Nine tips for building an effective digital resilience strategy

Is your business ready to not only withstand but also thrive during digital disruptions? 
Today's business landscape heavily relies on digital technologies and online services. Digital resilience has become a critical concept to ensure business continuity and safeguard data.

What is digital resilience?

Digital resilience refers to an organization's ability to adapt, withstand, and recover from service disruptions, attacks, and other digital challenges. These digital challenges may include cyberattacks, hardware failures, software bugs, ISP issues, CDN problems, or even adverse weather conditions. Whatever the case, organizations need a strong and continuous digital resilience plan in place. Digital resilience includes strategies, concepts, and best practices for maintaining continuous business operations, business integrity, and brand reputation.

Why is digital resilience critical for organizations?

Irrespective of the business type, achieving digital resilience is paramount because:
  • Customer satisfaction and digital user experience is the primary goal of any business.
  • Business continuity helps organizations protect their reputation.
  • Increased productivity fosters effective incident response and recovery.

Digital resilience challenges

Though organizations realize the need for a strong digital resilience strategy, challenges like complexity, poor visibility, and budget constraints act as hurdles in implementation. This is because:
  • Data centers are critical for business continuity in this digital realm. Their continued uptime and performance are vital for dependent businesses.
  • The limited visibility due to minimal or no availability and performance monitoring. This is often the result of using numerous siloed monitoring systems with no event correlation.
  • Distributed systems, hybrid cloud adoption, and microservice architecture make it increasingly difficult to understand the business infrastructure and its dependency.
  • Organizations are dealing with limited budgets that focus on digitization and not maintenance.
  • The absence of chaos engineering practices due to reasons like lack of awareness, resistance to change, and legacy tech stacks that are not designed for those practices.

Other aspects that have to be considered at the granular-level include:
  • Hardware failures, power outages, and natural disasters in data centers.
  • Performance issues and outages with content delivery networks (CDNs).
  • Network congestion and routing issues due to internet service providers (ISPs).
  • Insecure code with security loopholes.
  • Weak or misconfigured SSL/TLS encryption, which can expose data to interception.

How to achieve digital resilience

Digital resilience is neither a one-step process nor a one-time process. It is a continuous process that involves collaboration from multiple teams. The multi-faceted approach combines technology, best practices framed after multiple tests and iterations, and a cultural mindset prioritizing digital resilience.

Steps for effective digital resilience

  1. Balancing feature development and shipping bug-free code
    In the process of time-bound feature releases, proper testing is often compromised. Testing non-functional elements is as important as testing functional elements, which can be done using fully automated testing. Proactively automate common issue resolution with AI and ML, reducing the time spent on mundane tasks.
  2. Building digitally immune systems
    Unprecedented operational challenges are quite common in building resilient systems. To prevent applications and services from being compromised, organizations must implement well-experimented, thought-out practices and designs right from software design, development, testing, and operations to analysis.  
  3. Risk assessment and analysis
    Failing to identify potential risks can result in unexpected disruptions and vulnerabilities. Purposely introduce failures, test resilience, and identify weak spots by following chaos engineering practices that can observe and analyze the results, reiterate chaos engineering processes, and remediate weak spots to avoid such issues.
  4. Developing a digital resilience strategy
    Lack of a well-defined plan can lead to half-baked ad-hoc measures that may lead to chaos at the time of actual incidents. Draft well-defined objectives, recovery plans, roles, and responsibilities to attend to disruptions and quickly recover from incidents.
  5. Cross-functional collaboration
    Siloed teams and lack of collaboration can slow down resilience efforts. Foster communication across IT administration, security, and operations teams to collaborate effectively and bounce back quickly.
  6. Continuous monitoring and issue detection
    Inadequate monitoring may cause a delay in detecting and responding to issues. Implement a monitoring system with real-time alerting capabilities that can immediately notify the right team. AI-powered tools that can predict and alert about potential anomalies in advance are an added advantage.
  7. User experience monitoring across digital services
    Not worrying about the user experience is like buying an expensive car and never servicing it or watching its performance. Frequent outages and inconsistent user experiences may cause dissatisfaction in user minds, tarnishing your brand reputation.
    Your customers should be able to access various cloud services across all touch points within your brand seamlessly. This may be your website, mobile app, data collection form, or desktop or web application. Continuously monitor user experience across all digital business facets and analyze the back end for issues affecting customer satisfaction. Run both synthetics and real user behavior analysis for a complete UX analysis.
  8. Business continuity strategy
    Data loss can bring the business to a standstill if proper backup and recovery plans are not in place. Back up data periodically, and test effective sync and recovery regularly. Redundancy is an important part of resilience and to ensure business continuity.
  9. Third-party risk management
    Organizations are bound to use different third-party tools for servers, databases, cache, CI/CD, etc. Overlooking the security vulnerabilities in these tools may serve as the entry point for various attacks.

The role of Site24x7 in achieving digital resilience

Site24x7 from ManageEngine, a division of Zoho, can help you achieve digital resilience by providing comprehensive monitoring, observability, and proactive alerting. 
  • Eliminate blind spots with complete visibility into the availability and performance of your digital assets, including websites and applications.
  • Deliver a seamless UX as Site24x7 thoroughly monitors your CDNs, APIs, ISP, SSL/TLS, and all other backbone internet services, guaranteeing a stable digital presence.
  • Accelerate early issue detection and efficient capacity planning by monitoring your hybrid cloud infrastructure.
  • Trace application dependency and infrastructure components that affect performance, and resolve issues faster by pointing out the exact line of erroneous code
  • Get smarter with AIOps. Study trends, identify anomalies, and receive instant alerts using AI- and ML-powered insights. Also, configure automatic incident remediation to avoid manual intervention.
  • Implement strategies to mitigate attacks by analyzing your organization's security posture
  • Communicate your service availability status with your customers.

Summing up

Nurturing digital resilience is no longer an option but an essential preemptive measure. Embrace these digital resilience strategies to ensure your business is resilient. Shape a digitally resilient business with Site24x7. Try it now.

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