As society increasingly relies on software based services, the BCS IT Leaders Forum continues its thought leadership, publishing and research around building resilience.

Resilience is defined as ‘action to prevent or mitigate risk’, and the UK Government Resilience Framework is built around three fundamental principles:

  • We need a shared understanding of the risks we face
  • We must focus on prevention and preparation
  • Resilience requires a whole-of-society approach

Risk and Resilience

The BCS IT Leaders Forum (ITLF) is concerned that we — people and organisations in the UK — increasingly depend on services at risk of software failure.

For you

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The 2022 ITLF report Digitalisation Software Risk and Resilience, a policy think piece, estimates the cost to the UK economy to be at least equal to the cost of road accidents.

The same report discusses why better software development in the UK cannot improve the UK economy in the short or medium term: most organisations have large proportions of their system based on software developed outside the UK and on substantial legacy systems up to 40 years old. The systems are complex, tightly coupled and subject to unpredictable failure.

The round table

BCS, together with the Business Continuity Institute, led a round table that explored:

  • How to increase the shared understanding of the risk
  • How to prevent and prepare for software failure
  • How to collect and collate data on the impacts of software failures on users, taking a whole-of-society approach

The round table identified a need for:

  • Metrics on service outages to support prevention and preparation
  • Public sector leadership will take the lead in gathering and sharing service outage data, taking a whole-of-society approach
  • Use guidance and processes from the financial services authorities in other sectors, particularly infrastructure
  • Shared understanding of the economic and societal impact of software failures and their impact on services through education of management and IT and risk professionals

The ITLF work in this area continues, and you can contact the Forum by visiting its website.