Countless historical cases demonstrate how organisations have suffered adversely from IT failures, causing financial losses, organisational disruptions, and reputational damage, which include system outages and bugs. Although certain IT issues could have been averted, it should be acknowledged that some of them are beyond preventable.
According to recent surveys of IT executives, 76% of businesses have faced infrastructure issues in the previous two years, and among them, 50% encountered two or more incidents. These alarming facts clearly indicate that no organisation is exempt from adversity, which highlights the significance of investing in IT resilience to mitigate the risk of severe downtime significantly.
Although some IT disasters may be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s worth noting that this problem predates the current crisis. Since the inception of computers in commercial applications, such disasters have been prevalent. If the current pace of adopting new technologies persists, this scenario may worsen. Various factors may cause an IT catastrophe, such as the use of outdated hardware, rigid software frameworks, obsolete software dependence, and inadequate implementation of solutions.
It is imperative for businesses to contemplate bolstering their IT security. It is highly advisable to invest in reinforcing their network infrastructure long before any disturbance occurs. To ensure readiness in the face of potential IT issues, businesses need to concentrate on tackling cybersecurity risks, technical debt, and operational resilience.
This can be a challenging feat to accomplish. Nonetheless, keeping in mind the following five guidelines can serve as a solid starting point.
Enhancing the Robustness of Your Network
It’s a widely recognised fact that there is no foolproof approach to avert all IT infrastructure issues. Therefore, businesses must be ready to face any contingencies and having a secure and dependable infrastructure can help reduce the risks of any significant downtime. Constructing a resilient IT infrastructure is the most effective means of ensuring that any issues can be dealt with quickly and suitably.
Merely allocating funds to the issue with the hope that it will self-resolve is inadequate – this approach seldom yields success. To guarantee the resilience of IT infrastructure against potential disruption, a well-designed plan must be crafted, considering a number of variables. Hence, keeping the following points in mind is crucial:
The Primary Step is to Broaden Your Scope Beyond Physical Assets
It’s reasonable to concentrate on reinforcing essential components and augmenting their resilience, which is a practical method of shielding the business. Nonetheless, IT resilience entails more than just shielding assets; processes also need to be safeguarded.
Updating software and hardware without a clear aim is not necessary. Achieving your goals necessitates comprehending the connectivity between your infrastructure components (such as closing a deal, delivering content, integrating with other services). By examining the complete picture, you can discern any infrastructure issues and prioritise their resolution.
The server assigned to handle the order processing for your online store could face an excess of concurrent customer orders. A prompt resolution to the issue can shield the server from the adverse effects of a sudden surge in user traffic.
The Second Step is to Prepare for Adversity by Analyzing Data
The IT department and its corresponding obligations produce a considerable amount of data, as is typical for most modern segments of a business. To enhance infrastructure resilience, it is imperative to employ this data to obtain valuable insights.
Data science and AI can provide indispensable revelations to establish a resilient long-term strategy. Utilising an AI algorithm can be advantageous in identifying patterns and behaviours across your infrastructure, by collecting data from an extensive range of sources and conducting analysis.
Acquiring access to this data provides a comprehensive overview of your operations on a continual basis. This augmented visibility can enable you to plan more efficiently for maintenance, repairs and remediation strategies.
The Third Step is to Embrace a Constructive, Proactive Mindset
Historically, businesses have dealt with IT issues in a responsive manner, implying that backup plans are only implemented after the IT infrastructure has been breached. Though this may help reduce further harm, it is not the most efficient approach.
If you adopt proactive measures to mitigate the risk of potential disasters, there is no need to wait for something to go wrong before taking action. Deploying a monitoring system, in combination with Artificial Intelligence solutions, Internet of Things technology, cloud computing and other tools, can assist in regulating your infrastructure automatically.
Should a power outage, security breach or other hardware malfunction arise, the system can be quickly activated. Additionally, proactive measures such as chaos engineering and issue simulation can be employed to evaluate the organisation’s resilience without the need for an external disruption.
The Fourth Step is to Embrace Engineering Methods and Theory
Given the abundance of technology in modern society, it may be beneficial for your team to adopt more contemporary engineering concepts such as DevOps and CI/CD. These approaches are at the vanguard of engineering and can be immensely advantageous for your team.
Teams with a comprehensive understanding of engineering principles are well-equipped to identify potential issues early on and report them to management for resolution. An engineering background endows individuals with the essential skills to appraise system performance, detect cost overruns, and keep track of multiple objectives.
It is clear that investing in training initiatives to guarantee that ideas are conveyed beyond technical teams is indispensable. To establish a robust IT infrastructure, it is crucial to implement programs for skill maintenance and improvement that are ongoing.
The Fifth Step is to Incorporate Emergency Planning into the Design of Your Infrastructure
Numerous businesses tend to concentrate on the present when designing their infrastructure, without considering contingencies or potential unforeseen events. While it is reasonable for companies to strive for cost-effectiveness, a lack of contingency plans can lead to significant problems if unexpected situations such as increased traffic or damaged machinery arise.
It is crucial to ensure that your infrastructure is designed to accommodate any potential worst-case scenarios. This will allow your system to be robust and maintain operational continuity in the event of a disruption.
By investing in containerised applications, deploying services in cloud infrastructure, and modernising systems that use a monolithic design, you can ensure scalability for future needs and agility to overcome potential performance bottlenecks.
Avoid Waiting for Disasters
IT resilience can be established without experiencing an IT failure. This essay has highlighted some of the crucial steps to take to establish a strong foundation for managing and shielding a business from any disruptive costs. Implementing these steps now can be tremendously advantageous.
Given the effects of the pandemic and the current economic situation, you may believe that strengthening your IT infrastructure is not a current priority. However, this would be an error. The events of 2020 have taught us that disruptions can occur at any time and in any place, so it is crucial to make resilience a top priority. Protect yourself now by fortifying your IT infrastructure.