2009 Gartner Business Continuity Summit (Part 2)

I have landed back in the UK after a hugely successful trip to Chicago where I presented at the 2009 Gartner Business Continuity Summit. The Summit was held in the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Downtown Chicago.

In recent research, Gartner listed the main drivers for the growth in, and maturity of, BCM programs that we see in 2008 and beyond as: 24/7 business delivery model, and globalization of business operations.

My interpretation of “24/7 business model” is the increased stress on Recovery Time Objectives (RTO’s). We have seen RTO’s shrink considerably in the past few years as technology and business demands clash. A large customer of ours has reclassified 40% of their server as “critical” in a recent disaster recovery internal review. For “globalisation of business operations” I interpret this not just in terms of larger organisations growing globally – but companies finding data distributed across their network which requires protection.

Some further observations:

1. All of the attendees I spoke to were great technologists. They all appeared to be receptive to any new approaches and ideas that could make their life a lot easier. For instance, many I spoke to were early adopters of VM technology, and were now actively considering moving their backups into the “cloud”. My presentation concentrated on deploying online backup within a private “cloud” (or WAN for us old boys) – and this struck a chord with many attendees who had previously objected to sending their data offsite to a third party provider

2. Everyone hates tapes. Everyone. Most people I spoke to still use tape either as a primary backup and recovery system (which they admit is a potential weakness), or more likely as a secondary medium to store long term archives on.

Having spent the past 9 years promoting the benefits of cloud backup (even before the term even existed!!) it gave me great heart to know that more and more people agree that tape is not suitable as a main backup system.

For those who have asked for photographic evidence, I am pleased to link you to a picture of myself flanked by Dave Russell of Gartner Inc (left) and Jas Mann of Asigra Inc (right).

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