The practice of data backup and recovery has evolved rapidly over the past five years. Organizations are being pushed to work under any unforeseen circumstances. Global events such as the financial crisis of 2008, the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the outbreak of war in critical regions around the world makes a strong case for developing IT resilience.
IT resilience demands more than just preserving data. Nearly every industry, including e-commerce, manufacturing, and services, relies on collecting and analyzing data for growth and innovation. For organizations to continue operations and keep running, they must have disaster recovery protocols.
Since the over-burdening of cloud infrastructure due to the shift to remote working conditions, businesses have realized that they also need more robust strategies for continued operations.
This blog will share some strategies from thought leaders and industry specialists on designing technology architecture in such a way that IT resilience is adopted into its building blocks for the future.
What is IT resilience?
IT resilience is an organization’s ability to protect its data and applications against any threat (digital or physical). This sort of protection is implemented by automating security protocols in case of a data or app-related security issue.
This includes disaster recovery strategies in the case of damaged hardware, software hack, or ransomware. It also covers the premises’ physical security, such as controlled access to server rooms/sites, fireproofing, and 24/7 video surveillance.
How can organizations adopt this sort of resilience to empower their organizations and remove the fear of disruptions, downtime, and financial loss? Here’s what the industry experts at McKinsey have to say.
Solving for Customer Journeys over Applications:
The first step to building IT resiliency is prioritizing the customer experience. By understanding the customer journey and identifying the weakest link, businesses can create a more resilient IT architecture.
Having all the latest technologies embedded into your applications isn’t necessary. Instead, businesses need to comprehend how customers typically use an application, how API calls work, and which third-party dependencies come into play.
This is where the root of the problem exists. IT architects can attain resiliency by removing the primary cause of downtime from the aspects of the applications customers call on most frequently.
Utilizing Data from IT Operations:
There is a rich source of data that can be used to analyze the performance of IT operations in all organizations. It is up to the businesses to prioritize collecting and then generating insights from the data to recognize how specific actions cause downtime.
AI tools are essential to utilize here. Dashboards have the capability to clean and sort the data on hand. They can also identify patterns and linkages and present all the information in a visually vibrant, easy-to-understand format.
Organizations can also train virtual AI assistants to troubleshoot frequently occurring problems, which can help significantly drive down costs of always having an IT team on call. The operational information reveals which issues the AI assistants need to be prepared for.
Practicing an Engineering Approach:
IT architects are just that; architects. Therefore, it would do them well to adopt a mindset of engineering when developing infrastructure for an organization. Businesses need to invest in DevOps specialists and experts who can contribute to capacity building within the organizations.
Today’s IT specialists excel at adopting engineering virtues by deploying continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines to automate regular software updates. They incorporate end-to-end code ownership in their work to uphold autonomy and set predetermined metrics to monitor service-level performance.
Another engineering practice is error budgets, which can help sustain disaster recovery protocols.
This approach of designing architecture with automation and lower reliance on human contribution can help optimize functions and maximize uptime.
Addressing Risks to IT infrastructure:
The best-run businesses take charge of their respective industries by addressing risks that will give them a competitive edge. Firstly, organizations need to understand that any hindrance in the IT infrastructure will affect the entire business’s performance. This will allow organizational decision-making heads and service-owners lower in the hierarchy to keenly observe and resolve risks to IT processes.
The C-suite should take a top-down approach to identify the business risks caused due to customer grievances. This business-driven strategy for risk management helps the higher-ups interpret IT problems in the customer’s context and mitigate them.
For the bottom-up strategy, line managers and product/service owners can devise mitigating risk strategies for commonly occurring issues that they log regarding technology components or APIs with third parties.
They can deliver risk assessment reports to keep up-to-date with possible causes of downtime and assist in streamlining the risk alleviation process.
Preparing for the Worst Outcomes:
Scenario analyses always present three cases, and the worst-case scenarios are often underplayed to keep an optimistic approach. When it comes to building IT resiliency, accuracy and reliable prediction are crucial to devising successful disaster recovery strategies.
The pandemic is a good learning point for IT architects in the industry. The server load was increased much higher than anticipated due to most of the workers being forced to operate remotely. Had there been a plan for handling six times the server load in the worst-case, businesses would have been somewhat prepared to deal with the unforeseen events of the pandemic.
To ensure that SaaS, mobile apps, and web applications stay operational in heavy server loads, organizations should deploy strategies like containerized applications, backup servers, and similar capabilities. These strategies provide support in the worst-case scenarios by providing additional resources in real-time.
Planning Proactively for IT Resilience:
True resilience can only be achieved with foresight. Various AI tools can help organizations accomplish this foresight with remarkable accuracy.
Digital Twins and AI dashboards provide simulations and load testing capabilities. IT architects can employ them to analyze the requirements in case of downtime occurrence and keep resources on board to resolve the issues. While such measures cannot avoid failure entirely, they still empower organizations to be prepared.
Other examples of proactive IT resilience are pre-mortem analysis and chaos engineering, which help identify areas where operational faults are most likely to occur. Organizations can stay ahead of events that cause downtime or hamper customer experience.
IT Resilience providers were included in Gartner’s Magic Square in 2017, which proves that preparation for bad days is essential to business success. It is now imperative for organizations to invest in skilled IT architects and disaster recovery protocols.
By incorporating IT resilience into the long-term planning, businesses can ensure that costs resulting from downtime and operational failures are minimized. Instead, organizations will be empowered to invest in future innovation and protection from expected risks.
Xavor Corporation is an IT solutions company that provides industry experts in IT architecture and infrastructure design. We excel at developing middleware architecture, integration services, and QA testing to ensure that organizations’ IT infrastructure can withstand any upcoming challenges.
Our specialized products enable businesses to incorporate IT resilience in the building blocks of their IT architecture. Xavor provides experienced technicians to work in-house with you for advanced security measures and provide constant support for all your business needs.
To avail our IT architecture and disaster recovery services, reach out to us here. Schedule a meeting with our technical team to get your infrastructure reviewed today.