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July 12, 2005
So far second quarter earnings season hasn't been very inspiring. This story in USA Today confirms some of the weak trends that I wrote about two weeks ago (See, "No Quarter for Investors," June 29, 2005.
Earnings growth is slowing to the single digit level while the number of companies failing to meet analysts' estimates is increasing. Higher oil will no doubt crimp profit margins at many companies in the near future.
Nonetheless, investors remain focused so narrowly on what the Federal Reserve will do next that I think there is a chance stocks could rally in the face of slowing earnings. All it would take is a signal from Greenspan and Co. that the tightening cycle will soon draw to a close.
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Risk due to Inadequate Back Ups
If the application is not mission critical systems do not need to be backed up. However with growing complexity seldom systems are not mission critical. Though some may be more critical than the others. Therefore a judicious level of back up must be considered right from the selection & evaluation stages. Financial & Customer facing systems that used to be thought of pretty harmless systems can bring the entire enterprise to its needs, if the system fails. Where as hard core Process Control systems can not be allowed to go down in the midst of production. Thus depending upon the business processes criticality back up has got to be considered.
The threat to the risk can be eliminated by considering levels of back up. Automatic back up with shared resources, analog backup in some applications & manual back up are the modes of back up that can be used. This has to be considered for all elements of the entire system. Thought must also be given to readiness exercises after the go live time, so that operating people do not forget to run the system in the back up modes.
Translating the above principles to Katrina one finds that there was gross violation of them. We did not care to provide not even 1 level of backup, so failure is bound to happen. Then even if we have back ups, normal human communication & follow up problems will take place. The only way to minimize them is by constant preparedness excersizes. If we do not do these, Katrina's will keep coming & will keep on causing havoc. Hope we take lessons from the above Industrial Best Practices.
Posted by: sam bansal at September 13, 2005 04:22 AM