When it comes to the need for a resilient technology infrastructure, there is no wiggle room. Companies that want to be true digital businesses can’t operate in an environment that doesn’t support rapid change and enduring flexibility and reliability.
For both technology implementation and processes, rigidity and a lack of cohesiveness simply cannot be part of the modern digital enterprise. As technology research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) notes, today’s digital infrastructure architectures are transforming from silos to flexible resources.
IDC describes the digital infrastructure ecosystem as encompassing ubiquitous deployment, autonomous operations and cloud-native technology. The key components within the infrastructure include cloud services, compute, storage, networking, the edge, management and lifecycle support.
The infrastructure as a whole must be designed with resiliency in mind, so that it supports high availability and failover. Business continuity planning and execution can’t be a luxury for any business today. It needs to be part of the general business strategy.
Leaders should regularly ask themselves if a significant event were to occur that could potentially cause a disruption, and does the organization have the digital infrastructure in place to avoid an interruption of business.
Digital infrastructure resiliency allows organizations to pivot when needed, so they can withstand virtually any type of business interruption and be able to maintain a high level of business continuity.
Not only that, resiliency also enables organizations to be much more agile and respond quickly to industry-specific or overall market trends and changes. They can better adapt and respond to changes such as supply chain shifts, geopolitical events or other circumstances.
Major changes can happen at any time and without much advance warning. Consider how much the pandemic has impacted the way so many companies operate today. And yet, just days before Covid-19 was declared a pandemic it was business as usual for nearly all organizations. No one could have imagined that virtually the entire workforce would need to shift to remote work seemingly overnight.
Furthermore, not many would have predicted the need to shift to mostly online business. Companies such as retailers and restaurants suddenly had to provide curbside pickup and no-contact delivery services for their customers—largely provided via their web sites and mobile apps.
In some cases, health mandates and other restrictions required this shift. In others, the new focus just made good sense during a pandemic. But either way it required a dramatic change that many businesses were not fully prepared to execute in an effective way.
Some companies, such as Uber and DoorDash, were able to handle the pandemic-driven changes well because they had already created cloud-based business models with built-in resiliency. They were able to scale up capacity as demand scaled up, without having to change their business models in any way.
Other companies with more traditional business models were forced to accelerate their digital transformation efforts. If they were able to do that and not be overwhelmed because they already had planned for resiliency, they likely did well during the transition. Maybe they were able to even boost sales or take advantage of new business opportunities.
Another important point about infrastructure resiliency is that it enables companies to provide not only a good customer experience, but good employee experience as well. That’s particularly true of remote workers who need to stay in touch with colleagues through cloud-based collaboration platforms and other solutions.