The Business-Technology Weave

Jun 14 2010   9:57AM GMT

Understanding IDRU (Inadequacy, Disaster, Runaway and Unrecoverability) in contrasting Disaster Recovery (DR) vs. Disaster Awareness, Preparedness and Recovery (DAPR)

David Scott David Scott Profile: David Scott

In our last discussion, we talked about new scales of harm – weighted outcomes that are so great, as delivered by disaster, that holding them in abeyance  through prevention wasn’t some part of a plan; it is the goal and the whole of it.

Disaster Recovery is old-school, outdated, and dangerous.  An almost provocative awareness for potential disasters must now hold sway, with attendant protections for outright prevention of bad outcomes – being that we are in an era whereby technology is not only enabling good things; we must realize that technology’s mismanagement is enabling extraordinarily bad things. 

As discussed previously, the oil spill in the Gulf is a timely example of an extremely bad (and ongoing) outcome as delivered by technology.  Technology allowed us out there, down there, and caused the opening of the oil field to the ocean.

To appreciate why DAPR is necessary, and to fully appreciate what it is, we must first completely understand it’s counterpart:  IDRU – Inadequacy, Disaster, Runaway, and Unrecoverability.  We debuted that term in the last post – let’s examine it in more detail and also provide an example that any person, whether “IT” or “Business,” can readily understand.  This may help you examine and discuss your environment and potentials with your counterparts.  IDRU is:

Inadequacy:  Inadequacy is manifested as lack of awareness, lack of planning, lack of action, lack of results, and dire consequence.  On a local scale, we’re aware of inefficient, ineffective, and inadequate attention, inadequate business, and inadequate technology (or use of it), leading to poor business outcomes. 


We needn’t belabor inadequacy’s national influence:  in America, we’ve achieved a large yield from inadequacies.  Ready examples exist from both natural and man-made harm:  the loss of New Orleans (through Katrina and neglected levees), and 9/11, respectively.  The Gulf oil spill is the latest disaster.  On an organizational level, the news is full of data breaches and harm to business…


Disaster:  Today, disaster can manifest itself as a relatively new phenomenon: an individual, or small group of individuals, can dispense catastrophic harm through the actualization of Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical elements (NBC).  Because relatively small groups now can possess a formerly disproportionate amount of power to harm, already possess the will to harm, and can exploit inadequacy on the part of those they desire to harm, we have a prevailing threat of disaster. 


Beyond NBC, there are new threats of disaster so monumental, that their prevention is not just some measure of abeyance in the style of a 9/11; their prevention is necessary to deny a state of total Unrecoverability.  A massive, generalized state of Unrecoverability has to be of overriding concern to the collective Business-Technology Weave, of any Nation, group, endeavor and person.  Consider IDRU from the perspective of EMP:  Electro-Magnetic Pulse.  We will discuss that in some detail in an upcoming post.


Runaway:  A simple analogy will serve:  You are the driver of a car.  You are speeding on a wet and winding road.  There are signs, and they are warning:  one gives the Speed Limit.  One indicates Slippery When Wet.  One indicates Dangerous Curve Ahead.  Given the nature and conditions of the road, you should have an adequate awareness of danger, and you should have enough information to take action:  to slow down, to drive with care, to prevent a bad outcome. 


However, you fail to do these things.  Your attention, concern, and actions are inadequate.  You fail to imagine and plan for the contingency that soon happens:  you cannot make the dangerous curve; you break through a guardrail; and you begin a plummet down a cliff.  Your predicament was preventable, but now this, for you, is  disaster. 


But – you yet have ‘systems’ at your disposal.  You mash the brake.  There is no effect.  You turn the wheel to the left, to the right – again, your action has no effect.  In fact, your fall accelerates.  You pull the emergency brake.  You are in an emergency and beyond:  You are in a condition of Runaway.  You, and any action you take, are irrelevant to an inevitable outcome.  It is, simply, too late. 


Here, prevention wasn’t some part of a disaster plan – it was all of it.  Once you begin Runaway, there is no meaningful action to be taken, and – regardless of remaining plan – no executable part of a plan that contains any meaning. 


Unrecoverability:  Once you’re in the zone of an inevitable bad outcome, you are in a position of Unrecoverability.  Our car is in a Runaway condition, and the car and its occupant are now Unrecoverable – they will be smashed and killed, respectively. 


Today’s Business-Technology Weave, and any measure of it, is susceptible to unrecoverable situations.  Many companies mount expensive core business applications, platforms – so-called “solutions” – only to find them to be poor fits; often it’s an extremely expensive “wrong turn” and you’re through the guard rail heading for a business crash.  I would imagine that any reader here has an example.


Ah, but there is hope.  Stay tuned…

June 14th:  On this day in 1834, Sandpaper was patented by Isaac Fischer Jr. of Springfield, Vermont

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