How do companies fare in the face of adversity? In 2013, a five-minute outage impacted all of Google’s services and reduced traffic on the Internet by 40%. In the same year, an IT failure at a leading European bank played spoilt sport on a busy shopping day as customers were unable to make purchases or withdraw money. Clearly, in the global village, the resilient enterprise—an organization with the “capacity to anticipate disruptions, adapt to events, and create lasting value”—is more crucial than ever before.
As industry experts have mentioned, resilience is a key component in overcoming adversity. Further, a lot of the choices made by companies prior to a shock – or during it – can affect the outcome of their entire business. In fact, according to a recent survey, lost productivity for Fortune 100 companies due to IT issues and the subsequent challenges in resolving them could exceed USD 100 billion annually.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that the recently released FT Remark-Wipro Report indicates that 57% of European CXOs will focus on technology for risk management spending in 2014 to ensure business continuity. Clearly, the case for the resilient enterprise is only growing stronger.
Instagram is an interesting example to highlight for resilience. When the popular photo-video sharing and social media platform was launched in October 2010, over 25,000 web viewers overwhelmed the site. Hoping for a workaround, its founders called their Stanford University friends, and the entire group worked 24 hours around the clock to keep the servers from crashing, transferring their traffic to Amazon’s servers.
So what can companies do to avoid the dramatic impact of either natural or man-made calamities on their businesses? One aspect, which companies seem to forget is that there is no foolproof method to completely secure a technology system or infrastructure. However, the key is the ability to function smoothly despite such calamities occurring. A firm’s IT unit can act as the backbone and drive this change. A key part of this element is enablement. Thus, IT departments’ need to ask themselves, how can we enable employees to work and be productive in their jobs? This new way of thinking about information security can create the required resilience that companies may need.
Thus, in today’s rapidly changing world, the significance of the resilient enterprise cannot be overstated. In fact, there needs to be a greater importance put on its implementation and dissemination across multiple channels and global networks. There also needs to be more collaboration between partners in order to create a smooth transition between normalcy and adversity.
What else can enterprises do to reinforce the business environment? What steps can companies take or examine to avoid such adversities in the future? Please leave your comments in the section below.