"Operational resilience: the ability of firms and FMIs and the financial sector as a whole to prevent, adapt, respond to, recover and learn from operational disruptions."
UK Financial Conduct Authority
Operational Resilience Scenarios
Runbooks represent critical planning and event execution solutions in three scenarios that fall under the Operational Resilience domain.
The Planned Change scenario encompasses a wide range of use cases where extensive and impactful changes are implemented in a Production environment. This introduces a potential risk to the availability of business services.
The Service Recovery scenario addresses the potential disruption of a business service, which can greatly impact both customers and Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Ensuring an efficient and optimal recovery process is of utmost importance. Regulatory bodies require stress testing to be conducted to prepare for any plausible failure scenarios.
The Disaster Recovery scenarios are designed to address the unexpected failure of one or more crucial Business services. In the event of a failure at the primary site, activating the transfer of services to a secondary site would initiate a Disaster Recovery invocation. Regulators not only encourage rehearsals but also expect planned invocations to ensure preparedness.
Planned Change Scenarios
The primary cause of technology outages continues to be poorly planned and executed changes.
As the impact of these outages grows increasingly severe, there is a rising expectation from Customers, Shareholders, and Regulators for improved change outcomes.
Gone are the days when individuals performing a change were located in the same room or building. Now, geographically dispersed teams across multiple organizations play a crucial role.
Upgrading or replacing legacy technology is a key driver for businesses. Trying to make service improvements of this type can be a hard sell, especially if doing so creates additional risk and even causes service outages
Modernisation is a must for almost every organisation. Digital Transformation is the label given to a myriad of large-scale, complex technology changes that all need to be planned and executed with great care.
Customers are moving their entire business to run on the Cloud, often involving 100s of systems. The process requires detailed planning, optimisation and careful execution. The scale of the challenge can mean cutovers in waves, over many months.
Merger & Acquisition
M&A activity frequently leads to technology integration on a massive scale. Bringing two banks together, onto a common technology platform, over a 4-day weekend is not for the nervous.
There's a huge, global customer base for giant vendors such as SAP, Oracle, Workday. Vendors are modernising their solutions. Customers are switching vendors as they adopt cloud solutions.
Not all workload belongs on the Cloud. Customers are building more resilient private datacenters and moving business services from legacy facilities. Every migration represents a complex and high-risk planned change.
Service Recovery Scenarios
Service outages are an inevitable occurrence in any business. When they happen, the top priority is to restore operations as swiftly as possible. With the growing adoption of cloud technology, the service model often becomes a complex mix of multiple suppliers and hybrid delivery methods. This can lead to isolated recovery efforts, fragmented communication, a lack of cohesive management tools, and limited overall visibility.
Regulators are placing significant importance on this aspect of operational resilience.
It's time to think about service failure. Categorise your systems, processes, locations and people. Define plausible failure scenarios. Create recovery plans for each scenario. Failing to plan is planning to fail - when it matters most.
Testing your service recovery plans is essential to build confidence. Testing will ensure the plan is accurate and that any gaps are filled. Timings can be verified and the plan optimised. Realistic recovery times established. Evidence can be provided to interested parties.
When a business service fails, reach for the proven recovery scenario that best fits what you're experiencing. Invoke recovery quickly, mobilise all required staff and adjust the scenario plan as you go. Give ETAs for recovery and deliver with confidence.
Disaster Recovery Scenarios
The importance of resilient business services has never been more apparent.
The global impact of Covid and the urgency of the climate emergency have compelled every business to proactively prepare for the potential of significant disruptions. The escalating risk of Cyber Security attacks has intensified the demand for established resilience and recovery strategies.
Both Business Continuity and IT Disaster Recovery play vital roles as integral components of Operational Resilience.
A DR plan has much in common with a complex technology change plan. People, tasks, durations, dependencies & timeline. Still captured in spreadsheets, still suffering from the same woes as Planned Change.
DR Stress Tests
Building a plan is great but of limited value until that plan has been tested. Executives, shareholders and regulators want to see DR stress tests conducted. Evidence of capability, issues and improvements.
When a real crisis emerges, the ability of the organisation to invoke DR and successfully recover services and data is crucial - for staff, customers, shareholders and regulators. A great plan, well rehearsed will increase your probability of success
Do these Scenarios feel familiar?
If you find yourself working on any of the scenarios described on this page and are struggling with certain challenges, it may be the perfect moment for a conversation.
We will delve into a brief discussion to gain insight into your role, goals, and challenges, all before presenting a concise demonstration that showcases how RBM can provide the assistance you need.
In the past, we used different planning toolsets for planned change, service recovery and DR. Nothing was consistent and we were constantly re-inventing the wheel. With RBM, for the first time, we have the same solution for each scenario and can even share proven, re-usable content between scenarios. All on the ServiceNow platform, joining the dots.