Digital Resilience: Withstanding The Shocks To Catch The Bounce
Digital transformation unlocks opportunities to make organizations better able to withstand the challenges of today’s world but real competitiveness requires something more, writes Eloïs Gasque
The world we live in is full of shocks.
These shocks can come from extreme weather, geopolitical events, and cyber threats, but also, they can come from interest rates, financial upheaval, and market turmoil. The venerable Forbes uses the term ‘permacrisis’ for this environment.
However, shocks can also be opportunities, where a viral take-off can be just as much of a surprise and upset for a market as a negative event.
Organizations today need to be able to respond to and be insulated against the negative, but also adaptable and agile enough to take advantage, if not precipitate, the positive. There are even suggestions that the relentless focus on growth and revenue be tempered somewhat by a drive for resilience.
Digital resilience refers to the capability of an organization, primarily through digitalization of core business and data functions, to be able to withstand shocks, whether climate, cyber, market, financial, or geopolitical, and not just persist, but thrive.
We have been talking about digital transformation in the IT industry for decades now, and what has been shown is that those organizations that have begun and continued a journey to digitally transform themselves away from traditional structures have enjoyed greater profitability, greater ability to innovate, and greater ability to attract and retain talent.
There have been many studies around this, but a recent one from Deloitte best summarizes this when it says that “digitally mature companies,” or those companies where digital strategy and infrastructure is embedded in all parts of their business, are more resilient and agile in a crisis and also perform better financially — these organizations have laid the foundations for long-term resilience to crises.
The core of such foundations is to be found in secure, robust, agile information infrastructure that is transparent in data, allows the application of analytics, facilitates automation, and can implement the cyber security measures that allow for the former to be accomplished securely without increasing the attack surface or introducing points of failure or vulnerability.
A network that can bridge on-premises, hybrid and multi cloud, as well as edge computing implementations, is critical to allow the kind of sophisticated, distributed modern enterprise that is now emerging. These instances are far beyond the old, rigid, monolithic infrastructures that were often seen in large enterprises in the past. Forecasts by both IDC and Gartner, say that by 2025, the strong majority (85%) of infrastructure strategies will integrate on-premises, colocation, cloud, and edge delivery options, with up to half (50%) of new IT infrastructure being deployed at the edge. This suggests that distributed enterprise architecture in the short term could comprise 20% core, on premises infrastructure, 30% hybrid cloud, and 50% edge computing.
Experience and Insight
Through long experience in the industry, and with a portfolio of tools such as Extreme Network’s application performance management suite, JT Tech can assess an organization’s digital maturity level and begin to immediately implement actions to improve visibility, and increase data gathering to be turned into actionable intelligence.
Whether trying to improve cyber security posture, or grappling with sustainability challenges, JT Tech can get organizations more quickly and easily to a point of knowledge and understanding to discern what needs to be modernized, what needs to be better orchestrated and can be automated to provide the insights necessary to achieve digital transformation on the way to true digital resilience.
For example, Extreme Network’s ExtremeCloud IQ provides a centralized configuration and management capability that enables consistent policy for end-to-end QoE, that aligns bandwidth allocation and performance with the business criticality of applications. In a fluid situation, such as a sudden market opportunity, this ensures that services and applications are managed appropriately to meet evolving needs.
Automated discovery and simple classification of more than 5,000 applications accelerates deployment configuration and enables quick identification of issues, such as shadow IT. Furthermore, intelligent application performance control gives a granularity for individual applications that analyzes and optimizes network traffic, bandwidth availability, and application demand across the WAN, reallocating as needed to meet performance goals, however sudden, unexpected, or challenging.
However, digital instrumentation, orchestration, and intelligence can only go so far. True digital resilience also requires a mindset change to take full advantage.
Organizations need to understand the full impact of true digital resilience in order to suitably adjust their risk outlook. With solid digital resilience, organizations are better placed, not just to resist threats from whatever quarter or intent, but also to capitalize on, or create new opportunities.
A 2022 study in the Journal of Competitiveness developed a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach to assessing digital agility and digital competitiveness in small and medium enterprises (SME) innovation performance in the context of a digitally turbulent environment. The model showed that SMEs need to invest to develop risk taking and change capabilities in their organizational culture to increase digital innovation capability and digital transformation maturity, which, it found, leads to better innovative performance.
Technology alone cannot confer competitiveness or drive innovation, business mindsets must be developed to build on the digital resilience and agility conferred by digital transformation to quantify risk, develop innovative capabilities, and achieve competitive advantage to succeed in the uncertainty and turmoil.
Starting with the ability to better manage and orchestrate core infrastructure, but extending out to cloud and edge assets, agility and digital competitiveness in organizations must be leveraged by business leadership that is aware of and balancing risk. Only then can calculated positions be taken to innovate and avail of emerging opportunities.
With our decades of experience in working with innovative organizations across sectors as diverse as healthcare, education, entertainment, and leisure, our vendor agnostic approach across a carefully assembled and curated technology portfolio, allows us to listen, understand and deliver digital transformation that confers digital resilience for today’s world.
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