According to Gartner, “By 2020, 60 percent of digital businesses will suffer a major service failure because of IT teams’ inability to manage digital risk in new technology and use cases.”
That’s a startling conclusion, but is it really that far-fetched? This should be a wake-up call to every major enterprise, because today every business is a digital business. For digital enterprises, business success depends largely on working technology. Simply hoping that you are not among the 60 percent who will experience a major failure is not an effective digital risk strategy.
Digital risk is more than just network security, hackers and data theft. When companies think of digital risk they immediately gravitate toward network security, defending the perimeter, and data protection. While these are important aspects of digital risk they’re not the only ones. Let’s look at the other element of digital risk that is equally important but often overlooked at a strategic level.
Digital business processes span a complex patchwork of applications that can be deployed within your four walls or in the cloud, completely out of your control. An error – even a minor one – in any of these applications could have a domino effect on an entire business process. We are not talking about major application failure (which everyone seems to focus on) but errors in business rules, configuration or integration that are much harder to detect – until it’s too late. No one wants to sell airline tickets for six dollars and then be forced to honor those purchases!
The pace of change drives digital risk. Digital projects, by definition, have to be nimble and need to be completed in a matter of days and weeks rather than months and years. This drives a steady stream of changes every day throughout your complex enterprise application landscape. That’s today’s new digital reality. Customer facing web sites, mobile apps, and enterprise back-end systems all have to keep up with this unprecedented pace of change. Increasingly, the business and end users are deciding what applications to use, adding a new layer of complexity that IT must deal with. It does seem appealing to go back to a simpler, non-digital world, but unfortunately that’s not an option.
Embrace digital risk. There is no reason to think that the pace of technology will slow in the near future. There’s no reason to think that the level of data granularity will decrease, or that business units will cease to change and tune their IT technology to suit their specific needs. When it comes to digital risk, there’s no place to run and nowhere to hide as technology risk factors continue to multiply, so the best course is to run toward it! If technology creates problems, then technology can also be used to solve those problems. That means using software to actively control and mitigate your level of digital risk. This is where automation comes in.
Mitigate digital risk with automation. Imagine commanding a vast army of robots that are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. At any instant and at your command, they can jump into action and verify that all of your business scenarios work across all enterprise applications just as your end users would use them. This statement, like the one from Gartner, is not as far-fetched as it seems.
Today leading companies are using automation software to do just this. Automated functional testing helps companies check every business process and every underlying enterprise system – every day. In fact, one enterprise is validating 300,000 business process steps daily on 100 virtual machines during a two to three hour nightly window. That’s how you overpower digital risk using industrial scale automation. Given the complexity and scope of today’s enterprise landscapes, automation offers the only way to validate end-to-end business processes completely and efficiently. There’s just no way to do this manually.
There’s absolutely no reason to wait for a major service failure to spur your organization into action. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to talk about how you can control digital risk – and overpower it with automation.