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Available Enterprise

What drives availability?

13th May 2013

When it comes to the technology we rely on to do our jobs or get on with our daily lives, we are much like toddlers in one respect: we want it and we want it now! If we can’t do our online banking or our mobile phone network is down temporarily, we feel aggrieved and short-changed. Who can be bothered to wait for a slow-loading website? After all, this is an age when we become impatient waiting for the kettle to boil.

As we’ve become more and more reliant on the sophisticated technology that runs our work and personal lives, customers, suppliers and employees unquestioningly expect businesses to be available wherever and whenever they need them. SunGard Availability Services’ research[1] into the subject shows this is driven by a number of factors such as:

  • The growth of Bring Your Own Devices (BYoD) – Employees expect to be able to use whatever devices they like – including their own laptops, tablets and smartphones – to access the information they need but managing availability across a plethora of different devices poses an immense challenge for CIOs. This is a particular problem when according to our research, only 18% of companies currently have a BYoD policy in place.
  • The need to meet customer expectations and SLA requirements – This was cited as the most important driver by more than half (55%) of the CIOs surveyed.
  • The demands of an increasingly mobile workforce – According to a forecast from IT analytics firm IDC, by 2015 the world’s mobile worker population will represent 37.2% of the total workforce.
  • Increased internationalisation – Those involved in complex supply chains around the world need to access and process information quickly, irrespective of organisational boundaries and time zones. This means there is no longer any such thing as a downtime window. In fact, CIOs report that business travellers are the most unforgiving when they cannot access the services and information they need on their travels, inadvertently helping to make the business case for availability in their own organisations.
  • Growing recognition of availability as a source of competitive advantage – Simply being more available than your competitors can be the decisive factor in getting a customer’s business and almost a third (32%) cited this as a quantifiable advantage of becoming an available enterprise.
  • The emergence of ‘digital natives’ – The IT-savvy generation that has grown up with Facebook, Amazon and Google has very little tolerance for downtime.

These issues are among those explored in a fascinating interview between myself and Professor Nelson Phillips of Imperial CAE_TrendsVideoGrabollege London.

Watch the video here!

To view the research for yourself or to take advantage of our READpapers, videos, infographics and more, check out our dedicated Available Enterprise portal.


[1] Research conducted by Vanson Bourne in July 2012 involving interviews with 450 IT directors in organisations with 250 to 1,000 employees in the UK (250 interviewees), France (100) and the Nordics (100) across a wide range of business sectors.