7 Practical Ways To Boost Your IT Resilience
Most people think of IT resiliency as availability and uptime. The higher the uptime and the faster you can get your business back online after an outage, the more resilient your IT systems are. Sadly, that is not always the case. IT resilience goes well beyond the scope of that.
There is no denying that delivering a flawless user experience and maintaining high availability is a small portion of the big picture but it is not the entire picture. If you really want to improve your IT resilience, you will have to take a holistic approach.
Wondering which steps you can take to boost your IT resilience? You are at the right place. In this article, you will learn about seven ways you can use to reduce your IT resilience of your business as soon as possible.
7 Practical Ways To Boost IT Resilience
Here are seven actionable ways you can use to improve your IT resilience.
- Know Your Business Needs
The first thing you need to understand is to understand your business needs. Once you know which systems are critical for your business operations, it will give IT a clear direction on which systems to keep running in times of crisis. Create alignment between IT and business teams by doing business impact analysis of outages.
It is imperative for IT teams to know which apps are used by which functional units. Focus on your capabilities and try to fulfill the business expectations. All this will help you create a disaster recovery plan if something goes wrong. You will know exactly which systems to prioritize. This goes a long way in preventing business disruptions and ensures business continuity.
- Get Rid of Silos
If you really want to achieve higher IT resilience, you will have to get rid of silos. Bring all the stakeholders on the same page and create an environment that fosters collaboration and communication between different stakeholders. All teams such as cybersecurity, IT operations and business leaders should work together to achieve a common objective. Yes, this might be easier said than done especially when you consider their needs, risks and goals are quite different from one another.
By breaking down the silos, your business can minimize errors and mistakes and could take advantage of every potential opportunity that comes your way. Even if an intruder tries to bypass your cybersecurity defenses, you can not only be able to detect it quickly and respond to it in an efficient manner. This won’t be possible if IT, operations and cybersecurity teams are not on the same page. You can only achieve this if all the teams are working closely with one another when it comes to quantifying risks and creating a plan and strategy to deal with those risks.
- Achieve Maturity With Your Metrics
As the IT industry continues to evolve, so does the IT resilience. Similarly, the metrics IT leaders previously used to measure maturity needs to grow up as well. If you are still using yesteryear metrics to evaluate your currenT performance, it won’t give you the right picture. As a result, you might end up missing your targets.
Previously, it was mostly about uptime but as more and more businesses switch to microservices and ditch monolith systems such as cheap dedicated server hosting, we need metrics that go at a deeper level. Superficial metrics and benchmarks do not cut it anymore. You need metrics that reveal customer interaction issues and points towards poor app experience as well as present a holistic picture about service level objectives.
- Develop Resilience
Ask any IT expert and they will tell you that you should focus on building IT resiliency into your technology architecture. The easiest way to improve IT resilience is to eliminate complexity and embrace simplicity. Automate whatever you could from detecting issues to automatically responding to incidents. Implementing change management can also enable your business to boost IT resilience.
Another great way to improve IT resiliency is to adopt principles and best practices of site reliability engineering especially for infrastructure and operations. This way, you can not only develop reliable systems but you can also create systems that can grow with your business. Focus on agility, decentralization, continuous integration and delivery and you can not only get over current challenges but also emerging challenges that come your way.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
The key to success of your IT department results on how well prepared they are to respond to unforeseen circumstances. Prepare them through tabletop exercises, simulations and provide them the right training and enforce the best practices in order to minimize the risk.
Make it a part of your standard operating procedure even if these exercises make some employees uncomfortable. This will push them to their limits. Once their backs are to the wall, they will try to find a way to get through this problem. Once they succeed, it will give them much needed confidence that they can do it.
- Keep An Eye On Risks
The pace at which technology is evolving forces businesses to stay vigilant at all times. Their organization needs and business risks continually evolving so you need to constantly stay updated with the latest changes. Your critical systems could vary and so does your enterprise attack surface. Let’s say your business is switching from cheap dedicated hosting to VPS Server. This will definitely change your risk profile. The more updated you are the higher chance you have to mitigate organization and business risks. Create a disaster recovery plan and incident response plan so know exactly what actions to take if you are in a crisis.
- Hold Everyone Accountable
IT resilience should not be a sole responsibility of the IT department. In fact, you should make it a shared responsibility and encourage business stakeholders to contribute. Moreover, you should also hold everyone accountable for their actions so that the responsibility is shared instead of solely being on the shoulders of your IT department. For this, you should develop an accountability model and understand how different apps could impact your IT resilience.
How do you improve your IT resilience of your organization? Share it with us in the comments section below.