Major Airlines’ Pilots Asking for CEO, COO to be Fired. Could You be Next?

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Dear Corporate America,

Was it worth it? From a corporate perspective, disaster recovery and business continuity are absolute priorities and definitively critical to your business. But why do these mission critical functions get pushed down the list of “things to do?” Why did a router malfunction likely costing only thousands of dollars equate to the loss of “tens of millions of dollars” for one of the largest and most profitable companies in the country? Why are the key unions associated with this beloved company now asking for the CEO and COO to resign due to the outdated IT infrastructure? A disaster recovery plan that does not go through regular testing is not a true D/R plan, but rather a glorious checkmark in a box.

If you’re a technology leader, there is probably nothing you dread more than the possibility of an outage or technology issue that could cripple business operations and place employee productivity and customer satisfaction at risk. Recent high-profile system outages have become wake-up calls for organizations of all sizes to equip themselves with disaster recovery measures to keep operations running when the unexpected takes place.

Running mission-critical systems protects the experience, assets, and lives of their customers. Forsure then, a technology failure would be catastrophic. Here are four tactical measures you can take to minimize the risk to your organization should disaster strike:

Identify hidden gaps

A system that provides adequate reliability and availability today may not stay that way on its own over time. As reliance on IT grows, end user expectations for availability and the services that IT can deliver can grow apart. Where IT does not offer explicit Service Level Agreements (SLAs), business stakeholders may assume service levels are available that far exceed what IT can provide.

Burwood Group can help you achieve a level of system availability that is congruent with what your organization requires. Ask us how our four-part systems availability strategy can be customized for your organization.

By quantifying the business impact of system downtime, you can prioritize applications and establish uptime requirements.

Understand the impact

Together, your organization’s end users, application owners, and other stakeholders must uncover potential scenarios that could occur should a critical application or system become unexpectedly unavailable. By quantifying the business impact of system downtime, you can prioritize applications and establish uptime requirements.

For instance, a financial services organization may require its online banking system to be available 99.999 percent of the time—the equivalent of one second per day of downtime. Its sub-ledger accounting system, while important, may be less critical to daily operations and a lower level of availability may be acceptable.

Perform a gap analysis

Following the business impact analysis, a gap analysis will help uncover the strengths and weaknesses in your current infrastructure. Your internal IT staff and vendors must work together to document the gaps between current capabilities and those needed for high availability. Redundant systems, for example, may be housed in a single facility—taking the system offline if the location is destroyed by a natural or man-made disaster. Or, an organization may have redundant IT systems, but lack a backup power generator.

Implement a solution with best practices in mind

Once you have identified your organization’s gaps and potential impact, it’s time to look at solutions: from data backup to the cloud, to increased use of virtualization, migration from tape backups to an offsite disk-based system, and many other forward-looking options. With all possibilities, adhering to industry best practices is critical to ensuring adequate support and long-term scalability. Closing the gaps between business needs and capabilities may be a multi-year process, depending on the time and resources available.

For most organizations, the interruption of a mission-critical system can result in data loss, lost revenue, decreased productivity, and reduced customer satisfaction. Don’t let this happen to you. Burwood Group will help you design secure, reliable, and fully recoverable infrastructure to minimize risk and assure availability of your most critical systems and data even in the event of disaster. If you would like to learn more about our Disaster Recovery program, please contact us.


November 29, 2017