Five Ways to Strengthen Your Weakest Links by Building Operational Resiliency

Teams that build up their operational resiliency have many advantages when compared to less resilient organizations. Better planning for adverse scenarios means that they’re always ready with a back-up plan for unexpected conditions. It means that disruptions to systems, staffing, or dataflow don’t undermine the quality of operations.

Operational resiliency is a key component of Operational Excellence (OpX), and a goal that every business should build toward. To better get you along the path toward resiliency, we’ve put together some tips to enhance your system and turn weak points into strengths. 

For unlimited access to all the tools you need for resilient operations, we recommend AVEVA Operations Control. AVEVA Operations Control removes any barriers to adopting resilient systems and offers you the capabilities to build a strong operational architecture and keep it robust and reliable even during rapid business growth. 

Plan for Disaster

One of the best ways to build in operational resiliency from the ground up is to try to anticipate what can go wrong, and then make a mitigation plan for it. Some examples of this could include designing redundancy for important systems, so that downtime is an inconvenience, rather than a disaster. Planning for failure may also mean balancing on-premise and cloud disaster recovery and data accessibility so that important systems can be restored remotely or replicated in other locations. It may mean exploring hybrid architectures so that the flow of information and how it is accessed doesn’t always require the full team to be on-site.

Digitize Recordkeeping

As a part of your industrial automation maturity path, you should already be digitizing records to reduce human error and make information more readily accessible and understandable. But digital records also have benefits for operational resiliency. They offer consistent data that can be placed alongside relevant information for context and can help team members make actionable decisions. Digital records also offer a single source of truth for data, which can help operations teams break out of silos of information. For regulated industries, this can mean highly efficient response times to production inquiries and limiting the risk to the organization. This consistency and availability of data can help reduce errors and improve decision-making across the organization.

Build Resilient Teams

The resiliency of your workforce is a key aspect of operational resiliency too. The most resilient organizations make focusing on developing their teams’ skills and knowledge a priority, to build human redundancy too. Can your operators perform multiple tasks or job functions if you have a sudden loss of talent? The implementation of collaboration and knowledge sharing tools can allow your teams to upskill and be sure that they’re maintaining key competencies. Ensure your team has access to the training they need and create a culture that encourages and rewards resilient operators who can solve problems quickly across the wider organization.

Take Advantage of Tools like Predictive Maintenance

Humans aren’t always able to predict a failure because we often don’t have the information or the experience to locate and interpret negative patterns. Luckily, technologies like AI and Machine learning are able to gather more data than an individual human and can quickly identify the patterns that will suggest trouble later. Using tools that bring AI and Machine learning based predictive maintenance to systems, operators can anticipate and prevent many problems that could otherwise lead to unexpected downtime.

A Resilient Operation is a Secure Operation

One highly unpredictable external threat comes from malicious actors. Malware, ransomware, exploits, and even internal attacks can occur at any time to any organization. How well you handle those threats comes down to how resilient your operations are. While you can avoid being the target of some malicious attacks with strong security measures, there’s no foolproof plan for preventing attacks entirely. Having operational resiliency as a goal means planning how you will distribute your data between on-premise and cloud, how you will recover if your data is encrypted or stolen, and what ongoing measures you will take to keep your operations secure. A good place to start is with AVEVA Operations Control for your operations foundation, so you can ensure you’re always working on the most recent and most secure version of your operations control software.

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