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Zerto 2018 Predictions: A Seat at the Table for IT; 2018 will be far more than 'keeping the lights on'

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Sean Masters, Senior Manager, Sales Strategy and Operations, Zerto

A Seat at the Table for IT; 2018 will be far more than 'keeping the lights on'

This year was one for the books when it comes to natural disasters and cyber attacks as the world experienced some of the largest ransomware attacks and most devastating weather on record.   

WannaCry infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries in just one day. NotPetya - a new strain of an old malware - shut down the National Bank of Ukraine. And the Equifax data breach exposed 143 million customers, making their names, driver's license numbers and social security numbers vulnerable to hackers.

In the same year, we witnessed Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which helped rack up $15 billion in damages by September, making 2017 the worst year for hurricanes since the year of Katrina. Now California is battling some of the largest forest fires in the state's history.

A profession known for "keeping the lights on" is now increasingly focused on so much more.  IT professionals are working diligently to protect employees, customers and corporate reputations during perilous times.

Now, more than ever, IT needs and deserves an influential voice at the table.

While ransomware attacks were widespread and quite consequential in 2017, we really have yet to see the worst. Between 2018-2020 the ransomware issue is going to become a nightmare of epic proportions. We haven't seen anything yet in terms of how vastly the threat vectors are changing and will continue to evolve.  And we have yet to fully understand the impact of global climate change.

I believe that as organizations come to the realization that attacks are only going to get worse and that severe weather events are inevitable, they'll finally make the moves necessary to become more resilient and more efficiently react when attacks happen.  But to do that, IT is almost certainly going to have to take a bigger seat at the table to help inform overarching resiliency strategies. 

Moving forward, I expect CIOs, CFOs and their teams will work together more strategically to form those comprehensive strategies. Regular meetings should take place where they collectively examine IT risks, discuss how to mitigate them and evaluate if the CIO has adequate resources to handle any potential threats.

This collaboration will be crucial to ensure businesses are not just multiple steps ahead of hackers and severe weather, but are also building resilient IT infrastructures to recover easily, swiftly and without any downtime when it comes to any type of disruption; from simple human error to a major M&A event.

IT professionals and business leaders need to work together to answer the question, "are we ready for the next major disruption?" Planning the resources and strategies can be challenging, which is sometimes why they're put on the backburner.

As IT comes to terms with the challenges ahead, departments across organizational lines will join together to reevaluate and reshape their IT resiliency plans, and likely implement entirely new and unconventional strategies to prepare for the impending threats.

At this rate, being affected by an attack or natural disaster is not a matter of "if," but "when." So IT has far more on its hands than just keeping applications running faster and updating patches. Until organizations accept this reality and stay one step ahead through thoughtful IT resiliency strategies, they will continue to be vulnerable to the next event that brings their operations to a standstill.


About the Author

Sean Masters 

Sean Masters is a senior manager of strategy and operations at Zerto. With twenty years' experience in IT and seven in Sales, selling into the Fortune 100 and F1000, Sean drives process innovation and productivity enhancement for the Sales and Systems Engineering organizations.
Published Friday, January 12, 2018 7:24 AM by David Marshall
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