becoming much more of a business and mainstream issue.

The provocative side of IT resilience is made up of all the threats that today have more and more people talking about it than ever before. Let’s face it, who isn’t intrigued (and worried, terrified or simply concerned) by headlines about IT failures that have triggered nationwide flight cancellations or data hostage situations or global service outages? 

That said, even less dramatic outages like ING Bank and Glasgow City Council still hit the headlines here in the UK last month. ING Bank’s regional data centre went offline due to a fire drill gone wrong (reports suggest that more than one million customers were affected by the downtime), and Glasgow City Council lost its email for three days after a fire system blew in the Council’s data centre. 

The stark reality is, business threats are only becoming more pervasive, and whether that is because of ever-evolving cyber-attacks, or human errors being made by overworked teams, or aging hardware and systems that just keep breaking down… the list is constantly growing and goes on and on.   

In the face of these rising threats, there have been two recent and very fundamental shifts in the way C-Suite and IT executives think about business. The first one is that IT resilience is no longer doomed to the proverbial backburner and only something that the IT team needs to concern itself with. 

This is especially true as the “powers that be” realise cloud-based backup and disaster recovery are extremely cost and resource-efficient. Near zero downtimes are standard with the right technology and support. Implementation time can be measured in hours meaning that the path to securing executive buy-in is well paved and far easier than it might have been in the past.   

That said, at a roundtable that we hosted last month in London with senior IT executives to discuss the findings from our latest survey, The State of IT Disaster Recovery Amongst UK Businesses, the group did debate whether business decision makers really understood the financial impact of downtime. Moreover, whether more education is needed about recovery times and what can be recovered, with the group concluding that clearer prioritisation around different systems needs to be implemented so the business understands what will happen when outages take place.   

The second fundamental shift is that security is now a top priority for Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) and backup. When choosing a DRaaS or Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider, companies are rightfully now asking more questions about security first, right along with speed of recovery and all the other questions that you might expect get asked. So why is this?  To my mind this comes down to a few key factors.

First, companies adopt BaaS as the natural first step to geographic diversification, sending   secondary copies to a secure location with less than five minutes of setup time. With the right pricing model, companies can protect themselves from data loss, compliance fines and malicious threats like ransomware at very little expense, which is of course very attractive.

Second, DRaaS has become the standard when every second counts, enabling companies to minimise IT downtime  that is often measured in the thousands of dollars per minute. As well as this, security and compliance are key to our customers, and our advanced security cloud platform integrates all the components our customers need to maintain security best practices in the cloud. 

Backup and Disaster Recovery prove to be  the stepping stones to broader cloud migration. Customers increasingly fail over to the iland cloud as part of a DR effort and choose to remain there, rather than  failing back. In a disaster, companies report that exceptional phone support is critical, as  it provides the last piece of assurance a failover will succeed.  Therefore, it is critical that cloud service providers factor this into the overall package that they offer.

As I said at the outset, IT resilience is becoming much more of a business and mainstream issue and, with IT resilience firmly on the agenda, organisations are able to put their worries to rest.  

Lilac Schoenbeck, VP Marketing, Iland

Image credit: Shutterstock/Syda Productions