A few months ago, it would have made little sense for an organization to invest valuable resources preparing for the highly unlikely possibility of a global pandemic.
But then, “highly unlikely” happened.
Modern technologies have been able to mitigate the impact to certain jobs and sectors, but the fast-moving crisis laid bare the inability of many organizations to adapt their digital infrastructure in a timely manner.
High-profile breakdowns included the failure of many state unemployment insurance websites to handle the sudden spike in new claimants. Similar technical shortcomings became quickly apparent in the digital portals for stimulus payments and business loans. The public sector is a notorious digital laggard, but many processes in the private sector were impacted as well.
The pandemic has highlighted the fact that simply digitizing processes is not enough to guarantee an ability to withstand all unknown events. To be truly digitally resilient, an organization must have the ability to efficiently append and amend its digital infrastructure in response to a changing landscape.
While crucial in the context of an exceedingly rare event like COVID-19, digital resilience is also measured by an organization’s ability to respond to less-dramatic disruptions such as shifts in consumer habits, regulatory changes, or new competitive offerings. Indeed, the ability to maneuver and pivot in “normal” times is arguably more consequential than the response to a once-in-a-century disruption.
As we move through and beyond this current crisis, a sharp distinction will be drawn between those who embrace the tools and processes that contribute to digital resilience, and those who get left behind.