SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Gary Audin | November 18, 2016 |

 
   

How to Approach Resiliency Planning

How to Approach Resiliency Planning A sound resilience-based strategy will help an organization cope with unexpected and sudden shocks.

A sound resilience-based strategy will help an organization cope with unexpected and sudden shocks.

Is your organization resilient? How would you know? Can you actually measure resiliency?

The ability to measure resiliency varies depending on anticipated situations. In today's IT environment, deciding how to react to a disruptive system or network event or shock comes with great uncertainty. In addition, knowing how to resolve the disruptive situation can be challenging. The goals are agility, adaptability, robustness, and continuity. You do not know what you do not know so how do you resolve the disruption? You need a resiliency plan.

Risk Analysis
Disasters and crises happen. The causes can be extreme natural events and technology-related incidents. Resiliency can be a supplement and an alternative to traditional risk management. Organizations strive to produce resilience-based strategies to help cope with unexpected and sudden shocks. They need resiliency strategies when facing uncertainty about risk impacts and catastrophic consequences.

Risk analysis encompasses risk assessment, risk characterization, risk communication, risk management, and risk policies. The exploration of risk in this blog applies to public agencies and private-sector organizations at local, regional, national, and global levels.

Risk analysis comprises two parts:

  • Risk assessment includes the identification, evaluation, and measurement of the probability and severity of the risk.
  • Risk management occurs after the risk has manifested itself, and involves deciding what to do in response. This is where resiliency enters the picture.

Defining Resiliency
You can find many different business definitions of "resiliency." Some define strategic resiliency as "the ability to dynamically reinvent business models and strategies as circumstances change" -- in response to new competition, for example. Resiliency might also be defined as part of business continuity, as in "the ability to recover from unanticipated disruptions" such as storms, floods, chemical spills, and cyber or terrorism attacks.

Measuring Resilience
The resilience profile, as illustrated in the graphic below (demonstrating strengths and weaknesses) consists of four dimensions:

  • Operations include the culture and the speed of an organization's reaction, how trusted the organization is, and experience with exercises that duplicate the disruptions.
  • Infrastructure consists of an organization's operational layers. This is true for employees, contractors, outside services, and physical IT infrastructure.
  • Strategy consists of an organization's conception of its environment, measure of the vulnerability of business strategies, and its vision and stated mission.
  • Resources are composed of five factors: internal competencies, contractor and service competencies, redundancy inside and outside the organization, diversity, and mobility.

The Resilience Profile is divided into 14 specific features of four dimensions: O=operations, S=structure, P=perception, and R=resources. This figure illustrates and compares the profile of two cities; source: "Organizational Resilience – How Do You Know If Your Organization Is Resilient or Not?"

Resiliency Over Time
The first stage in producing resiliency is becoming aware that there are vulnerabilities and disruptions that could affect the organization. Unfortunately, this may take quite a bit of time because of the many opinions about what is or is not important to the organization. You will need to come to some consensus. This will affect the resiliency budget.

Following the awareness stage, an organization's resiliency performance may reduce and the plans for adapting to and producing the resiliency impact the organization. Resiliency performance will improve once the adaption is finished, thereby improving the organization's agility.

The final stage of improved resiliency comes from active learning. This is where the organization uses exercises, plans, and reviews to improve the performance of the resiliency plans. In other words, the risk will be lowered, the duration of outages can be shortened, and the return to normal operations will produce equal or better business performance in the organization.

Resilience measured by performance over time; source: "Organizational Resilience – How Do You Know If Your Organization Is Resilient or Not?"

Beyond IT
IT is not the only department that should be involved in resiliency planning. A disruption can cause financial loss, loss of reputation, and may require remarketing to customers, which means departments such as Finance, Marketing, and Sales need to be involved in resiliency planning. That way, should a disruption occur, the organization will know what steps to take to salvage its image, support its customers, and return to business rapidly.

Several years ago a major bank produced a disaster recovery and business continuity plan. Much to the bank's surprise, six months later a major fire broke out at the headquarters building. The bank instituted its resiliency plan. It provided backup facilities in hotels, Kinko's (now Fedex) shops, and other business locations. The plan worked as designed.

However, the bank had forgotten one function. No one had postulated that it would need to create a new directory of employee locations and phone numbers. That left employees needing to call their friends, associates, contractors, and service providers to let them know where they were and how to reach them. It took about two weeks before everyone knew how to reach each other. The bank eventually created a new directory for use during the outage.

Conclusion
You have to remember that something will be forgotten. Don't depend on the technology staff alone to come up with vulnerabilities. In the bank's case, had non-technical people been involved in the business resiliency planning, they may have recognized the need to create a directory problem before disaster struck.

For more information on resiliency planning, check out the following resources:






COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.