Resiliency Communications in the Cloud: The Forecast Looks Bright

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Extreme weather events now represent the second most likely risk factor facing businesses today. In 2016 alone, weather-related problems inflicted $53.5 billion in economic damage on U.S. communities. Such impact is driving improvements across disaster recovery and crisis management communications processes in the enterprise.

And as more organizations begin their data center transformations, moving some or all their IT infrastructure to the cloud, they must put in place methods to secure that infrastructure as well as be able to restore it in the event of a disruption.

For example, at IBM, we integrate high-resolution automated weather alerts from The Weather Company into our Resiliency Communications as a Service solution. With the solution, clients can trigger incident plan activation by monitoring conditions over specific locations of interest, allowing the incident response team to more quickly focus on proactively responding to weather events in the first critical hour.

This first hour is critical to engage first responders and put support teams on alert with the goal of avoiding or at least minimizing the impact of a weather event before it occurs. And once an event occurs, ongoing accurate and effective communications is critical in volatile situations such as floods, tornadoes and hurricanes.

Traditional disaster recovery planning and crisis management has naturally been reactive due to the sheer unpredictability of sudden weather events or IT disruptions, as well as the limitations of older technology. Today however, automation and predictive analytics give us the ability to anticipate and localize incoming risks before they occur to help mitigate damage using incident response plans programmed for specific business outcomes.

Resiliency Communications as a Service uses mobile devices and web interfaces to automate workflows to analyze and identify the location of crisis events and responders, compile interactive status response reports, and ensure the right people are engaged and informed to resolve disruptions in real-time. Hyperlocal weather alerts allow incident response teams to make the most reliable decisions possible in each situation. It is also highly scalable to accommodate any number of team members or facilities.

Modern Disaster Recovery as a Service solutions and resiliency orchestration strategies are particularly compatible with the era of cloud computing as organizations reshuffle their IT infrastructure to reduce cost, boost efficiency, or minimize downtime following disruption. From a business perspective, cloud-enabled strategies also allow for ongoing incident management when client internal systems and networks are impacted. In the long run, this is time and cost effective for both the organizations and their clients. It will also build a level of trust that leads to long-lasting partnerships and other business opportunities down the road.

Cloud computing in the enterprise shows no signs of slowing down. As part of that transformation, C-suite executives and other stakeholders are appreciating that the management and protection of their most important resources must be a top priority in the years ahead.

So, when the real dark clouds roll in unexpectedly, organizations with effective resiliency communications practices in place can be sure that they can weather any storm.

General Manager, Global Resiliency Services, IBM

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