Here, I'll show you why digital resilience is key.
Over the past decade, the world has witnessed massive digital transformation, with more connected devices, more system interdependence from business ecosystems, and an even greater reliance on the internet for critical communications.
Many employees increasingly can work from anywhere via mobile and home office based devices, and servers that were once on-premises now often exist in the cloud, or accessible from it.
As a result, many organizations are grappling with how to make their business more ‘digitally resilient.’ This is understanding the true relationship between the technology that we are now dependent upon, and the overall business and IT risk.
This is not just outages or security incidents, but all factors that affect digital operations and digital transformation initiatives, technological or environmental.
With this said, enterprise organizations’ daily dependence on technology is not only all-encompassing, but also growing deeper and even more fundamental to its overall business outlook, and there are no signs of this continuing digital transformation requirement abating.
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Nearly Five Billion Internet Users
Case in point: in January this year, there were 4.95 billion internet users, according to DataReportal. More people online means a higher demand for network bandwidth, agility, flexibility, and security. In addition, the Work From Home era proved that a virtual workplace is possible.
However, it has also highlighted that a work-from-home setup is not always ideal from a security perspective.
Many enterprise organizations are opting for a hybrid model and adapting their workplace, not only for health reasons but also for efficiency and cost reduction benefits.
With an eye to understanding the impact of all the challenges enterprise organizations now face, A10 Networks commissioned research at the start of 2022, which investigated various issues around digital resilience, cloud adoption, security, and how enterprises were planning to work both now and in the future.
Change is Reshaping IT Needs and Anxiety in Various Verticals
When it comes to digital transformation, one industry at the forefront is retail and eCommerce.
Alongside the digitization of business applications and internal processes, retail organizations have seen much of their in-store, consumer-facing business move online. The organizations that prioritize consumer-friendly, convenient online offerings are seeing an exponential growth in e-commerce sales, which grew between two and five times faster than before the pandemic.
When we asked retail and eCommerce respondents how concerned they are about the organization’s digital resilience and readiness to cope with various challenges, they were most concerned about their agile development and DevOps capabilities (95%), and how they would support staff remotely (95.5%) as well as managing the move from IPv4 to IPv6 (95%).
Supporting staff remotely was also a key concern for finance sector respondents (96%) when asked the same question. This sector is witnessing ever-growing competition as traditional banks compete against digital neobanks and try to keep pace with consumer demands.
This often means they have an imperative to deploy new technologies that enable frictionless digital experiences and increase customer value, to remain competitive.
This has resulted in more application services, which increases the viable attack surface for hackers. It is no wonder that this sector said the optimization of security tools for competitive advantage (97%) was a top concern.
How is Digital Resiliency Impacting Networks?
Looking at the impact that the exponential growth in online services is having on network traffic, our research showed the gaming sector had the highest average growth of all verticals, reporting a 52.6% increase in traffic.
The education sector also experienced high growth, at 49.8%, however, the average growth was surprisingly low for retail respondents (41.1%).
This could be due to retailers having gradually been moving infrastructure online for several years, whereas education establishments have had to suddenly pivot to offering additional online services during the pandemic.
Security is clearly top of mind for all the verticals surveyed. However, when asked about their biggest concern when it comes to cyberthreats, ransomware scored highest for utilities at 14.5%.
It should be noted, digital resiliency is more than just network uptime, and lost revenue isn’t the only price to pay.
As more and more services have gone online, most industries handle large amounts of highly personally identifiable information (PII), not just traditionally cited payment details. Widespread brand damage and day-to-day disruption to all aspects of a organizational operations can occur if an organization isn’t digitally resilient.
Looking to the Future
When asked what technologies respondents had implemented in the past 12 months, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning were high across all the verticals but highest in government, retail, and eCommerce. This is not surprising as both sectors look to automate in-person tasks with AI tools.
Digital transformation has reshaped the IT environment in multiple industries, yet vigilance around digital resiliency is more critical than ever to realize it’s a continued success.
Moreover, as organizations prepare for the next wave of disruption, whether societal, environmental or technological, including responding to cyber-attacks, keeping the enterprise environment secure, and accommodating remote workers, digital resilience will be key.