IDC develops a Digital Resiliency Framework to guide required technology investments and organizational changes

Published: Wednesday, 10 March 2021 09:36

A new report from IDC presents a new Digital Resiliency Framework that ‘shows CEOs, CIOs, and other business leaders how technology can support the entire organization through the different stages of any business crisis’.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in resiliency becoming a business priority, says IDC, but traditional approaches struggle to integrate business resiliency with the digital environment in which companies increasingly operate. The Digital Resiliency Framework ‘focuses on delivering digital resiliency in a changed world’.

"Perhaps the most worrying takeaway from the pandemic concerns our lack of preparedness as nations, industries, and companies to deal with similar systemic crises, which are inevitable in our increasingly digital and interconnected world," said Sandra Ng, group vice president for Research at IDC. "Old approaches have proved to be wanting. Nonetheless, organizations must not only respond fast to threats but also learn to opportunistically rise above them. Our new digital world calls out for a new technology-enabled approach to deal with future crises — digital resiliency."

IDC believes that digital resiliency – the ability for an organization to rapidly adapt to business disruptions by leveraging digital capabilities to not only restore business operations but also capitalize on the changed conditions – must be a key objective in every organization's digital transformation (DX) efforts. Digital resiliency is also a central tenet of the future enterprise, IDC's vision for the end state of DX.

IDC's digital resiliency framework includes three phases describing the timeline of enterprise responses to a crisis across a set of six organizational dimensions that are all enabled with a shared technology/digital architecture. Resiliency must be achieved within each of these organizational dimensions, which are interdependent; a weakness in the digital resiliency of one dimension will likely impact other dimensions. Digital resiliency across all these organizational dimensions must be underpinned by an open, integrated, and holistic technology architecture. IDC calls this the DX platform and defines it as a combination of an intelligent core of data analytics, automation and decision support, a wide variety of intelligent applications, and intelligent services, such as governance, DevOps, and orchestration.

For each dimension, IDC has highlighted the enterprise use cases (funded projects) that improve digital resiliency. These use cases can then be mapped to the digital technologies, data, and analytics that support them as well as the business priorities and plans that promote them. This framework enables CXOs to map the business priorities in one or more organizational dimensions to specific use cases that would achieve those goals. Armed with a prioritized use case agenda, CIOs can then propose the relevant investments in the underlying technologies and tools that support those use cases and promote digital resiliency overall.

Using this framework, IDC is conducting survey research on the adoption of various digital resiliency use cases in different enterprises. To the extent that these use cases are present or not provides a measure of digital resiliency for that dimension and, when aggregated, across the entire enterprise. These dimensional measures are then correlated with enterprise-wide self-assessments of digital resiliency to determine which dimensions, and which use cases within a dimension, enterprises should prioritize to become more resilient.

"In any crisis, the response to urgent business requirements must be fast and targeted for maximal impact. Enabling these conversations between CEOs, CIOs, and the broader C-suite with an established framework, in advance, before the next crisis, can make the difference between business failure and a successful future," said Rebecca Segal, group vice president, Worldwide Services at IDC. "We suggest CIOs leverage the IDC digital resiliency framework to prioritize use cases across organizational dimensions and infer the technology requirements and initiatives that best support these priorities."

The IDC report, ‘A Digital Resiliency Framework for the Future Enterprise (Doc #US47483421)’, is available for existing IDC clients or can be purchased for $4500. More details.