IT resilience: 3 myths debunked

Resilience matters–here are three outdated ideas that can hinder your IT team's ability to support business in today’s remote and hybrid workplace
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The word “resilience” is used often these days–it’s applicable to physical and mental health, financial performance, security, and much more. The capacity to withstand and recover from difficulties and disruption, for both individuals and organizations, has never been more important or more top of mind.

That’s why, for modern IT teams, resilience is a critical piece of their overall strategy. With the constant threat of disruption and the increased rate of asynchronous work among employees, teams need to be more prepared than ever to maintain operations and business continuity in the event of malicious interference.

That said, there are some outdated ideas about IT resilience that need to be debunked–and reimagined–in order to support today’s work-from-anywhere environments. Here are three top examples.

Myth 1: Proper preventative measures negate the need for resilience

In 2023, preventative security measures are table stakes for companies. While these are incredibly important, they serve an entirely different purpose than security approaches focused on resilience.

There’s a common belief that if the security tech stack is strong enough, resilience and recovery won’t be necessary. But with the number of organizations that experienced security attacks or breaches in 2022, it’s no longer a matter of if your company will be targeted; it’s when. And in the actual aftermath of a cyber attack, resilience is the name of the game.

[ Also read Digital transformation: How to teach the language of change. ]

Once this happens, the first step of the IT department should be to freeze and isolate infected devices or systems, lock down sensitive data, and get employees safely back online as quickly as possible. Approaching resilience proactively and deliberately will be critical to swiftly recovering, mitigating damages and losses, and maintaining business continuity.

Myth 2: Resilience is largely dependent on physical presence and four walls

It has become abundantly clear over the last few years that business continuity is not dependent on employees being physically present in an office, technologically speaking.

In this new age of hybrid work, there are a number of tools that help ensure the same level of resilience whether employees are at a desk on-site or working remotely. From advanced device management capabilities and secure remote access to self-healing applications and network connections, organizations have a range of technology and security solutions that will keep employees connected, productive, and protected no matter what location they may be signing in from.

[ Also read Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC): 4 priorities for 2023 ]

Myth 3: Resilience is an IT priority, not a business priority

Gartner survey revealed that 76 percent of respondents experienced an incident during the past two years that required an IT disaster-recovery plan, and 50 percent experienced two such incidents. In another survey, 88 percent of respondents reported that an hour of critical server downtime costs them more than $300,000, and 40 percent reported such costs at more than $1 million.

On a broader scale, resilience is critical not only to IT but to operational continuity and morale. While being able to improvise in the face of unpredicted situations may be an initial strength, it’s important to establish responses, rules, and organizational routines as you encounter new scenarios.

A resilient organization is defined by how teams respond to turbulence. By training employees and teams to expect the unexpected, you better prepare your workforce to exhibit resilience.

In short, building resilience is integral not only to the security and productivity of the business, but also its bottom line. Some executives, however, do not necessarily view IT priorities–such as security and resilience–as business priorities. Only when outages and attacks affect profit and customer performance, creating a costly ripple effect through the channel, do they fully understand the need for preparedness and recovery strategies.

By investing in the proper resilience plan and solutions, business leaders are ultimately saving themselves from financial, regulatory, and reputational costs.

[ Learn the non-negotiable skills, technologies, and processes CIOs are leaning on to build resilience and agility in this HBR Analytic Services report: Pillars of resilient digital transformation: How CIOs are driving organizational agility. ]

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As Absolute’s Chief Customer Officer, Matt Meanchoff is responsible for leading Absolute’s customer delivery and service functions – including Customer Success, Professional Services, Investigations, Risk Management, and Technical Support.