Iris Zarecki

How’m I Doin’? The Numbers, Please.

  • October 15, 2019
  • 3 min read

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Having visibility into IT environments stability is critical for enterprise IT teams. It gives them the confidence to make the right decisions, especially during times of risk.

In our webinar on “Rethinking Resilience,” among other revealing insights, Forrester analyst Naveen Chhabra brought up the idea of a “resilience index.” He compared its usefulness to the Dow Jones index for the U.S. stock market – a single number which conveys vital information about the companies comprising the index. A resilience index, though, for enterprises would be unique to each company. It would be based on real-time data that would allow the organization itself to understand its resilience status and enable its internal and external customers to know it as well.

Why do we need a resilience index / a health score? Every day tech and traditional news report on another outage impacting the customers of a critical enterprise, such as an airline, telecom, or financial institution, etc. Every study conducted on how enterprise IT rates themselves on preparedness in the face of an outage or a performance disruption finds the vast majority saying they are unprepared. Just about every enterprise reports having been the victim of some kind of technology-related business disruption, and the overwhelming majority attest to their IT having been the victim of a malicious attack.

These stats scare customers and disturb IT teams too. They lead to the mistaken sense that achieving resilience is a possibly unattainable, uphill battle. Thus, an evidence-based health score for the IT environment would go a long way in reassuring customers and even beef up IT teams’ confidence.

What would a health score provide? According to Mr. Chhabra, a score would provide transparency that could be communicated to users of an organization’s services. In general, the goal is for the score to be publicly accessible.

We agree that a health score is a valuable measure that inspires trust. It would be important to determine a health score value that would be considered acceptable, per industry. This is a task each industry should undertake on its own. The topic is worthy of study and it’s possible that variations between industries will exist.

In any case, the need for 24×7 resilience is only increasing. Mr. Chhabra wisely argues that there are apps and services, currently and certainly in the future, that need to rely on environments which are 100% resilient and available 24×7. These include things like GPS navigation, self-driving vehicles, and eventually, remote robotic surgery, etc.; for the latter two, even a few milliseconds of downtime can be catastrophic.

Creating a great health score that reflects the robust resilience of all your IT environments. To create a confidence-inspiring score, your IT environments – wherever they reside – need to be resilient. This means free of misconfigurations and single points of failure that lead to the kinds of outages and disruptions that impact business and their customers. Our AvailabilityGuard NXG™ solution determines where such potential errors in environments exist. The solution is used in every type of environment (physical, virtual, hybrid) and covers modern workloads like containers and Kubernetes.

You can see already your organization’s health score; it’s on the AvailabilityGuard NXG dashboard which details resilience status in each of the environments where the enterprise’s applications and services reside. Continually assuring the IT and cyber resilience of your environment will help you improve your health score and achieve your customers’ trust.

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