What’s Your Incidex? Redefining TCO in the Cloud

I’m typically not a fan of IT buzzwords, but every once in a while one will strike a chord with me. This morning at Oracle OpenWorld I had the benefit of attending Pythian Founder and CEO Paul Vallée’s session titled “Securing Your Infrastrucutre in the Age of Edward Snowden”. He started off the presentation discussing TCO in the age of consolidation and cloud computing, and brought up a very interesting point. Today’s formula isn’t the traditional Capex + Opex + Long-Term Expenses, because the long-term expenses are being embedded in the Capex and Opex decisions (and frequently these days it’s become an all-Opex calculation in a SaaS model). Instead, there’s another more important cost component in today’s application landscape that he referred to as “Incidex”.

At Data Intensity, we spend a lot of time coaching our customers on justifying “overhead” costs like high-availability, disaster recovery, and security. We also spend a lot of money on securing our ingress points into our customers’ networks, and developing methods for securing and auditing privileged accounts for the systems we support. The cost of having a global system become unavailable, even for a short period of time, can be a very expensive proposition — just ask Netflix. The cost of having a data breach, no matter how minor, can do irreparable damage to a business — just ask Home Depot or Target. The increasing complexity and interconnection of today’s application and infrastructure environments increases the exposure of most businesses to a variety of such incidents, whether from a factor related to the technology itself or simply to human error. Smaller footprints with more applications lead to more impactful, more expensive incidents when something goes wrong. And I think the term “Incidex” is a great moniker for it.

So the next time your management or board decides to cut your proposed disaster recovery initiative, or nixes the line item dealing with privileged session management or database auditing, break out your financial calculator and a PowerPoint and show them how Incidex makes those expenditures seem miniscule in comparison.



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