Contingency Plans

Last week’s episode of my podcast Beneficial Intelligence was about contingency plans. Texas was not prepared for the cold, and millions lost power. The disaster could have been avoided, had the suggestions from previous outages been implemented. But because rarely gets very cold in Texas, everybody decided to save money by not preparing their gear for winter. At the same time, Texans have decided to go it alone and not connect their grid to any neighbors.

In all systems, including your IT systems, you can handle risks in two ways: You can reduce the probability of the event occurring, or you can reduce the impact when it occurs. For IT systems, we reduce the probability with redundancy, but we run into Texas-style problems when we believe the claims of vendors and fail to prepare for the scenario when our redundant systems do fail. 

Texas did not reduce the probability, and was not prepared for the impact. Don’t be like Texas.

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