Move towards Industry 5.0 with Resilient and Sustainable Value Delivery

Let’s start with a diagram created by Jeroen Kraaijenbrink published in LinkedIn. This very aptly describes the move to the new Paradigm which is focused on 3 primary pillars:

  • Human-Centric
  • Sustainability Driven
  • Resilience Focused

These three work together and in this article let’s deal with the Sustainability and Resilience aspect which works together to deliver better Value to Business, Customers, Employees and Partners.

Resilience in IT systems refers to the ability of a system to continue functioning and providing services in the face of various disruptions, challenges, or failures. These disruptions can include hardware failures, software bugs, cyberattacks, natural disasters, power outages, and other unforeseen events. The goal of building resilient IT systems is to minimize downtime, data loss, and service interruptions, ensuring that critical business processes can continue even when faced with adversity. For any reason, if the system is unusable by the intended user, it will affect business.

A Survey of 1001 US mid-market Executives that Forbes Insights conducted on behalf of Capital One in late 2020 indicates that – “89% of Executives expect their companies to be very Resilient by the end of 2021”.

Failure is the new normal. Failure will happen. The question is how fast we can get back to normal business. We should not have the same failure, the same way. A lot of the failure is due to mistakes by people. If it happens, it means we have not learnt from the failure / mistakes.

Key principles and components of resilience in IT systems include:

Redundancy: Resilient systems often incorporate redundancy at various levels, such as redundant hardware components, network paths, and data centers. Redundancy ensures that if one component fails, another can take over seamlessly, minimizing disruption.

Failover and High Availability: Failover mechanisms automatically switch to backup systems or resources when a primary component fails. High availability configurations aim to keep systems operational with minimal downtime.

Data Backup and Recovery: Regular data backups and effective recovery strategies are essential for resilience. This includes both data backup and the ability to restore systems to a functional state after a failure.

Disaster Recovery Planning: A well-defined disaster recovery plan outlines how an organization will respond to catastrophic events like natural disasters or large-scale cyberattacks. This plan includes procedures for data recovery, system restoration, and communication.

Monitoring and Alerting: Continuous monitoring of IT systems allows for early detection of issues and potential failures. Alerts and notifications help IT teams respond promptly to mitigate problems before they escalate.

Load Balancing: Distributing workloads across multiple servers or resources helps prevent overload on any single component, improving system performance and resilience.

Security Measures: Strong security practices, including intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and access controls, are essential for protecting IT systems against cyberattacks that can compromise their resilience.

Cloud Services: Many organizations leverage cloud computing services to enhance resilience. Cloud providers typically offer redundancy, backup solutions, and disaster recovery capabilities as part of their services.

Regular Testing and Simulation: IT teams should conduct regular tests and simulations of disaster scenarios to validate the effectiveness of resilience measures and ensure staff members are prepared to respond appropriately.

Experimentation and Training: Experimenting to find newer and better ways of doing the work and learning new technology, new ways of working will help in building better secure and resilient systems.

Resilience is a critical consideration for businesses and organizations that rely on IT systems to deliver services, as it helps minimize financial losses, reputation damage, and customer impact in the event of disruptions or failures. It involves a combination of proactive planning, technological measures, and operational practices to ensure system availability and continuity.

DevSecOps, Value Stream Management, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), and Platform Engineering are all practices and approaches that contribute to building resilience in modern software development and operations. When combined effectively, they can help organizations create robust and resilient systems. Here’s how they work together to achieve this goal:

DevSecOps (Development, Security, Operations):

  • Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): DevSecOps promotes the use of automated CI/CD pipelines, which allows for the rapid and reliable delivery of code changes. Automated testing, including security testing, is integrated into these pipelines to identify and address vulnerabilities early in the development process.
  • Security as Code: Security practices are integrated into the software development process, making security a shared responsibility among development, security, and operations teams. This helps in identifying and addressing security issues before they reach production.

Value Stream Management:

  • End-to-End Visibility: Value Stream Management provides a holistic view of the entire software development and delivery process. It helps in identifying bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas where improvements can be made to enhance resilience.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: By collecting and analyzing data on the value stream, teams can make informed decisions about where to focus their efforts to improve resilience and overall system performance.

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE):

  • Error Budgets: SRE introduces the concept of error budgets, which sets a practical limit on the acceptable level of service disruptions. This ensures that changes are made cautiously and allows teams to balance the need for new features with the need for system stability.
  • Incident Management: SRE practices focus on proactive monitoring and incident management, ensuring that teams are well-prepared to respond to and recover from incidents quickly, reducing downtime and customer impact.

Platform Engineering:

  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Platform Engineering promotes the use of IaC principles, allowing infrastructure to be treated as code. This makes it easier to provision, scale, and update infrastructure components consistently and reliably.
  • Self-Service Platforms: Building self-service platforms for development and operations teams streamlines the process of deploying and managing applications. This reduces the risk of human error and improves system resilience.

When these practices are integrated into an organization’s culture and processes, they create a comprehensive approach to building resilience:

  • Proactive Risk Mitigation: DevSecOps identifies and mitigates security risks early in development. SRE and Platform Engineering focus on proactive monitoring and incident response to reduce the impact of failures.
  • Continuous Improvement: Value Stream Management provides insights into areas where improvements can be made across the development and delivery lifecycle, helping teams to continually enhance resilience.
  • Alignment of Goals: All these practices align their goals with the overarching objective of delivering reliable and resilient software systems while maintaining security.

By combining DevSecOps, Value Stream Management, SRE, and Platform Engineering, organizations can create a resilient software development and delivery ecosystem that prioritizes security, reliability, and efficient operation throughout the entire lifecycle of their applications.

Resilience is essential for businesses from a sustainability point of view for several reasons. Sustainability in the business context involves ensuring the long-term viability of the company while minimizing negative impacts on the environment, society, and the economy. Resilience contributes to sustainability in the following ways:

  • Risk Mitigation: Resilience helps businesses better prepare for and respond to various risks and disruptions, such as natural disasters, supply chain disruptions, economic downturns, and regulatory changes. By effectively managing these risks, businesses can avoid costly setbacks and maintain their operations, which is crucial for long-term sustainability.
  • Adaptability to Climate Change: As the effects of climate change become more pronounced, businesses must adapt to changing environmental conditions. Resilience strategies can help companies become more adaptable by incorporating climate resilience measures into their operations, supply chains, and infrastructure. This can minimize the impact of climate-related disruptions and contribute to overall sustainability efforts.
  • Supply Chain Resilience: A resilient supply chain is a critical component of sustainability. Businesses that build robust supply chains are better equipped to respond to disruptions, reduce waste, and ensure the availability of resources and materials needed for their products or services. This, in turn, helps maintain business continuity and reduces environmental impacts associated with supply chain disruptions.
  • Social and Economic Resilience: Businesses play a significant role in the communities where they operate. Resilience efforts that extend to the social and economic aspects of sustainability can include investing in employee well-being, supporting local communities, and fostering economic stability. These actions not only benefit society but also enhance a company’s reputation and long-term viability.
  • Innovation and Resource Efficiency: Resilience often involves finding innovative solutions to challenges. Businesses that embrace innovation and resource efficiency can reduce waste, lower operating costs, and minimize their environmental footprint. This approach aligns with sustainability goals by conserving resources and reducing environmental impacts.
  • Regulatory Compliance and Reputation Management: Resilience measures that ensure a company’s compliance with environmental and social regulations are crucial for avoiding legal and reputational risks. Maintaining a positive reputation as a responsible and sustainable business is increasingly important for attracting customers, investors, and partners.
  • Long-Term Value Creation: Resilience measures, such as sustainability initiatives and risk management strategies, contribute to long-term value creation. By addressing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, businesses can enhance their financial performance, attract sustainable investments, and secure their position in a changing marketplace.

Resilience is a key enabler of sustainability in business. It helps companies navigate the challenges and uncertainties of a rapidly changing world while simultaneously promoting responsible and sustainable practices. By integrating resilience into their business strategies, organizations can better ensure their viability and contribute to the broader goals of environmental and social sustainability.

To bring Resilience we need to look holistically. We need to look at the entire lifecycle and take steps to improve in every area. If we improve in Silos, we will not get the benefit of the effort put and miss out on the advantage we could have gained putting the same effort. Gartner states that the System has to be Digitally Immune. A recent Act in EU called Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) is also aiming for better Resilience. The diagram below shows the challenges to bring Resilience.

As per Gartner, Digital Immune Systems has 6 pre-requisites:

  • Observability
  • AI-augmented testing
  • Chaos Engineering
  • Autoremediation
  • Site Reliability Engineering
  • Software Supply Chain Security

Let’s add:

  • Platform Engineering
  • Application Security Orchestration and Correlation

Only if we bring everything together and have one common objective, we will be able to achieve Resilience and better value for Customer and thus help our Business to be Resilient and Sustainable, the two main concern today of any CEOs / Board and hence the CIOs and CTOs.

One additional consideration that needs to be looked at is the Ecosystem. Most of the organizations work with Service Providers, Tools Providers, and Cloud Service Providers. We need to bring this entire Ecosystem of Providers to work together with one common shared objective of Improving the Business. This will also require change in the Contracts and a platform to bring all together. The traditional way of working will not be Sustainable.

To learn more, on the Secure and Business Resilience Program and the Sustainable and Resilient Leader Program check http://xellentro.com/security-resilience/