To stay competitive in this fast-paced business world, companies must be able to evolve and adapt—both for their customers and employees alike. But in the hybrid era, where many companies are storing data both onsite and in the cloud, developing that type of resiliency can be especially challenging. For one thing, customers expect data and support to be accessible 24/7—not just during “business hours” as it was in the past. Second, hybrid environments require high-level integration skills that many IT teams simply may not have. Not only are companies expected to keep things running—it’s getting increasingly difficult to do so. The following are a few tips to guide you as you seek to establish resiliency in the hybrid era.
Understand the Risk
The cloud is a wonderful and much-needed tool in the digital transformation, and a necessary one for managing the mass amounts of data available to modern businesses. But the cloud—even a hybrid cloud that incorporates some measure of onsite storage—is not a magic bullet all its own. Think of all your cloud services—and all the devices connected to them. Each of those devices presents a risk, and one that many companies are not yet ready to manage. The Wall Street Journal reported just 34 percent of companies surveyed felt they could accurately track the full scale of IoT devices on their network. Just 30 percent felt they were ready for the risks associated with them. That’s not sufficient when building resiliency. IT teams need to strengthen their focus on policies and protection surrounding data if they wish to remain resilient.
Assess Your Systems
A report by Forbes Insights, “The Need to Bring a Paradigm Shift in Business Resiliency,” rightly noted that “the uncontrolled growth of cloud services is creating new challenges for IT leaders. These multi-sourced environments can become difficult to integrate manage, and secure.” That means many IT teams have found that they’re spending more than maintaining their hybrid cloud environment than innovating for the business. That’s no way to survive in the digital landscape. Just as new technologies—and threats—are developed every day, so are new resiliency solutions. Be sure to regularly assess your hybrid cloud systems, taking special note of how well your current resiliency efforts are working, and which cloud applications can be removed from your system. Excess and unused programs simply lead to excess risk. And new approaches—such as IBM’s “orchestration” approach to resiliency—could provide digitally intelligent alternatives to your current back-up and recovery processes.
Establish Contingency Plans Now
We talk a lot about the importance of agility in succeeding in today’s business marketplace. But resiliency is equally important. Why? Because change doesn’t always happen the way we want it to. Yes, we can change quickly—but what if we change wrong? What if something unexpected happens? This means we need to be able to bounce back with little impact on our customers and teams. The industry is realizing that it’s time to take a broader look at data protection. That means expanding the focus from tech itself and looking at the overall business resiliency strategy—from business workflows to processes and policies that support resilient growth. It also means simplifying processes as much as possible to reduce complex issues from developing.
Create a Winning Culture
Culture, culture, culture—this remains one of the core indicators of how well businesses will function in the new digital landscape. Across the board, companies need to be able to embrace change, follow a guiding purpose or vision, communicate, and play on a team that wants to win together. Without this, you will always have issues coordinating processes, agreeing on priorities, and ensuring an efficient workflow overall. In effect, you’ll keep getting in the way of your own digital transformation.
There is no simple solution to the incredibly complex issues surrounding the hybrid cloud environment. However, we can simplify our infrastructures and businesses as much as we possibly can to ensure greater likely success, no matter what the new tech environment throws at us.