Global Warming No Excuse for Lack of Winter Storm #DR Planning

By Bob DiLossi The 2012 hurricane season has thankfully come to an end and now is the time for businesses to prepare for winter storms. As some parts of North America have been experiencing a milder winter, winter storms can still and will occur - take winter storm Nemo that plagued the Northeast in early February for example. On average, the United States has roughly four catastrophic winter storms annually with storms occurring most commonly in the northeastern United States. Being prepared is key, in some ways, winter storms can be the most challenging weather systems because they spawn so many types of emergencies. Blizzards, electrical storms, hail, high winds, ice, sleet, and snow … Read more

Redundancy in the Cloud

Somehow, a perception exists that a cloud provides a certain level of redundancy by default. However, make no mistake. Redundancy is not inherent. Admittedly, individual hardware and software components have some redundancy built in. However, those capabilities do not eliminate the need for a redundant cloud any more than safe cars eliminate the need for speed limits, traffic lights, divided highways and the rules-of-the-road. For many cloud providers, especially consumer cloud providers, the only redundancy offered is to make physical copies of the data—and many customers do not use even that minimal level of recovery.  These clouds were not built with redundancy in mind.  They lack the au … Read more

Business Continuity in the Cloud

Business continuity focuses on the resiliency, restoration, disaster recovery and security needed to keep your system operating, performing, secure and, if an incident should occur, recoverable. Many cloud vendors have little experience with business continuity, preferring instead to offer consumer cloud services to clients that provide their own back-up procedures, intrusion protection, vulnerability alerts, firewalls, software upgrades and disaster recovery planning/testing. Resiliency is the key Without strong resiliency, redundancy and failover capabilities at each layer of the cloud stack, the failure of one component can cause the  failure, in short order, of many subsequent … Read more

Lessons From Hurricane Crisis Management

Bob DiLossi is the Director of the SunGard Crisis Management Center. A long-time business continuity practitioner, Bob provides some commentary in this post concerning lessons gleaned from crisis management in the midst of severe weather events, such as hurricanes. 1. Does the Crisis Management Team do anything different once a hurricane has been named and a projected path is announced by the National Weather Service? It's important to recognize that we monitor all weather events, not just hurricanes in-season. What makes weather events unique is that sometimes, you have a warning period that allows for review of plans and preparation. Right now we are tracking a tropical storm over the … Read more

A Fresh Perspective on Resilience Exercises

Reading a Harvard Business Review Blog this week triggered this thought on resilience: when conducting any validation exercise, it is important to invite “outsiders” to participate. John Baldini, writing for HBR, noted that management coaching involves having an outsider suggest ways to improve your perspective on reality and decision making, with the suggestion to invite others into routine meetings from outside the normal attendee list. It adds energy and creates some fresh dialog.  Baldini writes: "A new perspective can allow a leader to make certain that what she sees is reality, not her perception of reality." That statement applies equally well to resilience programs, too. … Read more

Lessons Learned … Again

With continuing concern surrounding the damaged nuclear plants, the global community continues to watch the turmoil unfolding in Japan. In the twenty days since the Sendai earthquake and the resulting tsunami brought unimagined devastation to the Japanese nation, we are seeing just how small planet earth really is. Global Dependencies are Felt Locally Moving beyond the destructive impact on whole communities and the human toll too quickly seems to trivialize the impact, but at the same time, it is important that organizations on a global level recognize our interdependence. These dependencies can be seen clearly in the examination of global supply chains. Companies such as Boeing, Sony, … Read more

Fitness Training and Resilience

The more physically fit we are, the more resilient our muscles and bodies are to stress and strain. The same can be said for organizational resilience programs. They may need a “trainer” to help us get them in shape, but even without that expert resource, they certainly need regular exercises. The risks companies face today are varied, and much like exercising different muscle groups, they call for different activities to examine and strengthen against these threats. In 2010, natural disasters had an estimated $109 billion impact, more than triple the previous year; that number doubles when you add the costs of man-made disasters, such as the Gulf Oil Spill, and we quickly see the cost ju … Read more

Resilience is Power …

Power3

… and water, and HVAC, and all related infrastructure components. Resilience is dependent on all these infrastructure components, along with network communications. This became obvious this weekend with two distinct events: - A friend shared a photo of a car that went through the side of a building while parking; in doing so, they broke water and sewage lines which prevented the building from remaining open for business occupancy for several days. - An underground explosion and fire in Philadelphia early Monday morning – just a few blocks from my office – caused local businesses to deal with power outages and street closures when they arrived back after the weekend. These two incidents ar … Read more