Calling all Chief Resilience Officers

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Calling all Chief Resilience Officers

[Blog post] Cities need them, maybe businesses too?

What has New York, San Francisco and Norfolk got, that Melbourne’s hunting for and Sydney hasn’t even thought about? 

I’ll pre-empt my friends south of the border: it’s not ‘culture’.

These cities have all invested in a chief resilience officer – an individual that plans for how a city might cope when there is a major catastrophe like a natural disaster. They are concerned with how we get on with things when critical infrastructure isn’t available.

The Rockefeller Foundation is funding 100 chief resilience officers around the world. When you consider the implications of global warming, or the consequences of Western aggression in the Middle East and in developing nations, it’s not the worst idea.

I imagine for many iTnews readers the idea of a chief resilience officer sounds familiar, even if nobody ever gets to wear such a grandiose title. Those charged with the IT component of business continuity are probably among the best-versed executives on how to plan for the worst.

And the worst seems more likely on a daily basis: 

  • IT organisations are being asked to deliver applications at speeds the usual testing and QA processes struggle to keep pace with. 
  • Meanwhile, cost-conscious executives are outsourcing core processes in search of agility and cost savings; and
  • CSOs in particular are losing the battle over the rush to the cloud and the delivery of digital services from outside the remit of IT’s change control processes.

Enterprise IT needs a chief resilience officer almost as much as any city council does. As a broader range of physical devices connect to IP networks, so expands the definition of what constitutes critical infrastructure.

At the Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit earlier this year we sought feedback on where IT infrastructure and data centre managers wanted help for the event in 2015, and the biggest ticket item was disaster recovery.

Over the coming months I’ll be looking out for some DR heroes – IT’s own chief resilience officers – to chat about what represents best practice.

If you’ve done anything big, brave or brilliant in DR over the past six months, I’d love to hear from you.

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Brett Winterford

One of Australia’s most experienced technology journalists, former iTnews Group Editor Brett Winterford has written about the business of technology for 15 years.

Awarded Business Journalist and Technology Journalist of the year at the 2004 ITjourno awards and Editor of the Year at the 2009 Publishers Australia 'Bell' awards, Winterford has extensive experience in both the business and technology press, writing for such publications as the Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald.

As editor of iTnews Brett has led a team of award-winning journalists; delivered speeches at industry events; authored, commissioned and edited research papers, curated technology conferences [The iTnews Executive Summit and Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit and also shares the judging of the annual Benchmark Awards.

Brett's areas of specialty include enterprise software, cloud computing and IT services.

Read more from this blog: System II

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