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IDC advocates digital resiliency as COVID-19 crisis continues

Business leaders need to focus on digital resiliency in their efforts to not just survive the COVID-19 crisis, but capitalise on changed conditions.

This is according to researchers from the International Data Corporation (IDC) who participated in the IDC CIO Summit South Africa 2021, presented virtually yesterday under the theme 'Innovative Digital Strategies: Evolving to the Demands of a New Reality’.

The IDC defines business resiliency, the stance having to be considered by businesses in 2020, as the ability for an organisation to rapidly respond to business disruptions and restore business operations in a timely fashion.

Digital resiliency is the ability for an organisation to rapidly adapt to business disruptions by leveraging digital capabilities to not only restore business operations, but also capitalise on the changed conditions.

Meredith Whelen, Chief Research Officer, IDC said: “The pandemic really brought to the forefront just how important being a digital org is, and in many orgs, it has accelerated their move to the future enterprise. The pandemic also brought to the forefront the idea of business resiliency.”

However by March last year, business resilience plans - underpinned by disaster recovery and the ability to handle natural disasters with offsite backup strategies, including data and alternate site operations and communication strategies – fell short, Whelen added.

“ In large part because most organisations had not imagined the situation that would be created by a pandemic… the inability for workers to come to any office location, the inability to conduct commerce through physical channels and the inability to gain access to your global supply chain.”

Whelen continued that the IDCs Global COVID-19 Impact on IT Spending Survey, conducted over 10 months, revealed how insufficient business resilience plans were.

According to the survey 52% of organisations said they were planning to make changes to the technology component of their business resilience strategy, 51% to the operations part and 48% to the workforce.

Moreover, in terms of areas likely to be permanently changed because of COVID-19, 35% of survey respondents said they will accelerate the use of cloud as the underlying platform for IT and business automation initiatives, while 32% said they will accelerate automation plans.

IDC predicts that by the end of 2021, based on lessons learned, 80% of enterprises will put a mechanism in place to shift to cloud-centric infrastructure and applications twice as fast as before the pandemic.

Additionally, by 2022, to support autonomous operations, organisations will increase their investments in data governance, digital engineering organisations, and digital operations technologies by 40%.

The research and analysis company added that the economy remains on its digital destiny with 65% of global GDP digitalised by 2022.

Communications and digital technologies minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Communications and digital technologies minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

South Africa’s Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams delivered the keynote address at the event and said: "As we sit on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is imperative that countries across Africa work to enhance their capacity for digital transformation. The emergence of a New Normal in the wake of the pandemic presents a unique opportunity to develop regional and national policies that enhance cooperation across the African continent and accelerate transformation through the delivery of digital services and solutions that address local challenges."

As reported by ITWeb, the Minister also announced that the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) will host its Digital Economy Investment Conference in September.

She is quoted as saying: “This [investment conference] will be a platform where potential investors and business opportunities converge in one place virtually. Let us not miss this opportunity to create partnerships for future growth.”

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