Major incident tsunami


A major incident tsunami, is when a single or a group of Information Technology major incidents occur in a single wave during a very short time period. A tsunami is a single large wave often caused by earthquakes with deep sea epicentres. As with a real tsunami, the effects of an IT major incident tsunami can be devastating.
Examples of major incident tsunamis are:
  • worm or virus outbreak like the Nimda virus.
  • patching bug that disables a large proportion of a corporate's desktop.
  • power failure in the data centre where the backup systems fail to operate.
  • when a redundant system experiences a failure to both redundant components.
  • security certificates expiring on a large number of networked devices , resulting in them all becoming inoperable.
  • a migration process fault where a flood of calls hits a call centre simultaneously.
When a major incident tsunami hits, the internal support capabilities of an organization are overwhelmed. The best method to handle these occureneces is to bring in IT firefighters on short term contracts, to deal with the issue. These IT firefighters will be skilled in dealing with major incident tsunamis and be experienced and skilled in the processes of resolving them.
These modern day IT firefighters are similar to the oil firefighters as represented by the legendary, Red Adair.

It is my prediction that during the next five years, the rate of major incident tsunamis will increase. Eventually, each of these incidents could be graded in a manner that earthquakes are graded via the Richter scale. It will eventually be very easy to identify a major incident tsunami via this scale as all incidents above a certain value will be graded as tsunamis. I suggest using the name, the Hopper Scale, after Grace Hopper, the first bug detector. Any ideas on how to calculate this scale?

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