2011: Business Continuity = Business Resiliency
"According to Forrester's recent survey of 2,803 IT decision-makers, improving their business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) capabilities is the No. 1 priority for SMBs (small and medium size businesses) and the second highest priority for enterprises for the next 12 months. The scope of BC/DR programs is growing also; mature BC/DR programs address all sources of downtime - including mundane power outages and weather-related disruptions, not just rare, catastrophic disasters." 2010 Forrester Research, Inc.
The Forrester Report based its forecast for 2011 on the results of a Global IT Budgets, Priorities, and Emerging Technology Tracking Survey, conducted with 2,803 small, medium and enterprise size businesses in the 2nd quarter of 2010. 1,228 small and medium size business budget decision-makers and 1,575 enterprise budget decision-makers answered the following question, this way:
"Which of the following initiatives are likely to be your IT organization's top technology priorities over the next 12 months?" (boxin)
- 65-70% intend to "significantly upgrade disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities"
- 65-75% are going to "consolidate IT infrastructure"
- 40% (with small to medium size businesses in the lead) are going to "pursue outsourcing and off shoring"
It is interesting to me that the outcome of this survey in Q2 2010 is EXACTLY what we are experiencing with our clients and prospects in January 2011, 6 months after the date the information was collected. Every company we meet with has set a goal for 2011 to do at least one of the three top priorities referenced in the aforementioned survey.
Business continuity is swiftly morphing into business resiliency. Documented Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans are still a critical part of preparedness, but new importance is being placed on simplifying the support of the network by consolidation of servers and virtualization of applications. Many companies are, outsourcing new consolidated, virtualized networks so the technology and applications are not vulnerable to disruption and have built in failover for disaster recovery.
Wi-Fi Direct is coming and this year we will see more devices that are using the wireless technology. This all ensures that our workforce can become more mobile, cutting the dependency from the physical office so that business can be conducted anywhere, any place, any time. The proliferation of mobile devices and huge strides in wireless technology is moving us to Wi-Fi Direct -not only your laptop and phone are wireless but your television, your camera and even your printer are all now wireless as well.
In the past, Business Continuity has been the first item that is cut from the budget when expenses increase. But for 2011 there is a wind of change in business thinking. Plans are becoming less complex because companies are addressing their risk and making change. Change that puts the resilient technology in the hands of their employees. Change that moves the network infrastructure out of the company office and into a hardened facility where it is no longer vulnerable to power outages and physical damage from fire, water and major weather events. Change that simplifies the technology environment in the office and reduces the need of onsite support.
So what is IDC doing about these changes? We have been in the process of changing for the past 3 years, watching the industry, making informed decisions and moving forward. We already have our network hosted external to our office and have been using a hosted VoIP phone system and application service providers for key applications. All of our employees have been set up with wireless, mobile technology. This year we are in the process of morphing our company to the virtualized, managed service world and will soon offer this technology to our clients.
As we celebrate twenty years in the technology business we know that we have to be thinking about the next twenty years - today. As we move through this pivotal year with you, our clients, you can count on us to answer your questions, help you think through new BCP and DR strategies and keep you informed of new trends, opportunities and regulations.
IDC Partners - Twenty Years Smart!
Ginnie Stouffer is the VP of Consulting and Director of the Business Continuity Planning Practice for IDC Partners. Ginnie is one of 19 professionals in the world that holds a Master Business Continuity Professional (MBCP) certification and also has attained the Member, Business Continuity Institute of the UK (M.B.C.I). Additionally, Ginnie holds a voting seat on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee for the NFPA 160 Standard, "Disaster, Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs". This committee is responsible for the rewrite of the NFPA 160 standard to be published in 2013.