Gain insights from IT leaders for IT leaders who want to overcome challenges in a fast-paced technology landscape.
IT leaders, like you, struggle to align their strategies with the overarching goals of their organization. Published in January 2017 by Vision Solutions, the “Vision Solutions 10th Annual State of Resilience Report” offers high-level results from a global survey of IT professionals on key aspects of their IT infrastructure, people, and processes. Learn how your peers are responding to opportunities and challenges, including major outages, growing data, threats to their infrastructure, and opportunities from new technology.
Conducted between June and August 2016, the study offers insights from nearly 1,600 IT professionals—CTOs, CIOs, VPs and similar roles—across four categories (High availability and disaster recovery, migration, data sharing, and cloud services.)
Let’s dive into the takeaways for CIOs:
Insufficient Disaster Recovery Strategies
According to the survey, cybersecurity remains one of the top challenges for IT leaders. Although business would be highly affected by the loss of data in the circumstance of a hack, IT leaders are not investing enough on disaster recovery (DR). Of the respondents, 84% had no recovery plan or were less than 100% confident that their recovery plan was sufficient. About half of all participants reported a business failure or downtime and recorded this downtime as a business cost. The research confirms the reality that vulnerabilities are still rampant, and little confidence in disaster recovery illustrates a need for improved recovery point objectives and tolerance for data loss, as well as training.
Figure 1: Causes of Data Loss
Takeaways: Prevention is the best approach to mitigate a disaster. Companies can become more resilient by training personnel and testing their DR plans frequently to improve efficiency, or outsourcing these tasks to experts. Businesses that rely on internal resources must strengthen their technical knowledge. (73% of companies use internal staff for high availability/ DR management, but the leadership acknowledges that their staff needs training.)
Comprehensive Preparation for Migrations & Their Outcomes
The report identified another trend: Migration outcomes remain unpredictable. Incidents of migration failure continue to rise with 36% failure in 2014, 44% in 2015, and 51% in the most recent 2016 survey. Migration remains a delicate balancing act for IT providers, who are continually measuring the cost of downtime against the inherent risks of delayed or failed data migrations. The top reasons for failure included unrealistic planning and goal settings, as well as faulty testing procedures.
Figure 2: Objectives of Last Migration
Figure 3: Challenges Faced During Last Migration
Takeaways: The majority of professionals postpone migrations out of fear of downtime, which takes a toll on company finances and internal morale. Approximately 90% of respondents reported calling on internal staff on nights and weekends for migration support, highlighting a need for more agile processes to reduce downtime and company stress. Another common denominator among the failures is human error, again underscoring the need for training. The bottom line is you should adopt an approach that includes proper planning, testing, and careful deployment to remove the risk of costly downtime.
Accuracy of Business Information Across Environments
In an ideal world, businesses harness data and use it to gain a competitive advantage. However, maintaining data accuracy is a serious challenge—especially as data synchronization, sharing, and management takes places across different environments. For instance, nearly three-quarters of IT departments reported having multiple, redundant databases, but a quarter of those professionals don’t have processes to synchronize them.
Takeaways: Companies use data sharing for business intelligence and knowledge sharing across departments. Issues with inconsistencies and redundancies highlight a need for efficient processes, and have a notable impact on decision-making. Managing data from multiple vendors and using dated sharing were both top concerns among IT decision-makers. Accurate data sharing processes are essential for businesses to maintain efficiency in a competitive marketplace.
Weaknesses in Cloud Configurations
IT decision-makers readily acknowledge the benefits of the cloud and more than half have adopted cloud technology— but they still struggle with how to best address security concerns, government mandates, and gaps in accountability. The report shows a lack a consensus about who is responsible for data protection in a public cloud. Nearly 40% of respondents believe internal IT departments should be primarily responsible for data protection in the public cloud, while 43% report that responsibility should lie with cloud providers.
Figure 4: Challenges with Cloud Deployments
Takeaways: The cloud creates opportunities for businesses to save on operational costs, create efficient processes, and scale their IT resources on-demand. Survey respondents report continued struggle with legal compliance, data privacy, bandwidth concerns, and infrastructure control. Hybrid cloud implementations can solve this problem. Gartner foresees that most companies will adopt a hybrid cloud strategy to achieve compliance with a private cloud, and retain a public cloud for non-sensitive workloads. When it comes to accountability and responsibility, organizations must ensure their service level agreements (SLAs) with providers pinpoint liabilities, and audit their processes and procedures. Gartner asserts that 95% of cloud security failures are the customers’ fault.
What challenges would you add to this list? Were there any that resonated with you? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out to OnRamp to discuss how you can avoid common pitfalls in IT implementation, data security, and meeting regulatory compliance.
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