Behind the curtains, UK companies are undertaking a major shift in how they do business on a daily basis
Upon reading the annual analysis of major business disruptions in the UK from SunGard Availability Services (which aims to give an idea of the resilience throughout organisations and how they are delivering this), a couple of points struck me as particularly significant.
Firstly, overall business disruptions in the UK dropped by over a quarter (26%) in the last twelve months. Following the myriad of high profile outages and disruptions last year, it's encouraging to see companies taking strategic note. But how are we becoming more secure? In what ways are we maintaining business as usual for more of the time?
My belief is that we're seeing all the hype surrounding new ways of working and doing business finally becoming a reality. From cloud computing to virtualisation to managed recovery programmes, new technologies in the workplace are being used to initiate a profound shift. Whereas 'recovery' strategies were previously an essential piece in any business toolkit, these are being replaced with an intense focus on continual availability. Business-as-usual is no longer something to recover and 'downtime' is being stripped from the business vocabulary. Today's companies recognise that operations have to run around the clock, 24/7 to match the demand and expectations of me and you, as both consumers and employees.
This ties exactly into the work I recently did as part of the Delivering the Available Enterprise report, where it became apparent that organisational models are evolving to focus on around the clock availability of resources and data.
It was also good to note that there was a sharp upturn in dedicated workplace recovery investment, meaning businesses are actively investing (both resources and money) to ensure guaranteed resilience for their workforces, as well as their systems.
What does this mean for me and you? The implications of a widespread, new business model, one where the information and service we need are truly accessible, regardless of time, place and location, are wide ranging. When we're working, it'll mean greater flexibility in how we access and use data. And when we're consuming, it'll mean that holiest of grails - great customer service and a proposition that does what it says on the tin.
While there is still work to be done (figures show that the workplace is not yet completely free of disruption), there is a real sense of momentum here, as UK organisations continue taking large steps towards becoming Available Enterprises.