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What is Digital-First Resiliency?

January 12, 2022
Min Read
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Digital-first resiliency represents a new approach to digital transformation. While some think of digital transformation as the digitization of processes and tools that provide long-term benefits, digital-first resiliency focuses on the small or necessary changes your organization can make today to start seeing results tomorrow and into the future.  

The Definition of Digital-First Resiliency

Trinnex defines digital-first resiliency as connecting existing data investments and internal knowledge with digital solutions to enable smarter infrastructure decisions today for a more efficient, sustainable, and equitable tomorrow.

Looking at each part of digital-first resiliency further explains its definition.

  • Digital: Organizations implement digital solutions at many different levels. It could be as simple as typing handwritten notes into a Word doc or completely automating a manual and tedious process by using software.  
  • First: The first in “digital-first resiliency” involves gauging where you currently are in your digital journey and prioritizing your next steps to get to a quick win.  
  • Resiliency: Merriam Webster defines resiliency as “ ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change.” In the context of digital-first resiliency, resiliency means using innovative solutions to be strong enough to efficiently manage today’s challenges and proactive enough to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

Why does digital-first resiliency matter?

Digital-first resiliency matters because digital transformation is happening throughout our entire society and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down:

  • About every 8 seconds, a baby boomer reaches the retirement age of 65 representing a growing experienced workforce gap
  • The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $1 Trillion in funding for modernizing aging infrastructure
  • Businesses lose about $15M per year because of poor data

And of course, other human factors point to the need for digital solutions.

Your users expect consistent top-quality service, embrace the digital frontier to keep informed, and want instant communication when challenges arise. Some of your top employees that know your systems inside and out are retiring, introducing a huge opportunity to capture that institutional knowledge to pass down to the next generation.  

Major stakeholders who might not be as technically inclined or have the time to dig into the weeds want to see positive results and in the form of a digestible report.  

Meeting the challenges that lie ahead

In some cases, impending regulations such as the Lead & Copper Rule Regulation (LCRR) make it clear that LCRR digital solutions might help organizations achieve compliance by speeding up or streamlining reporting processes. Similarly, no one could have predicted COVID-19 would impact some communities more than others, introducing the idea that wastewater surveillance tools could be used to identify super-spreader events. Or that increasing extreme weather events would overwhelm collection systems on a more regular basis, highlighting the need to identify sewer system blockages or backups by using water system simulation software before they become nightmares.  

Digital-first resiliency helps to stay ahead of future challenges.

The path towards creating a digital-first resiliency strategy

Kicking off or jumpstarting a digital-first resiliency strategy involves three steps:

  1. Determining the right timing for your digital journey: This includes looking at all factors (societal, economical, regulatory, etc.) today impacting your decision.
  1. Using the SEED Process to develop your digital strategy: This includes looking at all the stakeholders involved and pinpointing where you can start working on your digital-first resiliency strategy.
  1. Finding a sherpa to help you through the journey: And finally, considering whether extra guidance might help get you heading in the right direction.  

Get a free copy of our guide

Our “Guide to Digital First Resiliency for Infrastructure Leaders” lays out how to get started on your digital journey. Get your free copy today!

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Written by
Rajan Ray
VP of Strategy & Marketing
Raj has 20+ years of experience in product marketing and strategy for high-tech/B2B digital solutions in the water industry.

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