The art of IT resilience is the orchestration of multiple different processes and technical solutions to protect what is effectively the lifeblood of a company: the availability of its data and applications, writes Zerto’s Steve Blow
Described in the Oxford English dictionary as being “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties” and “the ability of a substance to spring back into shape,” resilience is a characteristic that many employees aspire to have amongst their best qualities. However, it has now long surpassed its value as a strictly personal attribute. Being able to bounce back, against whatever the market, threats or even customers may throw at a business, is now being recognised as a critical element of long-term plans.
Resilience is found in every aspect of a business, from communications, to product development, to a physical crisis, and can be the key to helping a company stand the test of time. Notably, this includes resilience against a changing competitive landscape through a pivot in direction, resilience against negative publicity in the form of crisis communications, or resilience to operational disruption due to an unforeseeable disaster.
Disasters come in all shapes and sizes, and when it comes to data specifically, they can come in the form of both obvious threats and hidden ones. In this day and age, businesses focus a lot of time and money on cyber threats, but sometimes it can be basic disasters, or merely human error, that impacts IT the most.
The evolution of data protection
These days, data protection no longer solely revolves around protecting data from natural and man-made disasters. Today, when hit with a disaster, companies need to be able to do a full 180, bouncing back quicker than ever, and ideally doing so before anyone has been affected.
With this in mind, the impacts of a disaster can be measured in a variety of ways. For example, this could be anything from losing revenue due to downtime of a user app, to reputational damage in the form of backlash on Twitter from angry customers that are unable to buy items, and means that companies need to be prepared for each type of potential catastrophe.
Nowadays, it’s not just about backing up or replicating, or even adding redundancy to the infrastructure layers – it’s about bouncing back, and quickly.
Businesses need to move from the ‘reactive’ – the traditional notion of data protection – into the ‘proactive’ – which accounts for planned and unplanned outages, as well as potential attacks – in order to be completely protected in today’s age. This seems like a no-brainer, but many IT teams would confess that while attending to the day-to-day needs of their organization, they are constantly trying to keep their heads above water. Essentially, there is little to no time to proactively prepare for outages that are planned, let alone unplanned.