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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Self-Healing Risk Solutions

I was having a discussion with a risk analyst only the other day about which industry sector does it best from a risk management perspective, be it Banking or Oil and Gas, Health, Aviation and so on.

Genius Loci
From what I have assessed over the years is that on the ground practices are at best subtly different when you are attempting to control risk in a telecommunications setting over say, the world of investment banking. Often it's not just the emphasis on what is a management essential that changes what practitioners do, the very 'why' they are there that drives people if you prefer, but more often than not, there can be an entire deviation of language and risk management techniques between one industry sector and another.

This is the Genius Loci or cultural embodiment of Risk Management. To stay with Latin for a moment, Genius Loci translates to the spirit of a place which makes that moment in time uniquely special and it can apply to companies, communities, and even an entire country can be patriotically Genius Loci.

So then, which industry sector does risk management the best? I accept the word "best" alone needs definition, but I would be curious to hear any risk manager's opinion about which sector does Risk Management the best and why.

In the Genius Loci backdrop, this Risk Management paper [LINK] on Self-Healing is enlightening for people like me who are heavily influenced by risk control efforts that carry on framed in the context of a bank.

Don't misunderstand me; I get it! If you were producing a commodity that can't be stored, which happens to be power, that momentary shelf life alone creates a situation of urgency. Opportunities lost can't be recovered and when it comes to your distribution network; the more perpetual, the more omnipresent, the more valuable your service becomes. We have to price our commodity at the right level through time, we must not over produce and waste is a curse, but an equally treacherous concern is delivery, and in this case, redundancy is a useful survival tactic with a ceasless price.

Maybe only a banker would see Self-Healing resilience in such a manner. Anyway, I am bought into this reliability concept, systems that can be impacted by adversity, not damaged but systems that learn, adapt and recover so that the contextual layer is unimpaired. Self-Healing has to be the winning strategy when it comes to prioritising business continuity, but I am always open to other suggestions.

Distributed Autonomous Intelligent Agents [LINK]

Perhaps one of the learning takeaways we should acknowledge with Self-Healing Risk Solutions is that the concept reverses the function of reliability to scale, in that the larger and more complex the scale, the more effective, efficient and reliable you become. Believe me; this paradox is not the common experience you will encounter in banking or with governments. These places are typically slow-moving bureaucracies that drive inefficiencies which in the realm of electricity would deliver a prospect of survival that is untenable when outages do happen.

Agent Based Technology
Self-Healing works the function of Reliability to Scale in reverse by enabling a couple of unique features in the distribution network, starting out with decentralising control into autonomous units known as agents.

Secondly, the state of disruption is always considered and never taken as an operational exception. In other risk cultures, the appreciation of network error is an entirely alternate dilemma from normal operation to distress. This may come across as a colloquialism and maybe that is the unique value proposition or Genius Loci of power with reliability, but it leaves us with a network that is continuously switching to load balance and resolve discrepancies.
"The envisioned infrastructure calls for a distributed system in which the locations of hardware, software and data are transparent to the user. This enables autonomous intelligent agents distributed throughout the system to realise the required functions..." of ergonomic cooperative processing that quite simply works most often no matter what you throw at it.
What you end up with is a set of network routes that are designed to replicate each other and services are configured to operate just as well on route two as they do on route two twenty-two.

To put it another way, the distribution network synchronizes signal switching in such a way that disruption is not sourced from the transfer of load which in domains of the likes of banking is the very reason why a bank's network usually fails. 

Execution Cycles for Temporal Coordination [LINK]

You will appreciate what I am talking about after reading the Vision for a Self-Healing Power Grid paper and if done well, Self-Healing Risk Solutions should put the need for a Disaster Recovery solution out of business.

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