"In light of recent catastrophic events in the region, the question we are left with is: With information technology being such a critical part of our day-to-day lives, is this level of availability sufficient, not just for those organizations that responded to our survey, but for the rest of us as well, to sustain normal daily operation Take the examples of the two major outages that occurred in 2010 across the region. DBS Bank Singapore had their systems offline for 7 hours in July 2010 and the Australian airline Virgin Blue was out for even longer in September 2010. Whilst there was clearly an impact to each of these business as a result of these outages, more important was the impact to the thousands of customers that each of these business had," Simon Piff, Program Director, Enterprise Infrastructure, Practice Group, IDC Asia/Pacific.
To be fair, if the airlines and banks are able to restore their key systems in real-time, the issue may not be as severe as it appears. But in truth, the question remains that in this current world where almost everybody and everything, especially in the commercial sector, is now operating in a 24x7x365 environment, is whether these levels of availability acceptable
Further analysis of the survey showed that only 11% of respondents would be able to restore any of their systems in real-time. With the respondents drawn from many industries, it is possible that for some of them, their IT systems are needed as critically as others. And obviously there would be some financial impacts to these organizations, even if the systems were offline for a short time, especially if the point-in time is a critical one for these systems to operate.
To counter such issues, many governments across the region have issued some sort of guidelines to ensure these types if outages occur less and less frequently. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, for example, has mandated that 4 hours is the maximum window that IT servers can be offline. Unfortunately for DBS they exceeded this window and were penalized accordingly. IDC suggests governments to do more in these areas where access to IT systems are critical, not just for the organizations who own and manage them, but also considering those customers that are impacted by these systems.
More information on this survey and other data management concerns will be discussed in the upcoming IDC's Asia/Pacific Transformative ICT Conference 2011. This hot topic event, is now being held across 13 major cities in Asia/Pacific, focusing on the key theme "Thinking Differently Amidst The Hype".