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The consequences of downtime and data breaches can be devastating to organizations, leading to substantial financial losses and irreparable damage to a business’s reputation. If last week's outage by the Bank of England is anything to go by, after losing trillions of £’s per day due to downtime, resilience shouldn’t just be an afterthought for organizations.

There is an absolute urgency to adopt resilience engineering but even more so given its pivotal role in safeguarding business continuity and customer trust.

Resilience engineering deserves a seat at the C-Suite table. Executives need to recognize that investing in resilience engineering isn’t just an operational consideration but a strategic imperative that directly impacts the organization’s reputation, competitiveness, and long-term success.

But why do resilience engineering strategies need to sit this high and how do you get it high on leadership’s agenda?

The Business Case for Resilience Engineering

Many organizations grapple with the challenge of balancing important projects with dedicating time to resilience engineering. But failing to explore your systems against potential failures can slow down your innovation efforts significantly.

Some of the key benefits of implementing a resilience engineering strategy include:

  • Predictable recovery - Resilience engineering encourages strategies and procedures that ensure teams can recover from downtime efficiently.
  • Improved reliability - By identifying potential vulnerabilities and improving them, systems become more reliable and trustworthy.
  • Healthier & highly performant teams - By adopting a resilience engineering strategy at the C-level, you pave the way for healthier & highly performant teams.
  • Fueled innovation - Resilience engineering encourages creativity & innovation to solve complex problems.
  • Resilience mindset - Fostering a resilient mindset encourages a culture that values and rewards reliability.

Consequences of not doing resilience engineering

For organizations who do not make resilience engineering a priority, there are a number of consequences to expect:

  • Financial losses and instability - the average cost of IT downtime is between $140,000 and $540,000 per hour.
  • Higher likelihood of business failure in the long term - 60% of companies go out of business within 6 months of a data breach.
  • Increased vulnerability to disruptions - 93% of affected businesses file for bankruptcy
  • Impact on customer trust and reputation - 37% of small and midsize businesses have experienced loss of customers because of downtime.
  • Lack of competitive advantage - 58% of companies believe that learning from incidents leads to innovation.

How to Integrate Resilience Engineering at the C-Level

If you’re prepared to take the next steps and integrate resilience engineering into your C-level strategies, here are some of the initial steps you might consider taking.

#1 Leadership Buy-In and Commitment

For resilience engineering strategies to have a seat at the table senior leadership needs to understand the value and benefits resilience engineering can have - from healthier teams and performance to fueling innovation and driving growth.

Resilience engineering should not be perceived as an optional add-on but rather as a vital enabler that fuels your innovation journey.

To communicate the benefits of resilience engineering to executives you might consider the following:

  • Create a compelling narrative
  • Translating technical language to business language
  • Quantifying potential ROI
  • Using real-world scenarios
  • Using visual aids and data visualization

#2 Aligning Resilience Engineering Goals with Business Objectives

When presenting a case for resilience engineering strategies, it is critical to align these goals with business objectives.

You should offer insights into how you might map resilience initiatives to strategic priorities and ensure the narrative is compelling enough to get the attention of your key stakeholders.

#3 Building a Resilience Engineering Culture

Resilience engineering is not just an organization’s technical capabilities but in its people’s mindset. Embracing a culture of resilience within your organization, where proactive measures and continuous learning become the norm will help instill confidence in your team to handle incidents effectively. No matter how complex your systems are.

By fostering such a culture, you create a safer environment, nurture healthier teams, and pave the way for highly performant organizations.

#4 Incorporating Resilience Metrics

Incorporating resilience metrics into your organization’s strategy is essential to track progress, assess the effectiveness of resilience engineering efforts, and communicate the value of these efforts to stakeholders.

Resilience metrics provide tangible evidence of an organization’s ability to withstand disruptions and recover swiftly.

Here are five key resilience metrics that organizations should consider incorporating into their reports:

  • Operational Downtime: Tracking operational downtime helps quantify the impact of disruptions on an organization’s productivity and revenue.
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO): RTO measures the time it takes to restore operations to a predefined acceptable level after a disruption. It provides insights into how quickly an organization can bounce back from unexpected events.
  • Supply Chain Disruption Frequency: This metric gauges the frequency of disruptions within the organization’s supply chain, including delays, shortages, and production interruptions. It offers visibility into the robustness of the supply chain and the organization’s ability to manage risks.
  • Financial Impact of Disruptions: a financial impact metric quantifies the financial losses incurred as a result of various disruptions. It assesses the monetary impact of events like downtime, reduced sales, increased costs, and damage to reputation.
  • Adaptive Capacity Index: The adaptive capacity index evaluates an organization’s ability to adapt and respond effectively to unexpected events. It considers factors such as communication, decision-making speed, and cross-functional collaboration during a crisis.

Elevating Resilience Engineering to the C-Level

We recognise every organization is different, but from speaking to many engineering teams we’ve noticed common misconceptions we’re trying to debunk.

Here are some of the common misconceptions we’ve observed:

  • “Resilience engineering adoption costs too much.”
  • “It’s not our focus right now as a C-level strategy.”
  • “This will be time-consuming to implement.”
  • “Our systems and teams are too complex.”

Many organizations are reluctant to adopt resilience engineering because it has traditionally required heavy investment - whether it’s time, finances or finding the right people and software.

Modern tools like Reliably are ensuring that this is no longer a blocker. Teams can start with experiments at the click of a button that seamlessly integrates with CI/CD pipelines and your chosen tech stack .Reliably comes with more than 200 actions (to perform an action on your system) and probes (to measure and check the state of your system).

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, get in touch or give our platform a try for free.