Resilience & disaster recovery are generally seen as a business cost rather than a driver of value. Although businesses put a lot of investment into “keeping the lights on”, especially in banking, new digital technologies are seen as the drivers of value while resilience & disaster recovery are viewed as an expense rather than an investment. However, meeting business KPIs and preventing tech disruptions are very closely linked.
This focus on digital transformation and developing new technologies is not surprising. A company’s ability to not only keep up with changing technology but to innovate is essential for remaining competitive. This need, however, can cause issues.
It seems that large and well-publicized technology outages are becoming increasingly common. A survey by IDC found that 93% of businesses had experienced a tech-related business disruption in the past two years, and it’s often banks that face the biggest backlash. There are a number of factors that lead to outages, including legacy code and infrastructure, an increased need to continuously update systems and the increased complexity of banking systems. There needs to be a balance between seizing the opportunities presented by new technology and mitigating risks, achieving the levels of resilience required to ensure business continuity.
In the past, major software upgrades would have been carried out once or twice a year. Today, releases are occurring several times a month, compressing the time available for thorough testing. New technologies and interfaces are often bolted on to existing legacy infrastructure because banks need to move fast and there is no time for an overhaul of core banking systems that need to be available 24/7. This increases complexity and therefore the chances that something will go wrong and be difficult to fix.
Despite the prevalent view that resilience & disaster recovery are a cost centre while digital transformation is a driver of value, the two really go hand-in-hand. Deploying new technology on a shaky foundation is a recipe for disaster and a major outage can undo any value or profit expected from new technology. More releases mean more opportunities for disaster, so better resilience should be top of mind for any organization undergoing a transformation or regularly deploying new technologies.
When undergoing a digital transformation, it’s important to consider how other areas such as resilience will need to be transformed as well. Poor resilience means all the benefits of new technology could be undone due to the cost of recovery, damage to reputation, loss of revenue and loss of customers. Today, businesses need the best technology to differentiate themselves, but also need to be resilient enough to ensure these benefits. While customers may come for the best services and software, they won’t stay long if they have to deal with downtime and security issues. When it comes to digital transformation, resilience is vital to achieving the benefits of activities for driving revenue.
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