Talking IT availability to employees, customers and shareholders
What place do your backup and recovery levels hold in employee and customer communications? Are they proudly mentioned as a key benefit of your organisation or loosely referred to in a ‘we take it seriously' statement somewhere in an appendix or regulatory statement?
High availability is more than a tick on the wish list
The primary reason organisations are investing in their backup and restoration levels is to enable digital transformation. They understand that data and application availability are crucial to the new world of business operations, innovation and disruption.
While most are struggling to keep pace with the growing expectations, those that have made the step change required are not only sleeping better at night, they’re also waking up to a valuable point of difference.
Adding backup and restoration to your marketing plan
If your organisation has high levels of availability, there are some marketing questions you might want to ask.
- Does your market analysis gather competitor messaging around availability, such as claims of being an always-on organisation?
- Do your customer personas include any reference to their downtime and data loss tolerance?
- Are you seeing availability as a brand attribute enabler?
If you have established high levels of data and application availability as a foundation of your digital transformation, but kept quiet about it, you may be missing a golden opportunity.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it
The employee and customer engagement benefits of elevating your always-on claim from fluff to fact add an often overlooked element to the ROI in high availability. Imagine the impact of proudly using your availability data, backed by industry bench-marks and clear audience benefits, to reinforce your always-on promise.
Claiming the high ground
Employee and customer expectations are typically so high that your availability level might not sound like great news, until you provide an industry context. If competitors aren’t talking high availability, you’ll have an opportunity to claim the high ground and a key point of difference you can own.
Establishing high availability and talking about it with pride will also boost employee confidence, productivity and their willingness to fully embrace ongoing digital transformation initiatives. While high availability is an essential, not communicating it with pride is a lost opportunity.
Celebrating availability test results
Regularly testing your availability levels is best practice, but few organisations celebrate the results and reinforce the benefits the following day. Even if you only celebrate with internal audiences, you’re still strengthening their engagement and giving them brand-boosting talking points to share socially with potential clients.
IT teams often have a performance dashboard that comes up at weekly meetings. Some even have them running live on screens in their work area. But imagine the benefits of making your high availability data readily visible to employees and customers. It’s a great way to leverage investment in something that, if it’s doing a good job, will never otherwise get noticed.
Isn’t that asking for trouble?
What if your availability starts to fall off, you wonder? Isn’t there a huge risk in making it public? It’s a perfectly understandable response. Despite the pleading of IT professionals, inadequate availability levels have been swept under the carpet for so long decision makers probably assume that’s where they belong. Leadership teams are certainly not used to managing them with any urgency, until a disaster occurs that is. But even then, most organisations trivialise the impact and focus extra resources on getting the same inadequate environment back up and running again.
With availability levels out in the open and their importance understood, they will simply get the priority attention they deserve. After all, high availability is a must-have for employees and customers today. They expect nothing less. If you’re unexpectedly off line, or you lose the information someone just provided, they will publicly vent their dissatisfaction. Within a very short time, countless people who were never directly affected will have moved closer to your competitors.
The opportunity is there for the taking
In a recent global survey conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group for Veeam®:
- 82% of enterprises surveyed admitted they don’t restore applications fast enough to truly be an always-on organisation.
- 77% admitted they don’t back up data frequently enough to be an always-on organisation.
Clearly there is plenty of opportunity to claim a valuable point of difference as an employer and as a customer-focussed business. Most organisations are improving their availability levels, but they’re struggling to get ahead of ever-growing employee and customer expectations.
Fortune will favour the swift
The risk of having your inadequate availability publicly exposed is growing every day. A step change is needed in most organisations, and it’s needed now. The most effective way to achieve that in the required timeframe is to partner with a specialist that has cloud-based expertise, experience and infrastructure. They should also offer the ‘pay as you go and only for what you use’ environments that have revolutionised IT finances. You should also look for a willingness to make a long-term commitment. This will help ensure you stay ahead of availability expectations as your business grows and technology continues to evolve.
Begin with a deeper understanding
To find out why so many organisations are struggling with availability, the impacts and the recommended steps for solving the problem, download a free copy of the 2017 Veeam® Availability report.Download Report Now
Veeam® Cloud Data Management™ Platform is the most complete solution to help our customers evolve the way they manage data, making it smarter and more self-governing while ensuring its availability across any application or cloud infrastructure. It’s a single platform for cloud, virtual and physical to meet all your needs. It helps customers on the journey to modernising their Backup practice, accelerating hybrid cloud, and adhering to data security and regulations.