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Big Risk, Big Opportunity: IT-Infrastructure Complexity

Created: 04 Oct 2012 • Updated: 04 Oct 2012 • 1 comment
dennis_wenk's picture
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Professor John Graham of Indiana University points out that “large amounts of resources are devoted to slight or speculative dangers while substantial and well-documented dangers remain unaddressed”.  It has been well established that people often too much weight is placed on risks of low probability.  Such is the dilemma of complexity within IT infrastructure.  We often talk about hackers, malware, floods, fires, earthquakes, and tornados; while the real crisis is happening right under our nose and it has well over 5,000 risk signatures.  This crisis is the complexity in the IT infrastructure and it is causing considerable losses for companies.

The likelihood that an organization will experience a catastrophic loss from an IT failure is far greater than any catastrophic disaster or "black swan" event.   IT failures are costing companies trillions of dollars every year; worldwide downtime is estimated at over $35 Billion monthly.  When it comes to losing data, the infrastructure is the cause between 50% and 75% of the time. The proliferation of IT failures is eroding profitability for organizations during a time when they are searching for every opportunity to cut costs; controlling the losses due to IT-infrastructure failures can provide significant contributions to any cost containment effort. 

While a flood, a fire, a earthquake, or a tornado maybe lead to a potential crisis, the real crisis is the failures caused by the increasing complexity of the IT-infrastructure, that crisis occurs daily.  According to a Gartner survey, 73% of IT executives say their infrastructure complexity is either ‘high’ or ‘out of control’.  While complexity is spiraling toward out of control, I prefer to see this as a huge opportunity for organizations to improve.  If this trend can be reversed not only are the financial rewards compelling but the improvements will yield a significant competitive advantage to any organization; controlling the IT-infrastructure can be our finest hour.

Today’s modern IT-infrastructure is a conglomeration of heterogeneous platforms, dynamically changing virtual environments, and emerging technologies. In today’s world of Big Data, Private Clouds, and Mobile computing success depends on resilient and interdependent information systems, together with reliable and accurate information.  Symantec help organizations simplify the inherent infrastructure complexity and get the big things right.  Solutions like Virtual Business Service, ApplicationHA, Cluster File System, and Veritas Operations Manager increase service resiliency by mitigating the consequence of IT-infrastructure failures; an improvement that will translate directly to the bottom line.

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jimnelson's picture

This is a well considered and timely position with some relevant insights. Thank you!

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