"If you know that there is a 50-percent chance that a light bulb is going to go out, you buy two," T-Systems CEO Ferri Abolhassan offered a simple explanation of how redundancy works when it comes to quality assurance.
Of course his audience of around 150 guests at the world's first Zero Outage Conference in Berlin deal with much more complicated systems than living room lighting. Take container ports, for example. When nothing is working for three hours because the IT has crashed, the head of IT is mentioned in the traffic report every half hour, the CEO of Deutsche Bahn railway calls and car manufacturers to the south get nervous. It is crucial that the logistics chain stays intact. System outages at major airports, banks and even hospitals can have even more serious consequences. Outages at these places can put human lives in danger, which is why the zero-outage principle is more than just a good idea, it is one of the truly major challenges of digitization.
Partners and competitors together at the same table
With the growing dependence of business on digital processes, the importance of ensuring uninterrupted operation of technical infrastructure increases as well. The Zero Outage Conference brought together partners and competitors for the first time to jointly tackle this sensitive issue. After all, everyone shares responsibility for digitization. Gigabit societies and new business models can only be created with technology that is as reliable as possible. And no one can do it alone.
"We need to prevent outages before they even happen," Martina Koederitz, General Manager of IBM Germany, said during the discussion round on stage. The goal is to establish a common industry initiative for quality assurance. Until now, systems providers have been striving to guarantee the best quality for their own systems alone. Now it's time to work together. "I'm pleased that this dialog is finally getting underway," said Reinhard Clemens, Member of the Deutsche Telekom .Board of Management.
Industry standard for the zero-outage principle
The Internet of Things is going to bring an incalculable number of new companies into the game. This will give rise to countless opportunities for attacks and outages, so the technology used is going to need effective protection. 98 percent of technical infrastructure is made up of components produced by around two percent of manufacturers. When they decide to work together, the result will be a high reliability organization. The Zero Outage Conference has gotten the ball rolling. The next goal will be to create an industry standard for the zero-outage principle. And to create an association comprised of major players from the IT industry to define and monitor this standard.