The world seems at a turning point. Political tensions that may escalate further between states like China, Russia and the western world dominate the news. At the same time, the ongoing climate change causes extreme heatwaves, floods, and hurricanes worldwide. All these events cause waves of economic uncertainty that directly impact the service provider business in terms of product-market strategies, customer acquisition, and corporate policies.
The effect of war and natural disasters on your business is hard to ignore. As a result of globalization, any local conflict or disaster can potentially cause a snowball effect dragging along complete supply chains. Countries tend to protect their home markets, undercutting companies abroad. How will your customers be able to maintain a healthy solvency position when they are confronted with interruptions in trade flows, loss of resources, and inflation?
War and natural catastrophes imply huge risks for IT infrastructures and data security. With critical components being more interdependent, the risk increases. It only takes one good blow on a crucial data centre or cable to lose internet connectivity and shut down your business. Cyberattacks can easily undermine society, disrupt complete branches (e.g., energy supply, financial traffic, or healthcare) and cause economic instability. We saw it happening in Ukraine, where Russian cyberattacks shut key government websites down.
The service provider business should face the need to address possible geo- and geopolitical risks proactively. Most important is to understand which uncontrollable events may occur and the impact on the regulatory, social, and market reactions. Only then, it is possible to align your business strategy to mitigate these risks.
A first step to sound risk management is constantly monitoring your risk exposure. Furthermore, you need insight in your supply chain and that of your customers. Calculate your risks well and spread them. Don’t put all your faith in a customer portfolio that is too dependent on Chinese-based suppliers or is located mainly in a single high-risk country. Invest in solid cloud infrastructure and online security. Do everything you can to keep cybercriminals out and focus on the weakest link. Most security incidents still occur because of the bad judgment of people. Help them to avoid hackers’ traps.
You can only do so much to keep the outside world at bay, and no cloud environment is 100% safe. What is your plan B if a catastrophe hits your business after all? Be sure you are prepared for the worst and make a solid contingency plan.
In case of a disaster, anything might happen; the failure of cloud services, accidental deletion or theft of critical data, a power failure, destruction of the office, the loss of your most vital staff, etc. Make a top 10 list of the most likely worst-case scenarios and elaborate them in a well-thought contingency plan. If you make sure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency, you can reduce damage. The sooner your business recovers and resumes normal operations, the better.
At Insight, we help service providers realize their business ambitions in a multi-cloud world. As a multi-vendor software licensing, workload, and cloud platform specialist, we can guide you through all stages of your strategic cloud journey. No matter where you are in your journey, we help you to find new ways forward and accelerate your business. Contact one of our cloud specialists for a talk.