How to Overcome Business Risk on Friday the 13th

Strengthen resiliency with interconnected clouds

Jim Poole

Business used to be simple. With enough capital, you could open a local establishment and grow from there. Today, things are a lot more complicated with dense supply chains crisscrossing the globe. For example, there are 30,000 parts that go into a single Toyota car and an iPhone requires up to 34 components from eight countries and 62 different types of metal![i] And if managing supply chain complexity wasn’t enough, businesses face a myriad of other challenges ranging from climate change-induced events to ever-changing geo-political and regulatory policies to rapidly changing markets and technologies. Given these hurdles, it’s no surprise that half of all businesses fail after five years and only one-third survive ten years.[ii]

Having a good business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) plan in place is vital for business survival. And since the majority of business operations depend on IT infrastructure being available at all times, ensuring that data is safeguarded and operations continue after a disaster strikes is of paramount importance. Interconnected clouds make it easy for businesses to mirror critical IT systems, data and applications to other locations and/or clouds for optimal resiliency and availability.

Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™

See how Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric) enables businesses to build diverse, private network connections to cloud services, minimizing downtime or service disruptions.

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50%

Of small businesses fail after 5 years. Having a good business continuity/disaster recovery plan in place is vital for survival.

Lessons from Friday the 13th – Be ready for disaster to strike

Modern day superstitions about Friday the 13th may have been sparked by the American horror films by the same name, but fear of the number 13 has actually been around since the Middle Ages. And there are, in fact, several real disasters that are tied to this day including extreme weather events, stock market drops, fires and even a Friday the 13th computer virus that swept through the U.K. in 1989.[iii] While the fact that these events happened on a particular day may be more chance than anything else, the real lesson is that disasters do strike and businesses need to be prepared. For example, during the severe flooding in Thailand in 2011, more than 14,500 companies who rely on Thai suppliers suffered business disruptions. Western Digital lost 45% of its shipments, HP lost $2 billion and Toyota lost 240,000 cars:[iv]

To help businesses gain a clearer picture of emerging risks, Gartner surveys risk, audit and compliance executives every quarter about the top threats they see looming on the horizon. And in looking at Gartner’s Emerging Risk Tracker for the past year shown below, it’s clear that the pace of change is accelerating as executives worry about digital misconceptions (now an established threat) and getting strategic assumptions wrong. Keeping data safe and compliant also remain top concerns as external risks such as extreme weather and volatile trade policies continue to proliferate.[v]

Key lesson from Friday the 13th – be ready for disaster to strike with a good business continuity plan.

BC/DR in the cloud can keep you prepared

A core part of any good business continuity plan is to have a mirrored site for IT operations in a different geographical location for redundancy. That way, if disaster strikes in one location, IT teams can fail over to the mirrored site to keep applications and databases up and running with minimal impact to the business. However, deploying and maintaining physical servers for applications and databases across multiple geographies is costly and prone to performance and security risks. That’s why more and more enterprises are looking to the cloud for data backup, recovery and protection. Cloud and virtualization technologies make it easy for organizations to mirror critical applications and data to clouds in different geographic locations for optimal redundancy, resiliency and faster time to recovery.

For example, HAVI, a global food supply chain and logistics company, needed to scale its DR capabilities for business continuity across its service areas that could accommodate more data and customers. It wanted a cloud-based solution for better agility and lower CAPEX. HAVI partnered with Equinix to interconnect its Chicago production site to a disaster recovery solution in the cloud using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect on Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™). As a cloud-neutral solution, ECX Fabric provides flexible, on-demand, global interconnection to public cloud service providers (CSPs) in multiple metro markets for redundancy and high availability. ECX Fabric bypasses the public internet, enabling HAVI to directly replicate 12-15 terabytes (TB) of data daily from its production site in Chicago to its DR environment, from which they can restore operations if a disaster occurs.

Watch the video (below) and download the ECX Fabric Data Sheet to learn more about ensuring business continuity through geo-diverse, resilient software-defined interconnection to multiple cloud services.

 

[i] CXO Communication, 5 Reasons Why Sustainability Can Make or Break Your Brand, 2019.

[ii]Fundera, Small Business Statistics: 19 Essential Numbers to Know (2020), Jan 2020.

[iii]Insider, 17 terrible things that have happened on Friday the 13th, Dec 2019.

[iv]BSR, Climate and Supply Chain: The Business Case for Action, Sept 2018.

[v] Gartner, Gartner Survey Shows Lack of Confidence in Strategic Assumptions as the Top Emerging Risk in 4Q19, Feb 2020 and Gartner Quarterly Update on Top Emerging Business Risk, Jan 2020.

 

14,500

Companies who rely on Thai suppliers suffered business disruptions during the severe flooding in Thailand.