The State of Reliability

During the months of lockdown caused by COVID-19, we’ve all experienced some frustrating signs of the strain we’ve put on our digital infrastructure — including painfully slow Wi-Fi, Zoom calls that cut out and lagging streaming services.

Reliability has taken on new meaning in 2020. On the whole, the interruption to digital services was lower than expected, but there were exceptions, and many ISPs have struggled.

Customers may have been understanding this time around, but companies should be doing everything they can to avoid any future disruption.

Reliability Defined:

Reliability means consistently delivering the results you said you would deliver.

Key Trends in Reliability in 2020

RELIABILITY: TREND 1

Increased Reliance on Digital Infrastructure

The acceleration to digital in the first half of 2020 was one of the defining characteristics of the pandemic. Industries that had previously been slow to go digital — like healthcare, education and government — were suddenly left with no choice.

There’s no going back. In many ways, COVID-19 has forced businesses to sharpen their focus on continuity plans. And the need for a reliable digital infrastructure is at the top of the list for everyone, from large enterprises to mom and pop shops. Before the pandemic, businesses were worried about their network going down, so they would create failovers and backups. Now they rely on the Wi-Fi network and connectivity of each individual home-based employee, which creates many more smaller outages.

As digital becomes default, reliability of service comes under focus. Downtime can cost as much as $540,000 per hour, according to Gartner, with the average cost of an IT outage being $5,600 per minute.

Georgian Impact Podcast

Christie Terrill

Episode 69: Bug Bounties, Penetration Testing and Keeping Your Business Safe with Christie Terrill

"Ask ‘What's the worst-case scenario?’ and work backwards from that. Is it data leakage from your customers? Is it operationally your system not being available? Are you prepared for that worst case?"

Our Prediction

Outages Get Worse Before Getting Better

We predict that outages will continue to proliferate, with government being the first to show signs of pressure. Organizations will need to develop new infrastructure to cope with increased digital demand patterns.

Best-in-Class Responses

WHAT TO DO

  • Plan for extreme surges in workload demand.
  • Test systems through chaos engineering.
  • Expect outages and develop contingency plans.

RELIABILITY: TREND 2

Pay-as-you-go Spreads to Critical IT Components

As enterprises move away from CapEx to OpEx, they will look for more and more services on a pay-as-you-go, “as a service” basis.

Our Prediction

Subscription Model Will Find New Applications

The subscription model has been spreading to new use cases for years. Expect to see it in even more places this year. Face-mask filter subscription, anyone?

WHAT TO DO

  • Assess your current IT assets and future planned investments to understand your organization’s infrastructure needs.
  • Understand CapEx vs. OpEx and the overall economics of cloud investments.
  • Plan ahead for a more manageable cloud migration.

RELIABILITY: TREND 3

The internet tilts toward the edge

According to Gartner, "Around 10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud. By 2025, Gartner predicts this figure will reach 75%."

2020 will mark a notable shift in enterprise IT as the dawn of a new era of edge computing arises. The first-generation model of centralized cloud computing and storage has now run its course, and most of the new opportunities for enterprise data management reside at the edge.

Our Prediction

The Edge Turf War Heats Up

Devices will become smart-by-default, and the turf war to be the hub will heat up. New companies will emerge to provide the infrastructure (and integration) of the edge.

WHAT TO DO

  • Manage edge devices: Have visibility over every single device on the network, no matter how seemingly small or irrelevant.
  • Monitor the edge: Buy or build an analytics capability into every device that can be managed on one platform or hub.
  • Automate response at the edge using AI-powered anomaly detection solutions.

Reliability: Key Takeaways

Now that you’ve built the system, product or service, ensure it continues to operate smoothly and as expected by your users.

Businesses have the opportunity to differentiate on reliability by delivering the results they say they will deliver and proactively planning for surges in workload demand. In summary, tech leaders should consider these important points in 2020:

  • 1 We predict that outages will continue to proliferate, with government being the first to show signs of pressure. Organizations will need to develop new infrastructure to cope with increased digital demand patterns.
  • 2 The subscription model has been spreading to new use cases for years. Expect to see it in even more places this year. Face-mask filter subscription, anyone?
  • 3 Devices will become smart-by-default, and the turf war to be the hub will heat up. New companies will emerge to provide the infrastructure (and integration) of the edge.

Reliability Checklist

Increased Reliance on Digital Infrastructure

  • Plan for extreme surges in workload demand.
  • Test systems through chaos engineering.
  • Expect outages and develop contingency plans.

Pay-as-you-go Spreads to Critical IT Components

  • Assess your current IT assets and future planned investments to understand your organization’s infrastructure needs.
  • Understand CapEx vs. OpEx and the overall economics of cloud investments.
  • Plan ahead for a more manageable cloud migration.

The internet Tilts Toward the Edge

  • Manage edge devices: Have visibility over every single device on the network, no matter how seemingly small or irrelevant.
  • Monitor the edge: Buy or build an analytics capability into every device that can be managed on one platform or hub.
  • Automate response at the edge using AI-powered anomaly detection solutions.

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This post is part of our 2020 State of Trust Report. If you don't see a menu on the left of your screen, dive into the rest of the report here.