You may or may not have heard of the concept of "IT resilience." To be fair, it certainly doesn't have the catchy ring of a term like blockchain, gamification or even machine learning, and in an industry where buzzwords pull a lot of weight – arguably much more than they should – a clunky turn of phrase like IT resilience isn't always going to permeate beyond the tech bubble.
This can be troublesome, because the concept is quite valuable, especially for organizations considering an IT modernization initiative or already in the planning stages of such a project. But that shouldn't stop you from learning all that you can about the value of IT resilience and how it applies to your tech infrastructure plans. Let's take a closer look:
IT resilience in a nutshell
CIO magazine defines IT resilience as "being prepared for any type of disruption – planned or unplanned – to mitigate the risk of downtime so your focus remains on projects that drive transformation." Rendered in slightly less complex terms, it boils down to the establishment of go-to troubleshooting methods and fail-safes for all aspects of your IT infrastructure. Whether the disruption stems from a natural disaster, human error or a cyberattack, you must have the resources to roll with the associated punches.
By no means is this restricted to your organization's various internal tech functions: Customer- or client-facing systems also need to be bolstered by backup plans. This way, as long as you experience a glitch or other problem that doesn't lead to a total failure, your consumers will still be able to access the data and applications necessary for them to use your products. As you may well have guessed, offsite auxiliary data storage plays a big part in IT resilience. But CIO stated that it's critical for your backup solutions to operate continuously in real time. allowing for recovery-point (and -time) objectives that are incredibly narrow and allow access to rescued data across multiple platforms, including the cloud.
Confronting the major challenges to resilience
According to the IBM SecurityIntelligence blog, the growing complexity of so many organizations' data collection efforts represents one of the major trouble spots that an IT resilience plan will have to face. In other words: The broader the canvas upon which a company's data stores are painted, so to speak, the more difficult it will be for backup methods to successfully account for the maintenance of big data integrity. Resilience and recovery initiatives must also be equipped to trace the ways in which data has snaked out from its various points of origin, including public- or private-cloud infrastructure and hundreds (maybe thousands) of mobile devices connected to your network.
Migration of your company's operations to new systems – a key component of any legacy modernization plan – stands out as another project that can put your IT infrastructure's resilience to the test. According to a 2016 survey on IT resilience and its associated factors conducted by IDG, 25% of migration initiatives undertaken by IT professionals required anywhere from 25 to 100 hours to complete, and 17% of these projects took more than 100 hours before they were finished.
The real issue represented by lengthy migrations isn't the hours necessary for successful completion as much as the downtime it creates, usually around six hours. For a business of any significant size, that's a lot of downtime, even if it takes place on a weekend when system traffic is low. Periods of downtime may also, in some cases, create openings for malicious incursions into your network. For any migration or similarly large-scale tech operation, such as cloud implementation, you need to account for downtime losses with productivity surges in advance of the update and beef up cybersecurity before you begin.
Quality assurance for resilience strategies
You wouldn't release a new, widely advertised product or unveil a highly anticipated service offering without conducting plenty of advance testing and quality control, would you? Of course not. The same line of thinking should hold sway when you are constructing an IT resilience plan to bolster the cutting-edge methods you're incorporating into your organization. According to Continuity Central, if you test all of these functions redundantly and find them to be in good working order, you can immediately implement them without fear of data loss.
You'll also know you won't soon be sandbagged by hackers who've figured out ways to get around your existing security methods while you should have been conducting quality assurance. This level of diligence – and critical assistance from Inventu – can help ensure a digital transformation campaign that goes into effect without a hitch and contributes to lasting success for your organization.