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Tips for Improving Information Availability

WAYNE, Pa., July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- CIOs and corporate IT departments face daily pressures to improve system and data availability while also balancing costs and risks for the IT infrastructure that runs critical business processes. These demands are pushing companies to be better prepared for IT disruptions and deliver more agile, effective responses to those disruptions.

Although there is always a drive for greater reliability, companies cannot afford to designate 99.999 percent levels of availability for every system in their data center. That approach is cost-prohibitive in terms of dollar and people resources. Any information availability strategy must be properly balanced between business and technology considerations, and assess what risks are acceptable, which systems are most critical, and what level of resiliency and recoverability is acceptable. IT organizations need to develop a practical approach to system and data availability, leverage business resiliencies where possible, and ensure all risks are being considered.

"Today's competitive, regulated, and economically stressed marketplace means businesses may be living on a razor's edge where they have to meet increased demands with decreasing resources," said Bill Hughes, director of SunGard Availability Services' Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Center of Excellence. "Organizations must focus on understanding the full spectrum of technology risks to key business processes and the challenges they create in order to make informed decisions regarding mitigation, acceptance or deferral of risk."

SunGard offers the following tips to CIOs and IT managers as they look at ways to improve information availability in the data center:

Develop a partnership with the business. A Business Impact Analysis is a good way to identify the functions and processes that are essential to your day-to-day operations. It can also help make the business aware of IT capabilities and develop a shared view of impacts, risks and solutions. This analysis should assess the financial, operational and other effects of losing critical resources, and determine how quickly they must be restored so the impact on your business is acceptable. Strategies should be developed based on these requirements and include not only technology solutions but also business capabilities to transfer work, focus only on critical functions, and work without IT systems.

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