The changing face of technology resilience

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Marcus Wildsmith

August 5, 2020

As technology and business continue to evolve at a rapid rate, it’s inevitable that organizations’ approach to operational resilience will also have to adjust to new challenges. 

For decades, regulated organizations have been led by compliance when it comes to technology resilience. This approach is reflective of the previously available technology, tools, and methods, and it was the right practice for the times. 

The preferred indicators for measuring resilience have typically been RPO (recovery point objective) and RTO (recovery time objective) for applications. However, these application-based measures often bear little relation to what the end customer cares about - which is service availability.

Even in catastrophic events, organizations choose to fix forward rather than failover due to the unknown risk of a failover process that hasn't been proven repeatedly in production. The test of failing over may be a good proxy for what you could do, but it’s rarely what you choose to do given the orchestration challenges.

Three key drivers are disrupting this perspective of resilience:

Regulators are pushing for change

Regulators are pushing for organizations to take a more proactive approach to operational resilience. Both in the US and the UK, recent papers, such as the FCA discussion paper on operational resilience, have focused on the need for true operational resilience. For example, the FCA paper urges firms to focus on how their response to disruptions impacts the end-user and points towards greater accountability for decision-makers.

The tech stack is changing

The tech stack is changing rapidly. In the era of cloud and all that comes with it, the future is going to be fundamentally different. This presents new risks but also new opportunities to make data-driven decisions and combine new technologies with human orchestration.

More change means more risk

The pace of change driven by the race to digital transformation is creating more risk. Most failures have their root cause in change, so the more change organizations have to make to keep up, the more complexity they face, as well as a higher risk of operational outages.

The future of technology resilience is fundamentally different from what has been done in the past. The gap between newer technology organizations such as Facebook and Netflix, and those constrained by legacy, is gargantuan.

Established organizations that see this coming can make changes now to continue to do what they must with a legacy estate, but ensure they can easily transition to the future. Those who get there quickly will be able to outrun the competition with change.

Cutover’s advanced, data-driven platform has proven success when it comes to effectively coordinating complex activities with greater speed, safety, and efficiency. Find out more about using Cutover for operational resilience.

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