Secrets to Crisis-Readiness

Construction site with crane

As I reflect on the current situation, it brings to the forefront the importance of a well-executed, scalable, and resilient technology infrastructure and operations strategy. To say we never expected to live through times like this would be an understatement. And yet, most companies found themselves able to pivot quickly to a complete work-from-home model.

Thinking back to when I started my career, it was completely implausible to work from anywhere other than my assigned desk and my assigned computer. Even logging into someone else’s workstation would cause issues that only the help desk could address. Flash forward a few years and, in a pinch, I can perform many critical tasks directly from my phone, using a standard 4G cellular connection. So how was this sort of resiliency built, seemingly behind the scenes?

I’m reminded of a documentary I watched on how the CN Tower was built. The tower’s relatively small footprint created a challenge for engineers to overcome because it left the tower susceptible to high lateral stresses that could cause it to snap like a twig and topple over. Turns out, the primary building material (concrete), has high compression strength (it can withstand a lot of pressure) but very low tensile strength (it cracks and pulls apart under lateral stress). Therefore, concrete, alone, isn’t very resilient. So how did they solve for this deficiency?

Easy—engineers overcome the lack of resiliency in concrete by reinforcing it with steel, a material with high tensile strength. Rebar and steel cables are added to tie the concrete together like laces on your shoes. With the high compressive strength of concrete, complemented by the high tensile strength of steel, you have a building material capable of withstanding anything life will throw at it (or almost anything).

Back to my original question, how were companies able to build an infrastructure capable of handling never-before-seen amounts of strain and stress? The secret is in the stuff you can’t see. We talk about it all the time in our blogs, and touched upon it in our 2020 Outlook whitepaper as well. The trifecta of cloud technology, outsourcing, and the continued blurring of the lines between vendor and service provider has made our industry more resilient than ever.

Let’s deconstruct this a bit further though as none of this resiliency came from happenstance.

1. A strong technology strategy that contains concepts and policies that enable the business to be secure, scalable, nimble, and resilient.

2. Putting enterprise and solution architecture at the forefront of your decisions. It’s easy to fall into a service delivery mindset where the business owns and drives the solutions. The role of technology is to enable capabilities but also to ensure the right decisions are made about “the stuff behind the scenes.”

3. Strong project delivery capabilities where the business objectives are clearly defined, the work is prioritized, projects are well-resourced and well-funded, and scope tightly managed throughout.

As you take a step back and evaluate what worked well for your company during this period, and where you still need to add more “steel” to your infrastructure, Citisoft has experts ready to help perform a “check up” of your shop and help you build a strategy and roadmap that bolsters the areas that need some reinforcements. Do you already know what needs to be improved? Our experienced consultants are ready to help you build a more resilient infrastructure. Give us a shout, we’re happy to help!