In the age of the Internet, businesses that leverage digital tools have a distinct competitive advantage. Digital resilience is one of these instruments, and along with online literacy and cybersecurity, it encompasses all the different ways that companies can use digital systems to quickly recover and adjust to uncertainty.
Today’s business environment requires going digital. With the rate at which changes occur, companies should really prioritize digital resilience so they can position themselves better to thrive in the marketplace. Although, according to PaymentsJournal, only 46% of small American businesses have an online presence, and in order for a more inclusive economy to exist that percentage needs to change.
To adapt to the new virtual reality, entrepreneurs have to embrace the digital, they need to accommodate online tools for both business operations and customers, and learn how to better utilize virtual platforms. What is more, they need to understand the importance of eCommerce acceleration, as well as the implementation of intelligent technologies.
In this article, we will be taking a look at five reasons why digital resilience is the next hot thing in innovation.
What Is Digital Resilience and Why Does It Matter?
Before we get into the specifics of the how let’s answer the what and why. Namely, what is digital resilience and why does it matter?
By CSO’s definition, digital resilience is, in the business context, the ability of an organization to change, recover, and maintain technology-dependent operational capability. It represents a fundamental change in how we understand digital opportunity, risk, and essentially technology.
Resilient digital platforms used to be associated mainly with cybersecurity. However, with all the rapid improvements in innovation and considering that many operations are slowly transitioning to a virtual space, resilience is not a solely organizational approach anymore. Risk occurs both virtually and physically and with so many assets becoming digital, a new type of contingency planning is needed.
In a continuously evolving cyber environment, companies have to learn to move fast – seamlessly adopting new technological solutions, and quickly recovering and moving forward if anything goes wrong. Hence, digital resilience is now a crucial part of any modern company and as such should be valued as an essential long-term property by all internal team members at different levels.
Because operational resilience goes hand-in-hand with business competitiveness, then digital resilience is the building block to achieving them both. So, let’s look at five different ways in which it supports business growth.
1. The Road Towards Digital Transformation
In order for organizations to support resilient digital platforms, first, they need to embrace digital transformation. This means that they need to modernize key operational areas to ensure scalability, security, flexibility, and adaptability to change.
According to Forbes, digital transformation is as good as the ideas that drive it. So for those businesses that are yet to embark on their virtual journey, it’s time to get started, and here are two good ways to do that:
- Building a Pipeline of Digital Initiatives – This means implementing systematic approaches to capture and develop ideas from a wide range of sources. In addition to that, you should also establish clear processes to funnel ideas that can be further developed.
- Leveraging What Your Business Already Has – Look at any neglected or paused projects and evaluate them carefully. Consider whether there is a nice-to-have digital pilot that can actually turn out to be an indispensable solution for managing uncertainty.
Hence, the five key factors of a successful digital transformation, as mentioned by McKinsey are:
- Digital-savvy leaders.
- Effective digital training for the employees.
- Encouraging team members to work in new ways.
- Giving a digital update to day-to-day operational tools.
- Continuous communication via both traditional and digital channels.
Organizational change starts from the inside out. So, try to spot critical areas in need of improvement and take strategic actions to achieve this digitally.
2. Invest in Core Digital Infrastructure
The integration of new digital initiatives with existing systems, rules, and capabilities is highly important in today’s uncertain business climate. So, the next step in creating a digitally resilient organization is investing in a core digital infrastructure.
Adopting digital resilience is an end-to-end process that involves back-end processes and systems that allow your organization to extract and use data across all departments. This involves developing internal systems that can collect and link findings in order to provide valuable insight on business performance.
These can range from more sophisticated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems all for the purpose of standardizing processes with the help of smart technologies so that when a risk presents itself you’re equipped with the right digital tools to manage it.
3. Develop a Cyber Resilience Plan
As mentioned earlier, digital resilience starts off with cybersecurity and this is still an important part of it. Hence, the third step towards virtual resilience is continuing to design solutions with security and privacy in mind.
When businesses are under pressure, they are also more vulnerable to cyber attacks like malware or phishing attempts. In fact, according to data by Google, from March until June 2020, 18 million scam emails were being sent daily.
It’s difficult to predict when your organization may be hit by a cyberattack or have to face a cybersecurity crisis. This is why it’s more important than ever that you conduct a detailed digital resilience assessment and design a strong cyber resilience plan with which to offset and manage any negative effects on your data assets, and keep your systems secure and your business operations running smoothly.
4. Build Visibility Throughout Your Supply Chain
The fourth step toward digital resilience supports business growth and involves building visibility throughout your supply chain. According to data from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), by embracing supply chain management, you’ll be able to increase response times, improve product availability, and ensure better working capital.
These digital supply chains could mean different things for different businesses. However, ensuring visibility and control of your supply chain can be especially helpful in the event of a crisis.
By digitalizing the end-to-end visibility of inventory and using data analytics you can make more accurate predictions of changes in trends and attitudes. Additionally, you can design a more agile supply chain and thus be more resilient in times of uncertainty.
5. Engage All Employees
Any new digital infrastructure has an impact on both business activities and units. This is why the fifth step towards digital resilience stresses the importance of engaging all your employees from all levels.
Technologies, processes, and people comprise a complex operational environment. If there’s a failure in any one of these three components it can cause a snowballing effect that has the potential to disrupt core activities. For this, it’s essential to identify the role each component plays in supporting your business growth and building both digital and business resilience.
Every team member has a role to play in protecting your organization. There are various ways in which people interact with virtual space. So, it’s necessary to implement safety measures against cyber attacks, like designing secure channels for sharing sensitive information.
Additionally, it’s really important to give everyone appropriate training and prepare them to face challenges. A good way to start is by organizing cybersecurity drills and phishing campaigns as well as effective coaching. This will make employees more aware of risks thus enabling them to mitigate such attacks successfully.
A digitally resilient business is one that embraces the quickly changing virtual environment and adopts the right technology with which to manage uncertainty and thrive.
Entrepreneurs today need to accommodate both their business processes and customer interactions with the right tools and platforms. The very first steps they need to take involve embracing digital transformation and investing in core infrastructures.
Because the digital space is no less volatile than the physical one, if not, even more, it’s also very important to keep new solutions with security and privacy in mind. Additionally, ensuring that the move towards digital resilience is smooth and successful requires transparency throughout the whole supply chain, including all the employees in the processes.
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Those are some great points. Businesses who fail adapt to the digital era will fail to innovate inevitably disappear. Digital transformation and digital workflows are key to implementing and leveraging innovation activities within organisations, regardless of the type of organization. From startups through corporations, digitalisation is a must.