5 Tips on How to Attain IT Resilience

Published on August 31, 2021 by

Andrew Sweeney

As companies accelerate their digital transformation, the ability to maintain service levels, whatever technical issues arise, is becoming more and more vital to remain productive and competitive. Degradation in service levels can result in loss of customers. It can also lead to compliance issues and damage brand and reputation. So, given how much is at stake, how can you limit downtime and ensure your enterprise achieves true IT resilience?

1. Gain a clear view of your entire IT environment

With so many moving parts and interdependencies, anything can become an issue. You need to be able to understand what’s happening across your entire IT estate, which means creating and maintaining a complete view of your infrastructure based on data collected from all IT and business systems.

2. Map dependencies to critical services

Do you know which services are the most critical in your organization? The ones which, if they fail could cause your customers to look elsewhere or result in a breach that costs your company its reputation? If you don’t consult with business teams to understand what they perceive as critical and make sure you understand the SLAs they expect with regard to those services. With that knowledge in hand, you then need to find out which systems, applications, and users support those services and map the dependencies between them. Then look for possible issues or vulnerabilities that you should be keeping a close eye on.

3. Update your processes

If your IT environment complexity is growing – and we’re pretty sure that it is – how relevant are your processes now? Are you able to fix the issues that you’re seeing most regularly today using yesterday’s processes? If the answer is no, now’s the time to find out what the recurring issues are and make changes to meet the demands of your new environment. Do this by:

  • Analyzing past data on incidents and helpdesk requests.
  • Keeping an ongoing log of new requests and outages.
  • Working out what the most commonly occurring issues are.
  • Categorizing those issues by looking at your dependencies to understand if they affect key services or prioritize them by frequency so you can decide what to tackle first.
  • Developing processes that you can put in place to mitigate those issues and maintain service levels.

4. Implement widespread contingency/failover plans

What’s the worst-case scenario for your business? Nobody wants to think about it, but it’s what you need to plan for if you want to achieve IT resilience. If you’ve been following these steps, you know where your vulnerabilities are, so now you need to put plans in place to bolster those areas. Whether that means introducing back-up servers that cut in when others go down or implementing cloud georedundancy, with contingency plans in place you will be able to sleep easier.

5. Never Stop Changing!

Once you have these steps in place you can’t stand still. At the rate your environment is growing and changing you’ll need to revisit these steps regularly:

  • Generate reports on your IT environment to identify new assets and see how dependencies change over time.
  • Monitor issues to understand if anything is emerging that you need to address.
  • Create and implement plans and processes for those new issues and retire processes that no longer serve your business needs.

Data Discovery Challenges

To attain true IT resilience, you’ll need to have a clear view of your IT environment at all times. New equipment, services, OS updates, and more can affect service levels. If you are managing this manually it’s going to take a lot of time and effort.

By the time you’ve aggregated data from your many systems on-prem and across your cloud environments into one static spreadsheet it will be out of date. And it’s likely to contain errors – that’s only natural when you are relying on people to input the data.

Analyzing that data to understand dependencies and common issues is going to take up more time. And if the data is old or contains errors, you could be trying to create processes for issues that aren’t there or no longer exist. It’s not just at the data discovery stage that you will see issues. Even the plans that you implement can be flawed – done manually there will likely be a gap in experience – so your customers and internal end users could still be affected.

Leverage Automation for IT Resilience

By automating much of the work around achieving IT resilience you are going to save a lot of time and effort and you’re going to see better results. There is a lot to think about when introducing automation capabilities:

  • Do you want to implement an IT data discovery tool that will allow you to easily connect to your IT environment to provide you with a holistic view of everything across your domains?
  • Do you want to leverage AI and machine learning to harness the data within your systems to reduce the time spent analyzing your data to map dependencies and prioritize recurring issues?
  • Would you like to be able to automate fixes to common issues that occur so that there’s no gap in service?

All of this is possible by leveraging automation. It will allow you to more easily monitor and modify your plans over time to meet changing needs and solve new issues and allow you to pull together reports more easily and quickly.

Schedule a demo to understand how ReadyWorks can help you quickly and cost-effectively attain IT resilience for your enterprise.