To be honest, resilience is relatively new concept – we were so much involved into keeping the bad guys out (security) that we did not really think about what will happen when they beat us (and here we need resilience).
We live in the world which is characterized by the growing global threats in many old and new forms that have potential to influence the world but also to have a strong impact to the any country in the world. Just looking at the few years back, we had severe economic crises where governments were trying to manage the impact by new regulations and laws that are trying to keep the economies alive and make them ready and prepared to make sure that they can keep up with the any impact that will come.
We also live in the world of more impactful natural disasters that happen more frequently, due to many reasons — from the ever-changing climate environment that is impacted by human intervention to the random events that are part of the unexpected changes in our natural environment. The unprecedented frequency and costs of natural disasters and the increase of their severity due to climate change are posing significant economic challenges and new risks for the Government, which are looking for ways to build a resilience utilizing different platforms, including technology.
And it was not only about the global and part of the collapsing economies: we are living in the world of cyber-attacks and significant thefts using the technologies are impacting the countries to the point where Government (country, nations, organizations, cities) cannot perform their functions due to the blocked or disabled operational points that often include technology. Today, governments around the world are building their critical infrastructures so that they are resilient when performing their operations under any condition that can happen so that economies can stay productive and that citizens can be secure and safe.
Resilient Government is the ability to adapt to changing conditions and withstand and rapidly recover from disruption due to emergencies. Whether it is resilience towards acts of terrorism, cyber-attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters, national preparedness is the shared responsibility of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens. Building a common understanding and creating a framework on which you can execute, is one of the top priorities for many Governments in the world:
- Geostrategic Resilience: Governments around the world have a different geostrategic position, being subject to geostrategic, international or domestic influences that are driving the instability that stress test the country, down to the point of national crisis that is disabling the regular functioning of the Government
- Operational Resilience: Government day to day operations, starting from administrative work down to advanced technology operations, is potentially weak link that can be broken in the case of specific disruption.
- Cyber Resilience: making sure that Government can prepare, mitigate, control and recover from cyberattacks, deliberate attacks where attackers are using digital technologies or technology failures, accidental issues where outcomes are propagated using digital technologies
- Natural Disasters Resilience: making sure that Government can prepare and respond to the effects of natural disasters. Technology can play a vital role in this, enabling natural disaster management to improve communication and coordination, but also to build a system that will consider the disaster prediction and analysis.
Microsoft (where I work as a Cloud Services Director) is addressing resilience needs with specific programs that are helping Governments prepare, activate, manage and close different risks that are emerging from the potential threats. For that, Microsoft is utilizing modern solutions, platforms and technologies that are bringing capabilities to the Governments to effectively address potential issues.