How to avoid a digital disaster
Insights 5 minutes read

How to avoid a digital disaster

How do you protect your business from digital transformation risks and ensure minimal disruption?
Published on
May 25, 2021

What does ‘digital transformation’ mean?

‘Digital transformation’ is a term that covers an almost endless range of ways to blend technology with business.

The guarantee of digital transformation (DX) is ‘change’ because technology improvements can be used to better achieve business outcomes. But mistakes and oversights can happen – which is why it’s a no-brainer to take necessary steps to avoid an outright digital disaster.

There are plenty of instances of digital transformation projects that businesses undertake every day to streamline processes while others require more time and resources. For example, a business could be moving its legacy systems to the cloud or deploying cyber security software is often considered a large transformation while updating a website to include a chatbot to welcome clients can be considered a smaller digital transformation. No matter the ‘size’ of the transformation, every DX project requires an understanding of the risks from a business operations impact perspective, and it must have clear plans if it goes wrong. Businesses should always consider their resiliency as part of any digital transformation project and architecture change. In addition, as changes unfold in a project’s implementation, business continuity plans should also update.

Why a ‘risk-based approach’ matters

As said above, business resiliency and digital transformation are linked and should be continuously monitored and updated throughout a project. This is always true, but you should remember that not all systems are as important as others within a business and therefore consider the level of time and energy invested into the change. For example, imagine that you have a system that is used once per month. Although it’s an important system, an outage could have less of an impact than a system that is used every day.

This is why a risk-based approach to change is essential during any new solution that is part of a transformation presents a risk.

Taking a risk-based approach helps businesses realise what potential impacts are associated with a change to a service or system. With that understanding, businesses can plan architecture that addresses those digital transformation risks cost-effectively and efficiently.

There’s no point in designing a contingency plan that’s completely at odds with the risks a transformation project presents.

It’s also important to understand where single points of failure might be, and what could happen in different scenarios. What would happen if the business was hit by a cyber attack? What would happen if the office caught fire? This is where business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) come in.

What are business continuity and disaster recovery?

Business continuity covers such things as how to recover as a business from a disaster. Where employees will work from, and how they will access systems. Disaster recovery is a more technical aspect of how to recover systems from a failure – for example, a business could use a backup data centre.

Traditionally, businesses had their physical devices and data centres procedure outlined in their business continuity plans, but now that more businesses are moving to the cloud, they don’t necessarily operate their own services.

However, that doesn’t mean businesses can get complacent about business continuity and disaster recovery as disasters can always happen. Businesses have realised this throughout the pandemic trying to effectively manage a completely remote workforce. Many businesses experienced security and network issues and rushed digital transformation projects causing further operations issues.

After this year, businesses have seen the value in having a well thought out and practiced plan. There is now a focus on keeping these plans current and relevant as businesses around the world have seen firsthand that they never know when something will go wrong. Plans should also be tested regularly to ensure that each connected service can recover after an incident.

Key insight You need to make sure your core business processes can run in the event of a disaster for a reasonable period. It could be days or even weeks

You just need to cast an eye on highly regulated industries like financial services. They need first-rate Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans, solutions, and the assurance that when it comes to the crunch, their businesses are protected. Risk management is a key component of any digital transformation initiatives.

Finding a partner that fits your needs

In today’s world, it is a huge risk for a business to not plan for the unexpected. Whether it be a natural disaster, a system outage or a change that has gone awry, businesses should anticipate and gauge risk accordingly.

Interactive is the largest premier business continuity provider in Australia and has been helping mitigate business downtime for the last 20 years. We have a team of experts that can help you build, update and test your business continuity and disaster recovery plans to ensure you are always covered – no matter the situation.

Talk to a business continuity expert

Minimise your downtime in the event of a critical failure.

Ready to get serious about business continuity?

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