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What Is IT Operational Resilience? Definition & Its Impact

What Is IT Operational Resilience? Definition & Its Impact

Miles Lancaster

Miles Lancaster

Architecture, Security, and Compliance

Operational resilience is a crucial concept that continues to shape the relationship between business and technology. It’s a cornerstone of IT Operations, guiding how organizations perceive and approach risk by being proactive and prepared. 

The world’s infrastructure relies on digital platforms more and more every day. That means, in order to find success, leaders in ITOps must understand operational resilience and its impact. Not only to understand the value of operational resilience and what it is, but how to leverage it for growth.

Why? Because improving your operational resilience leads to greater efficiency and a more effective approach to risk management. But those aren’t the only benefits. Maturing your operational resilience can also lead to increased profitability, more revenue, better customer retention rates, and higher employee productivity as they are no longer ‘fire-fighting.’

In this article, we’ll define operational resilience, unpack its importance, showcase how it’s being regulated across the globe, and explain why a holistic understanding of this concept can help leaders mature their operations. 

Defining Operational Resilience: What Is It? 

At its core, operational resilience refers to an organization’s ability to maintain the consistent delivery of its products or services and avoid downtime – even in the face of disruptions. The disruptions could happen due to a number of factors, such as third-party software defects. 

But the concept of operational resilience goes beyond just IT outages. Instead, it connects to your organization’s overall risk tolerance and willingness to deal with unforeseen situations. 

In other words, it forces ITOps leaders to evaluate themselves and their processes. Can your team resist, absorb, and recover from outages? What would the damage be, and how will you solve this issue in the future?

The three following concepts shape the core idea of operational resiliency: 

  • Connected Risk Appetite: Understand your organization’s risk appetite, or how much risk you’re willing to tolerate, and aligning it with your resilience strategy. 

  • Tolerance for Disruption: Determining how much disruption your organization can withstand without compromising essential functions. 

  • Business Continuity: Operational resilience extends beyond traditional business continuity planning. Instead, it’s about ensuring that your organization can continue delivering its products or services – no matter the circumstances. 

Why Are We Talking About Operational Resilience? 

These days, software has become so complex that it’s difficult for humans to keep up. IT risk management solutions need to employ software technology in order to maintain their current (and future!) environment.

Further, with tech rapidly evolving, organizations must maintain compliance while protecting themselves against third-party vendor software risks and other variables.   

  • Growing Tech Reliance: Operational resilience ensures organizations can truly utilize the benefits of technology, not being held back by disruptions. 

  • Complex Ecosystems: IT, including software, is the backbone of modern business – and it grows increasingly complex. 

  • Evolving Compliance Challenges: Governments across the world are now legally requiring businesses to enhance their operational resilience. 

Growing Regulations Across the Globe: How to Stay Compliant 

Given the significance and complexity of software, and technology as a whole, governments everywhere are stepping in to ensure that operational resilience is taken seriously by organizations. This underscores the importance that you need to take this seriously.

It’s already happening in the EU with regulations like the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA). Governments feel the need to ensure these parts of the business are maintained to best practice standards. The groundbreaking DORA regulation was published in 2023 mandating financial entities to establish, ensure, and review operational integrity and reliability before January 2025. Unlike previous regulations, it's capabilities-led, demanding a digital resilience strategy and continuous monitoring for compliance.

DORA is specific to the EU, yes, but it’s a sign of what’s to come in the future. Its implications directly affect U.S. companies with operations in the EU. For your organization to maintain compliance, take this three-step approach:  

  • Identify Operational Gaps: Analyze risks and gaps to tailor your compliance strategy, understanding that the process varies by institution size. 

  • Appoint Responsible Parties: Designate individuals or groups accountable for enhancing operational resilience. 

  • Create an Operational Resilience Framework: Develop a comprehensive framework that aligns with DORA requirements, incorporating current and future risk considerations. 

For extensive reading and understanding on DORA and its larger impacts, read our whitepaper

Think Beyond Security Management: The Impact of Operational Resilience & The Importance of Risk Management 

When things work better – the overall product of your business or organization improves. Investing in operational resilience yields numerous benefits, from the top to the bottom of an organization. 

That’s common sense, isn’t it? Less downtime, less interruptions, less headaches.  

“When you focus on operational resilience alongside security, you are managing risk at a higher level. And when you put in the processes, procedures, and the operations that make you resilient, it also drives efficiency. It’s a win-win.”

- Miles Lancaster, Architecture, Security & Compliance at BugZero

Improved Efficiency 

Operational resilience enables smoother operations – reducing the risk of downtime and disruption. This efficiency extends to cost savings and, perhaps more importantly, to protecting your reputation. 

Effective Risk Mitigation 

Organizations are now realizing that their laser focus on security isn't enough to reduce risk from all sides of IT. Proactively identifying and addressing operational defects helps lower an organization’s third-party software risk, which is different from the ‘louder’ cybersecurity risks.

Don’t wait for an outage to happen. Stay ahead of the issues and minimize the damage potential of third-party software defects. 

Enhance Your Operational Resilience with BugZero 

As the software of the world evolves, so do the regulations. At BugZero, we believe that the best way to solve software problems is with software.

That’s why we’ve created the leading, first-of-its-kind automated platform dedicated to operational defect risk management. Our platform seamlessly integrates with your ITSM solution, allowing you to collect, filter, correlate, and track third-party software bugs. BugZero empowers your organization to:

  • Take Proactive Action: Make informed decisions based on bug criticality and prevent vendor bugs from causing downtime. 

  • Increase Infrastructure Stability: Identify critical bugs before they impact IT infrastructure or otherwise disrupt business operations. 

  • Assess Operational Risk: Understand the risk matrix across multiple vendors and disparate devices critical to your infrastructure. 

  • Boost Operational Readiness: Automatically create tickets containing vendor bug details, facilitating the tracking and prioritization of remediation activities. 

For successful companies, operational resilience is a concept that is being embraced. The rapidly evolving tech landscape requires organizations to proactively fortify themselves against disruptions.

Are you ready to enhance your operational resilience and elevate your ITOps practice? Learn more about how BugZero can help you today!  


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